Ramon Sessions spent the first five-and-a-half years in the NBA’s small markets — Milwaukee, Minnesota, Cleveland (post LeBron era). It means half-empty arenas, meaningless games (Sessions didn’t see the playoffs his first five years) and some level of anonymity.
Then he got traded to the Lakers.
ESPN’s John Hollinger once said that Lakers players don’t know what it’s like to be in the NBA, their world is so different. Sessions told Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld that is basically true.
“I was staying in a hotel right by the practice facility at first and I would see some fans waiting out back when I left,” Sessions said. “One time, I parked in the front of the hotel and started walking down the hallway. The next thing I know, there are five fans running after me in the hallway. It was crazy. They came out of nowhere and they were coming at me. I was just thinking, ‘What is going on?’”
“Nobody knows what its like,” Sessions said with a laugh. “People may think they know, but they don’t have any idea how much different it is to be a Laker. No disrespect to the other places that I’ve been, but it’s totally different out here. Even just walking around, it’s crazy. It’s the Lakers. You’re on T.V. every night and everyone knows who you are. I had paparazzi follow me. That’s a first, for sure. It’s wild out here. The Lakers are the show that everyone watches around here.”
It’s not just the Lakers. Boston, New York, Chicago, Miami right now all get this rock star treatment.
But it’s a long way from Milwaukee on a Tuesday in January.
We’ll see if Sessions gets the rock-star treatment next year, he’s a free agent and the Lakers have some decisions to make. Interesting ones after he struggled in the playoffs.