I had a story idea in mind as I headed to the Trail Blazers locker room after their 93-86 pounding of the Lakers. The immeasurable impact of Gerald Wallace, how it felt to have his name chanted and what exactly he does to get in the heads of his opponents. Good angle, right?
Not good enough to top the tandem act of the LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace Show. So, now follows the second edition of Locker Room Laughs.
The victory celebration could be heard from Nate McMillan’s post game conference room. Hoots, hollers and laughs echoed down the halls and through the shared walls.
The conference followed it’s usual pattern until Jason Quick of The Oregonian asked McMillan, “Who win’s in a cage match, Wallace or Artest?” Following chuckles from everyone in the room McMillan answered, “That’ll be a good one. Cause I don’t expect either guy to back down.”
The ice broken, all bets were off.
In the locker room it started with Rudy Fernandez. Following a jumbotron segment in which his teammates outed Fernandez for spending excessive amounts of time primping, Rudy yelled, “I’m going to look in the mirror guys!” as he walked past Aldridge’s locker.
Now I’m not sure if there was some kind of secret hand shake between the two as he passed but Aldridge picked up right where Fernandez left off.
Aldridge was asked about Wallace’s contributions to the game and responded by giving him a new nickname. “His name is no longer Gerald Wallace,” he said. “He’s MVP.” Of course, laughter ensued while Aldridge tried to get serious and praise Wallace's massive contributions of the night.
As Aldridge finished his media session Wallace wandered in and the group of cameras and reporters shifted down two lockers. It was his turn to be interviewed next.
As he ran through his take on the victory Aldridge was chanting “MVP, MVP, MVP.” Gerald did all he could to control his laughs but after a few seconds was overcome. Aldridge left earshot and Wallace continued his interviews.
Wallace answered the questions seriously until Aldridge returned to his locker. Then it was all praise with a twist of sarcasm. On why the game got off at a fast clip he said, “I think it all starts with LA’s play. The way he comes out. He comes out and intimidates guys.”
“They didn’t chant my name tonight,” responded Aldridge as Wallace continued his description of the effect LaMarcus has on fans.
“When they hear that train go off during introductions it’s kind like uhhh,” he said as he shook to imitate excitement.
The banter came to a head when Aldridge described how the chants of Wallace’s name distracted him. “They chanted your name so loud, I started chanting with ‘em, ‘Ger-ald Wall-ace!’" he said as he remembered, “Oh, play defense, play defense.”
With the people surrounding them roaring with laughter Aldridge continued,“They never chanted my name here.” Followed by Wallace’s quick response, “I know cause they was shouting MVP while you was at the free throw line!” To which Aldridge sarcastically retorted, “Two people,” with a laugh.
The conversation fizzled as Wallace continued to praise Aldridge as he walked away chanting, “MVP, MVPizzle!”
So there you have it. The must-tell locker room laughs. Oh, and I can’t leave out Aldridge’s parting words to Wallace.
“Go ahead and buy that big house cause you gonna be here for a while.”