Kevin Garnett: World Traveler
Posted Oct 15 2006 7:35PM
Last Stop: Taipei
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the early morning, July 20, 2006
When we landed in Taipei I was exhausted and didn't really know what to expect. I did hear that it was a cool city and they had the worldís tallest building, Taipei 101.
The next morning we started the day off with a press conference to launch in Taipei my Asia adidas shoe. We did some interviews and I took some pictures with local retail accounts. After that had to get my FIFA World Cup í06 on, sorry I am addicted!
From there we went and did this TV show where there were three of the top players in Taiwan hosting. One was a point guard that they called Baby Allen Iverson. The second one was a forward that I was told was a good shooter like Reggie Miller. Then they had a big that was supposed to be one of the top big men in their league. I must say that they did give the TV show a little flair. Together they thought me some Chinese phrases and we played a shooting game on a little goal, like the one at the carnival. The guys were really into tattoos. They like Allen Iverson and Marcus Cambyís tattoos (they both have Chinese character tattoos on them).
After the shoe, we were off to check out Taipei 101. It was crazy because it was like an event when you go to see the building. From the start until we got to the top of the building it was entertaining. It has a Starbucks, ice cream shop, a shopping mall, just about anything you would need. Typical I had to get some ice cream on a waffle cone. They gave us a tour, the history and a film of the making of it. As we went to the top we saw endless, endless miles of Taipei. Believe me when I say this, you had to be there. As we went back on the tour a crowd gathered. Before we knew it we had a mob of people taking pictures. I have to say I was feeling like Rod Stewart. Yep RRREEEAAALLL rock starish.
We left Taipei 101 and went to meet one hundred and fifty winners of an adidas KG contest and do a basketball clinic on an outdoor court. I had the chance to say whatís up, took some pictures and even dunked the ball a couples of times. They love that (dunking). It was a really nice set up.
Then we went next door to the Jones Cup. The Jones Cup is an International tournament for both men and women. Again did some interviews, shook some hands, dapted some people and then they even let me do the tip at center court. I took pictures with the Australian, Taipei and Italy womenís teams. That was cool. You know I canít miss the opportunity to take a picture with a lot of women. HA HA.
As I said my last goodbyes, I watched for the last time the gratitude and millions of applauses which were all appreciated. Off to the airport!
Got to the airport and took my final walk through the international airport. The walk was long and exhausting, but truly worth it. As we walked I reflected on how blessed and fortunate I am. Most importantly how appreciative I am.
With that I want to say thank you Asia, thank you India and thank you adidas for making this a trip I will not forget.
I hope you guys enjoyed the blogs. Youngsters keep playing the game with your hearts and your passion.
Always remember: Impossible is Nothing!
I have been your host KG. KG signing off!
Fresh Start, Fresh Fruit
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the early morning, July 18, 2006
Woke up early this morning, had one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. I must say that this was the best fruit on earth! I would put this fruit up against any other fruit on the earth. As I got done with breakfast, we left to visit an orphanage.
This orphanage was different, instead of finding the children homes, they raise the kids. Once I got there the kids presented me with flowers. The principal of the orphanage showed me the grounds, six acres of beauty. I must say even though you would think the kids would be down, they were up beat! They showed me the houses and where they go to school. The kids even showed me how to play cricket. Oh yes, cricket!
I am not the one to be attached to many things, but one little girl name Stella touched me. Stellaís two and beautiful. I really wanted to take her home.
After taking pictures, signing autographs and signing my first adidas cricket paddle I was off to the airport, saying goodbye to India, at least for now!
On my way to Taipei for the last stop on the adidas tour. Iíll hit you all back and let you know what this is like.
Taj Mahal Y'all
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the afternoon, July 17, 2006
Itís crazy being up at 6:00 a.m. Not so crazy, going to see something I thought I would never be able to see, the Taj Mahal. Woke up early, ate and was ready to get out the door. Totally excited!
