It's easy to gauge a player's abilities; just go watch him play. Further making an individual's performance tangible: statistics, highlight plays, and the final score. But if one seeks a more human side, you need to go beyond the confines of the hardcourt.
Let your game do the talking, coaches say. However, it's the ambush interviews and post-game press conferences that truly flesh out our hardwood heroes. The ongoing NBA Playoffs have no shortage of these moments, so consider us fortunate to experience the sport's biggest stars in their most verbal element. These have been the shining examples so far:
"Lemme get that"
It seems that all the talk about the dissonance between LeBron James and Kevin Love had been put behind, judging from the two's on- and off-court chemistry, as seen below:
"Isaiah (Thomas) is the greatest basketball player"
Having defended homecourt and evened their series with the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics' spitfire celebrated their Game 4 win by letting his preschool sons, James and Jaiden, take the mic. The elder James certainly didn't fail him...
Watch out, Riley Curry.
Putting him in his place
Sensationalism isn't always the best way to go when it comes to news stories, and an interviewer had to learn this lesson the hard way during the post-game presser of the Golden State Warriors Game 4 win against the Houston Rockets.
With everything that's been happening with the team (up 3-1, but Stephen Curry out for two weeks), it might be best to veer from the controversial angles, especially when asking the likes of Draymond Green:
With the Memphis Grizzlies having been swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, the former's head coach was expected to address concerns that contributed to such an outcome. Instead, a tearful Dave Joerger praised his injury-ravaged team, which had an NBA record 28 players on the roster the whole season, for reaching this far.
"He's an idiot"
Kevin Durant didn't mince words when asked for comment on Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's recent statements that he was the only superstar on the team.