A record 280 international media members from 35 countries and territories are on-site covering the 2008 NBA Finals in Los Angeles and Boston.
The Finals will be televised to 205 countries and territories in 46 languages. In 1987, the last time the Lakers and Celtics met in The Finals, the games were televised to only 28 countries and territories.
A record 27 media members from Spain will be on hand to watch Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol (Spain) play in his first Finals.
This always makes for some fun questions at the podium. On Wednesday, a Brazilian reporter was asking every player who his favorite soccer player was. Kevin Garnett, who is actually a very big soccer fan and a regular at Galaxy games during the offseason, said that he follows Chelsea very closely. Later, the same reporter asked Paul Pierce about soccer.
“I got into soccer because of Kevin,” Pierce said. “Before I wasn’t too much into soccer. …We had a chance to meet some of the players when we went over to London.”
Then the reporter got a little more in depth.
“A Brazilian player, is there one you appreciate?” he asked.
Pierce smiled and said, “I really don’t know. Names, I’m still learning. Come on, this is the Finals man.”
A couple minutes later, an Italian reporter at a lot more luck with Kobe Bryant. He asked him a question in Italian, which Bryant, having grown up on Italy completely understood, and then gave him what I assumed was a rather interesting answer.
I have no idea what he said. In my three trips to Italy, I’ve been able to pick up the basics, like how to order food and ask for directions, but Bryant was fluent, and speaking rather quickly, so our Italian readers will have to translate Anyone?