When I got downstairs, I didn't really know what the drive would be like. Let me give it to you raw; India is a huge country filled with tons of poverty, lots of poverty, but many beautiful people. As we drove the dirt roads and through some of the neighborhoods, I couldn't forget how fortunate and blessed I am. The closer we got to the Taj Mahal, the more the streets cleared up. When we got there it was packed with people. It is something I never could imagine or thought I would see.
The Taj Mahal is all marble. Twenty acres of gardens, a guest house and even a temple. If they had replicated it today I don't think Bill Gatesí money could have built it. As we walked the grounds, we said hello to the people and took photos. I was just thinking again how truly blessed I am. I even said a prayer.
Today is a short day, but a special day. The Taj Mahal was like the Great Wall, something I would never forget. Now we are off to catch the plane for Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India.
As we got to Bangalore we had to get to my responsibility. The time zone was different, but it didn't matter, because I didn't know what time zone I was in. As we landed, it looked very similar to other airports -- busy, people, etc. I went straight to the adidas flagship store. THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE. As I pulled up, the fans chanted my name, took photos, crazy! Typical KG style, I had to say, "Hi" to everyone, and throw up the peace sign and hang loose sign (my new thing).
Did I mention that this was the first time this store was open, so I had to do the ribbon cutting? As I went in, I first checked out the soccer section. It was really cool. Then I said, "Whatís up?" to the fans and staff and then checked out my own corner. I had never really had my own corner before, it was kinda hot. We went upstairs and took pictures with and met more of my fans and some of adidasí retail partners. I ran into two fans that drove nine hours to see me. Wow (enough said)! The store was cool. I unveiled my adidas India shoe, answered some questions and then was off to the hotel.
Tired as hell, about to grab something to eat and turn in.
You all catch me tomorrow!
A Brand New Delhi
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the early morning, July 17, 2006
Never make preconceived perceptions, always go off reality. I always say that because when we landed I was tired and wiped out. I tried to soak up the atmosphere. It was very different then the states. I was startled by the soldiers with the AK 47s, even though they were just as a precaution. I have learned to respect and appreciate the culture in India. People here are just as excited about basketball as we are in the states. Truly amazing how far and global basketball has come.
After getting up, planning my day we had breakfast. I thought I had good food in China. In India the food was by far the best I have had on my trip. After breakfast we went downstairs to the press conference to launch the Garnett í06 India only shoe. There are only 100 total pairs available. The launch went well. Back to the room, where I found myself watching CNN and catching up on my world events.
Had a chance to check out the adidas store in Delhi and meets its staff. It was the stores grand opening. It was really cool. As we left the store and drove to the gym we saw wild monkeys along the streets. Over hear monkeys are like squirrels, it is funny to tell you the truth.
At the school I got to see some of the girls and guys play. I hope that the youngsters in the US are working on their games, because the kids here in India are. I was truly impressed. As I left the event and got on the bus I watched the kids chanting my name. It just shows how powerful sports are.
As I sit back and think I really do see how powerful sports are. Even though I am 1000 miles away the impact I made was truly honorable. This whole trip has been like a big field trip for me, very educational.
Iím looking forward to tomorrow because we are off to the Taj Mahal.
Stay tuned. Peace
Wrapping Up in Shanghai
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the early morning, July 16, 2006
Today is going to be a short one in Shanghai. Had a few more one-on-one interviews with the different local media. All went well. Back to the room to pack and get some lunch as we would be leaving for Delhi after my TV appearance.
The studio was cool and the kids in the crowed were hyped so all was good. We talked about a number of different things. These kids definitely did make me feel the love so I invited some of them up on stage to show my love for them.
From here we went to the airport for our six hour flight to Delhi. The flight was crazy, about an hour or so outside of Delhi we ran into a storm. I was playing Xbox and everyone else was sleeping until the plane literally stated bouncing around.
We got into Delhi around eleven and I was exhausted. Got to the hotel and they gave us the traditional India greeting by placing a red dot on our foreheads between our eyes.
