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10 Points - Jam Session

10 Points about...

Jam Session

The All-Star Jam Session 2009 is being held at the Phoenix Convention Center Thursday, February 12 through Monday February, 16. Daniel Banks and Dan Hilton attended the Jam Session to get a feel for what it was like. Banks went with several friends and experienced the adult section while Hilton had three kids under the age of 8 and spent most of his time in the kids section.

Don't let this guy catch you without a ticket.

The METRO Light Rail is smart...

Since it was my first time experiencing NBA Jam Session, I decided to mark another first: riding the metro light rail. Downtown Phoenix is going to be bustling with awesome events, but "Let Banks Find a Parking Space" is not one of them. It turned out to be a great decision. We bypassed the traffic jam and got dropped off about 100 yards from the Jam Session entrance.

It wasnt perfect though. At a stop close to downtown, the train was boarded by the policeman from Terminator 2 - he was sent from the future to make sure we all had valid tickets for the ride. So heads up: dont try to ride for free. He'll get you.

...but parking is available if you need it.

Driving to a Park-and-Ride and then dragging three kids, one of whom can't walk more than a few yards without wanting to be picked up, onto the METRO light rail for a journey into Phoenix wasn't something I wanted to try so we decided to drive and find a place to park.  There are plenty of places (one right next to where the light rail dropped Banks off) for as much as it would have cost me to pay for 4 round-trip tickets on the light rail.  And I didn't want to risk getting caught by the Terminator 2 cop.  He scares me. Oh, and make sure you park in the appropriate parking lots so you don't get your car locked up.  Being stranded in Central Phoenix at night is no fun. (that's a long story)

The Storm Trooper is on the left.

Your inner geek will come out...

I was expecting a basketball bonanza but within 30 seconds of walking in I spotted a storm trooper and R2D2. Cartoon Network has a large interactive area that must be intended for kids based on the weird looks I was getting from parents as I shoved my way closer to the droid. I didnt see Boba Fett, or else I would have been escorted out.

Both your inner and actual child will have fun.

I was worried that most of the activities at the Jam Session would be for adults but I was completely wrong.  There were a lot of activities for adults but just as many for kids.  The munchkins got to be attached to bungee cords and jump on trampolines while shooting baskets, get removable tattoos (at least, I think they're removable), play video games against other kids and dunk basketballs on short baskets.  And Banks, if you wouldn't have knocked over so many kids, you wouldn't have gotten those dirty looks from me.

Dorothy Mantooth was a saint!

Being a tv anchor ain't easy.

It's easy to make fun of TV anchors (seriously dude, your hair went out of style five years ago) but fans found out it can be a tough job sometimes. At the NBA TV desk, you can take go in front of the camera and call highlights and then see your moment of fame online. Extra points if you work in the phrase "boom goes the dynamite."

Don't sit behind this guy at the movies.

The best Jam Session activity is people watching.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the Jam Session was the people watching.  There were all types of people there and it was great to see everyone enjoying their time together without any problems.  My kids were enthralled with what I think is the coolest hairdo I've seen in several months.  I asked the guy if I could take a picture of his hair and he kindly obliged.  I hope to see him around again because he was that cool.

Enhancing your experience is easy...

I purposefully skipped dinner before heading downtown just so I could experience the available refreshments. There is a massive McDonald's operation on the session floor and tons of seating. This attracts a lot of families but there are some "bistro" stands with fancier fare that includes different kinds of beverage options (ahem!). At one of these stands my friends noticed the most awesome menu listing under the pastas: "Enhance with sausage."

New additions to the Suns.

You can be a part of the team.

Since we have a "starting 5" of our own, we thought it would be fun to take picture with the team.  The older kids thought it was pretty cool to get to stand in the team picture.  The baby wasn't so sure about these extremely flat, quiet giants we were suddenly standing with.  But it's pretty cool that you can take a picture with the entire team for posterity's sake.

Behold the awesomeness.

You'd better bring your A game.

Hilton, you think you have game, I understand. You could have gone pro if it wasnt for that time you had chicken pox in the third grade. Well, this is your chance to show your skills. The beauty of Jam Session for adults is competition. There are shooting contests, dunking contests, pop-a-shot, slingshot ball (awesome), and video games. Fans, if you can beat my high score in pop-a-shot (3), then you truly are an all-star.

Jam Session: Something for everyone.

Even if you couldn't have gone pro and you're terrible at pop-a-shot, Jam Session is still the place to be during All-Star weekend.  But don't take my word for it.  A lot of other people, both outside and within the Suns organization, think this weekend is going to be great for NBA fans of all ages.  You should definitely check it out if at all possible.