-- So what does it mean to be the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge MVP? Well, for one, it means about one-half hour of media and photo obligations after the game. Once the game ended, Andre Iguodala is escorted to midcourt, where he stands in front of the rookies and sophomores, is presented with the MVP trophy and talks with TNT's David Aldridge.
It was the end of the game, but it was the beginning of much more.
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After that, he slides over a few steps for an interview with Shelley Smith of ESPN Radio. Before he can make his way off the court, he is congratulated by agent Rob Pelinka and sophomore coach Del Harris. He then stops for another interview with Dei Lynam of Comcast SportsNet and has to brush off a couple of more requests as he makes his way off the floor, jumping up to slap hands with some fans sitting right over the tunnel.
Backstage, Iguodala is guided into a room with Rachel Nichols of ESPN for one more interview. Then it is on to the press room where he fields questions from reporters. His shooting shirt can't be found, so he dons an All-Star long-sleeve t-shirt to keep warm. Both he and the press note that the Rookie Challenge MVP has been a springboard for future greatness for such players as Allen Iverson, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.
As he heads out of the press room, he greets rookie Luther Head, who was next up on the podium. On the way up to the practice court for his MVP photo shoot, Andre's mom Linda finally gets her MVP hug and someone hands Andre his shooting shirt, finally found.
Down at the shoot, Andre is joined by his mom, his step-father Leonard, his brother Frank, Pelinka, and his friend Mike. But someone is missing. Make that something. The MVP has beaten the MVP trophy to the shoot and an NBA official heads back down to retrieve it.
Once the trophy arrives, Linda takes a napkin out of her purse to wipe off some fingerprints. While Andre takes some shots with the trophy, she stands to the side, beaming with pride. Meanwhile, Frank and Mike shoot some hoops on one of the baskets.
After the solo photos, Linda gets into the shot and gets a big kiss from her MVP son. Photos with the rest of the family follow, as well as some with T-Mobile representatives.
Finally, Andre's obligations are done, and he heads back to the locker room. On his way there, he is stopped by rookie Chris Paul.
"You were trying to warm up on us for the dunk contest!" Paul exclaims.
Tomorrow is another night, and possibly even more obligations.