If you don’t know by now, yours truly attended the Pistons first ever Social Media Night. And as I do, I’m going wrap it up for you in my own SWEDEtastic way.
The night was set up for fans, with special access for Detroit area bloggers. Fans had a chance to buy tickets for the game get a pretty sweet social media t-shirt, with passes to a meet and greet with his Swedeness, Jonas Jerebko. Bloggers got to cover the events with a special Q and A with Charlie Villanueva after the (now devastating) game against the Bobcats.
I checked in and went to the Chairman’s Club where Jonas would be shortly for the meet and greet with fans. Since I was the first one to walk in, I sat in the first row tweeting away while fans
poured in to see their favorite Swede. I must have scared people off, because nobody took the 4 seats next to me until three girls walked up to me and asked me if I was saving the seats for anyone. The three then sat down beside me in their handmade Jonas Jerebko t-shirts and I listened to their angst about how nervous they were to meet him.
“Oh my God…we are going to meet him.”
“He’s so cute, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“I think I might faint.”
I just smiled and soaked it in. See my favorite part of all the things I get to do when it comes to Detroit Basketball (besides watching them win Championships) is watching fans get to experience the players they love, and when they get to experience the magic that surrounds Pistons basketball.
Minutes later Pistons.com reporter Heather Zara walked in with camera in tow to cover the event. She immediately walked over to the girls next to me with the Swedetastic shirts and talked to them. Too shy to say much Heather asked who the vocal one of the bunch was so she could interview them. They immediately told her that they learned how to say “I Love You” in Swedish for Jonas.
Heather then located the bloggers in the room. She walked up to me and I introduced myself, “Ah my twitter friend! Nice to finally meet you Natalie.” And yes, for those of you wondering, she is that pretty in person. She grabbed me for an interview, which you can see a clip of in this video on Social Media Night from Pistons.com.
After I took my seat it was just about time for Jonas to come in. As the girls sitting next to me anxiously awaited, I made sure my Flip Video camera was ready.
Jonas walked in with a big smile that never seemed to go away. He greeted every fan as if they were his long lost friend and loved the girls t-shirts and the fact the they learned how to say I love you in Swedish. After the three girls got finished meeting Jonas, one of them walked back to her seat and said…”I think I’m going to throw up.” And I really don’t think she was exaggerating, she looked purple.
I’m guessing quite a few people have a new Facebook profile picture with Jonas right now.
I sat as I watched everyone go through the line, and when they were done I saw that Heather was talking to Jonas. She then pointed to me and said Need4Swede. Jonas looked at me and said “That’s you?” Surprised that he knew Need4Swede, I grabbed the one thing I brought with me besides my Flip and my Blakberry and that was a Need4Swede t-shirt.
I threw the shirt to Heather and she handed it to Jonas. He opened it up with a big smile and then was getting ready to sign it. I stood up and stopped him, “that’s for you Jonas,” I said. “Cool!” He held it up and said, “I’m not sure if it will fit (it was an XL), but I’m going to rock this.”
We talked for a moment, then the camera’s had us pose with the shirt.
I asked him if he was cool with a little name change around here and he said sure! So now I have the Swede’s approval if I change this thing over to Need4Swede.com.
If you thought Jonas was a quality player, add quality person to the list too. I’ve seen plenty of athletes in my day and he’s top shelf when it comes to personality and fan interaction.
After all the fans were gone, the Pistons game the bloggers a quick Q and A with Jonas. Here is the video for you.
The bloggers, including two I’ve spoke to on many occasions but never met, @PistonPowered and @SteveKays were then escorted to a great lower level suite to enjoy the game. That’s when I found out that I had a fan. I was speaking to Mike Garrett of the Pistons about all things Detroit Basketball when he tells me that one of his employees is a big fan of mine. As I laughed and told him it wasn’t nice to poke fun of me, he continued to tell me he was serious and that he wanted to take a picture of me and send it off to her (hi Shelly), really? After the game one of the Pistons interns came to the suite to escort the bloggers to the post game interview with Charlie Villanueva when I found out I had 2 fans…”You’re Natalie of Need4Sheed right? I have been following your site for years now, I’m a big fan.” Who knew.
We then walked to the the bowels of the Palace to wait for the real media to finish their post game presser with John Kuester. As soon as they were done they sat us in the press conference room where we waited for Charlie to come in. Understandably after that loss, it looked like the last place he wanted to be, but he sat and answered our questions as well as he could.
Here’s the video for you:
It was a great experience to get a different point of view of what goes on when you cover the Pistons game from the non fan perspective. I have been doing this for over six years now and it just keeps getting better and better. Players will come and go, fans will come and go, unfortunately owners will come and go, but one thing remains and that is Detroit Basketball.
And for the record…don’t let anyone tell you different. Standing next to the Larry O’Brien trophy never gets old…never.
If you are like most Pistons fans you have adopted a new face to root for. Since Jonas Jerebko has taken Tayshaun Prince’s spot in the starting lineup he’s been gaining followers with every rebound, steal, assist and dunk.
He’s quite a stir in his home country, being that he’s the first Swedish born player in the NBA and now he’s got a special place for himself in “The D.”
