NEW ORLEANS — Steven Adams used two words to describe the journey to his first NBA All-Star Weekend.
“It sucks,” he said. “It really does.”
To be clear, the Thunder rookie center isn’t taking the weekend for granted. He’s grateful to be here, to be selected to participate in Friday night’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. But the trip in was brutal.
Because the Thunder played the final game before the All-Star break, a 9:30 p.m. road tilt with the Lakers on TNT, Adams and other members of the Thunder were the last to arrive in New Orleans.
The game ended at approximately 12:20 a.m. central time.
At 1:35 a.m. central time, Kevin Durant tweeted “LA to New Orleans. We out.”
At 6:15 a.m., the Thunder contingent finally arrived at their hotel in New Orleans.
At 9:30 a.m., Adams and Thunder assistant Rex Kalamian, who is coaching Team Webber on Friday night, had to attend a mandatory public practice at the Jam Session practice court inside the New Orleans Convention Center.
“I didn’t actually go to sleep this morning. I fell asleep on the plane for like 2 1/2 hours,” Adams said. “And I’m running on coffee right now…hopefully that pushes me through this day.”
Making matters worse, the Thunder’s chartered plane ride from Los Angeles was a bumpy one. Kalamian said he woke up every 20 minutes because of turbulence.
By 10 a.m., all Adams could think of as non-stop questions were being lobbed at him was a nap. But with a hectic schedule leading up to Friday’s game, Adams couldn’t even be sure he’d have time to squeeze one in.
“I hope so,” he said. “I’m going to try to. I honestly feel like — yeah.”