I am exhausted so I will catch up with all of you tomorrow.
Fast Times in Shanghai
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the early morning, July 15, 2006
Landing in Shanghai was very different then Beijing. There were a lot of clouds and it was windy, so the bumpy landing started off the excitement. As we drove to the city it went from farm land to a major city. Shanghai is not like any city that I have ever seen. A lot of the skyscrapers are less then ten years old. Millions of sky scrappers.
Our hotel was crazy! I have stayed at a lot of hotels and this hotel is by far the best I have ever stayed in. The room was so 2010. The first stop after my room was to the hotels sushi bar. I don't know if you know that, but I love sushi. We had this dish I had never had before, it was really nice. After that headed up to the room for a nap before heading out for an adidas event with their largest retail accounts in Asia.
At the event we debuted the Garnett í06 (set to launch globally in January 2007). This shoe is so cold; it has the new adidas Bounce technology. On both of the shoes soles I did a special dedication to both South Carolina and Chicago.
After the launch we came back to the hotel and did an internet chat in front of twenty-five fans and a number of media. The kids in the audience were very cool and enthusiastic. During the chat we had about 1.2 millions people on line. I don't think I know 1.2 million people or seen 1.2 million people, never less chat with them. It was great! You gotta understand that when athletes come over these kids don't get a chance to come up and touch us, but oh well what the hell these kids are so excited I decided that I would bring them up for a group picture.
The day was a good day, I was very happy with it. I am beat, going to get me some zís, but first I need some more of that stuff from the sushi spot.
Check me out tomorrow as I have to some interviews in the morning and a TV show appearance in the afternoon. I am really hyped with that one.
Busy & Rewarding Day
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the early morning, July 14, 2006
I could tell by the anticipation that the event would be live. Once we got there the fans had a lot of love for me. The gym was hot! adidas did this sick stage that was crazy. It had me come through the largest video screen I had ever seen. There had to have been over a 1,000 kids and their positive energy just got me hyped. We did a number of things from launching my adidas Asia shoe, to me playing with some of the best high school aged players from China. I was surprised how good the players were and look forward to seeing them in the league. After the event I was exhausted. I gave away my jersey and shoes so I walked out half naked, but they showed me so much love it was the least I could do.
From there we went back to the hotel, did some one-on-one interviews, had lunch and then off to the Great Wall. At the Great Wall some of my fans from the event earlier and the media had made the hour trip out. The Great Wall is one thing you hear about, but to see it is a wwwhhhooollleee different thing. It was a clear day so when we got to the top of the wall I really got an idea of just how big it was. We climbed it, flew some dragon kites and took a lot of pictures. After our media session, I spent abot 30 minutes with my family, just soaking it in. Being on the wall made think how far I have come from South Carolina, Chicago to Beijing. Basketball has truly blessed me.
We are now off to Shanghai, holler at you later. KG
KG Arrives in Beijing
Posted by By Kevin Garnett in the early morning, July 13, 2006
Getting back to my adidas tour, over the next six days we are scheduled to make stops in Beijing, Shanghai, New Delhi, Agra, Bangalore and Taipei. This is my first time to both China and India so I am looking forward to checking out the sites and meeting up with my many fans.
When we arrived at the Beijing airport, there were tons of fans and media waiting. My guys from adidas told me what to expect, but until you actually see it you just don't understand how much the people here love the NBA. It was crazy!
We have a number of dope events set up in every city we are going to. Tomorrow (July 13th) we launch a special Asia only Garnett '06 at a fan appreciation event. Many of you know my signature shoe from last season; well we took that shoe and made a hot version just for Asia! The shoe is black, red and has a laser etched dragon that runs the length of the shoe, it's hot! It is limited to 1000 pairs so Iím eager to see how soon they go.
After the limited edition shoe launch event I will be off to the Great Wall. You all stay tuned and I will holler at you later.