'Celebrity' spends day passing on knowledge
Steven Adams is still getting used to this celebrity thing.
"It's pretty weird eh, getting mobbed," Adams said at a New Zealand Basketball Academy camp in Wellington yesterday.
"It's cool, because I like the fans and stuff, but it's a bit weird, I haven't adjusted to it yet. It still surprises me."
After a successful NBA rookie season, the Oklahoma City Thunder centre could have been forgiven for spending some of his $2.6 million salary and parking his 2.13m frame on a beach towel somewhere.
Instead, he is spending his holiday in wintry Wellington, yesterday passing on his knowledge to young hopefuls at Kilbirnie's ASB Sports Centre.
"I just love the game and I just love these kids man," Adams said.
"I mean they're the future NZ stars, really, right here. I always like to come back and just help out however I can. That's honestly my holiday.
"It's good to not play and just give back, it's good mentally, you know what I'm saying? It's amazing, there's so many kids here . . .
"I went to Scots [College] on Friday, tons of people playing basketball at lunch, just cool to see really, awesome."
Adams said he didn't watch San Antonio beat Miami in game one of the NBA Finals and he wouldn't be tuning in for game two today, either.
San Antonio beat Adams' Thunder 4-2 in the Western Conference Finals.
"There's no point . . . I don't want to watch it."
Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks has said the starting centre job is open for competition next season.
Most media and fans are pushing for the 20-year-old, more athletic Adams to get the nod ahead of veteran incumbent Kendrick Perkins.
But Adams said he didn't care whether he started or not.
"I'm just doing whatever to put myself in the best position possible to help the team, impact the team. Starting doesn't matter, it's just making sure we get the right rotations and what-not so we can win the championship."
Adams, New Zealand's only current NBA player, rated crafty Charlotte centre Al Jefferson as the hardest opponent to guard.
"Really tough, I don't know what to do really."
Superstar team-mate Kevin Durant was just a "normal, chilled out dude," and it was a "huge honour" to get a mention in his memorable MVP speech.
Adams hoped to bring his team-mates to New Zealand at some stage.
"Yeah trying to eh, working on it. But it's early days yet, we'll see what happens . . . the interest is there, it's just getting over the flight. That's the problem. They ask how long the flight is and they're like ‘oh my God, I can't bear it.' I've got to try and persuade them."
He had also tried, in vain, to convert them to the wonders of meat pies.
"I try to explain to them and they're like weirded out about it. Why would you be weirded out about pies bro, I don't know. Pies are awesome."
Adams watched the All Blacks sneak home against England on Saturday but was equally enthused by the Black Ferns' 90-12 demolition of Samoa in the curtain-raiser.
"Our girls are good - apparently they've won the championship [World Cup] four times. Why doesn't anyone know about that? That's so sad. They're awesome."