From Team Need4Sheed member BJ:
During last night’s game one of – what I can only assume was – The Palace promotional workers started passing out viking helmets to the fans sitting in our row. Turns out, for every point Jerebko scored, another helmet was given. I accounted for point number 7 and, after a couple sitting next to us left, more fans were asked to move up a row and wear the helmets to finish off the 10 points he eventually earned. Good times, indeed.
And Jonas seems to enjoy it.
Seems more people than I thought had the Need4Swede!
For a team that looked like they were going to be offensive-minded to start the season, things sure did change. With the bulk of the Pistons scoring sidelined due to injuries, the Pistons snapped their seven game skid Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Hawks 88-94. You can thank the defense, gritty play from “The Swede,” Jonas Jerebko, and the rejuvenated and revitalized Ben Wallace. Wallace and Jerebko combined for 16 of the Pistons’ season-high 24 offensive rebounds.
- Coach Kuester shook up the starting lineup Sunday afternoon starting Chucky Atkins (PG), Rodney Stuckey, Jonas Jerebko, Jason Maxiell and Ben Wallace.
- The lineup change was a gutsy move from Kuester who’s basically doing whatever he can with what he’s got available. I said it a few games back, it’s not just like having three of your best scorers out, it’s like having four when you can’t count on steady production from Charlie Villlanueva. Maybe the temporary move to the bench is just what Villlanueva needed to get himself back in gear, it’s not like we know he can’t score.
- The change also helped Rodney Stuckey. Having Chucky Atkins running the floor let Rodney play the position he’s best at.
- “We talk about the leadership that we get from Ben, Tayshaun and Rip, but we need to add Chucky to that discussion,” Kuester said. “He’s been huge for our young guards. He’s going to be a coach in this league, and he’s doing a lot of that for us.” Via NBA.com
- Atkins hadn’t started an NBA game since 2007, and hadn’t started for Detroit since Nov. 30, 2002.
- The points in the paint stat was huge for the Pistons with 60 for the game. Detroit started taking it inside early.
- Detroit’s biggest lead was 12, Atlanta’s 2.
- Ben Camey Wallace has brought back the “Going to Work” style of Basketball to Detroit again, right where it belongs. Ben put up a double-double with 18 boards, 10 points and 2 steals. The Pistons may not have a stellar record, but if it weren’t for Ben Wallace they wouldn’t have a chance to win night in and night out.
- How about holding Joe Johnson to 5-for-19 shooting.
- Charlie Villanueva broke his nose when he was fouled by the Hawks’ Zaza Pachulia and smashed face first into Wallace’s side. Villanueva, gushing blood,with a tissue to stop the bleeding, hit both free throws before heading to the Pistons’ locker room not return.
- Another “Masked Man” for Detroit. Get well soon Charlie, you showed some guts coming back on court and sinking the free throws.
- Josh Smith makes dunking pretty.
- Does Will Bynum have some kind of fourth quarter energy drink he’s hoarding from the rest of the team? The Thrill is money in the final quarter.
- Kuester made mention about 5 times in the Post Game Presser…”everyone is being held accountable.” Was that a hint about why the lineup changed?
- Rodney Stuckey Circus shot!
Video Courtesy of The NBA, FSN and The Detroit Pistons
- Mr. Stuckey played well, leading Detroit with 23 points on 10-for-23 shooting with 8 assists a steal and 2 boards. He looks good at the two, doesn’t he? Not only has he been stepping up his game lately, his jumpshot looks better and he seems to be making better decisions when driving the lane.
- I’m ecstatic to finally make the ball glow again…the losing streak was brutal.
- Jason Maxiell stepping up in the starting spot was more than refreshing. His numbers may not be eye-popping, but he made some great plays down the stretch. Jason finished with 7 points, 6 boards and 2 steals. I’m always surprised for some reason when he hits 15 footers with ease. I love it, but I just picture him wreaking havoc with a emphatic dunk.
- Some great moves from Will Bynum who finished with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting and was key in the fourth quarter.
- Chris Wilcox DNP.
- Kwame Brown stepped up big time in the first half. Brown scored 8 with 5 boards in 15 minutes of play.
- Sweeeeeeeeede! Need4Swede?
- Jonas Jerebko, with his own Fan Club on hand, had another great game. He may as well just tattoo Hard Work Pays Off on his arm because he’s the poster child for it. Jonas with a double-double, 10 points, 11 boards and a key play that may have sealed the win for Detroit.
- So that’s what happened to Mo Evans.
- Austin Daye, just 11 minutes with 2 points and 4 rebounds. I am a bit surprised he didn’t get more time and DaJuan Summers was a DNP. But hey, whatever works. Kue stopped the bleeding…well maybe not for Charlie, but for the Pistons’ record.
- How about Charlie V with a nice block and then he knocks down a three. I love it when things come together.
- Fun game to watch, love the we can get it done with the “no matter what” type attitude. Battered, bruised and always battling should be a new motto.
- Forget Chucky Atkins’ 1-for-7 shooting, he was running the point well for Detroit.
- Game Highlights via NBA.com
- With two days off, let’s hope Detroit can at least get Ben Gordon back so he can play in Chicago against his old team on Wednesday.
- The hits just keep on coming…Charlie Villanueva needs surgery. It’s great to follow the @Cv31 on Twitter, you get the news as it happens.
“Surgery tomorrow, wish me luck, I will send a tweet during surgery, lol, the mask is on its way, lets go”