Hang Time Road Trip — Day 4


By Lang Whitaker

NEW YORK CITY — Day Four of the Hang Time Road Trip is in the books, and man, it was quite a day.

We were supposed to arrive in Philadelphia early in the morning, with enough time to for all of us to take showers and clean up before we headed to the Wells Fargo Center to bank some more interviews. But because of an accident on the Pennsylvania turnpike, we spent an few hours stuck in traffic and rolled into our hotel in Philly with barely any time to spare. So Sekou Smith, Rick Fox and I ran in and grabbed some showers, while the crew did their best to get clean with whatever options were available to them. Here, our super producer Gregg Waigand brushed up in the parking lot.

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Super producer Gregg Waigand. #hangtime

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We then hustled over to the Wells Fargo Center, where, for the first time all week, the sun blessed with us an uninterrupted presence. After the early winter in Cleveland and Chicago and the rain in Indianapolis, it felt awesome to just spend a few seconds basking in the sun.

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Good morning Philly.

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First, we sat down with Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil and talked about the business of basketball, and how things are going with the Sixers’ rebuilding effort. Because it was so nice outside, we did this interview in the great outdoors.

After Scott, we had a visit from Born Ready himself, Lance Stephenson, who was in town with the Hornets to play against the Sixers. Lance was his usual honest self, talking to us about leaving Indiana and what he expects from the Hornets this season.

VIDEO: Lance Stephenson steps onto the bus and chats

From there we drove over to South Philly, because when you’re in Philly, you have to get a cheesesteak. So, went to visit out main man Tony Luke, who reps South Philly all day, every day. Here we all tried to give our best South Philly attitude.

While we were there, Tony took us into the kitchen and asked if anyone wanted to take a turn at the flattop. I cook dinner at home every night and consider myself a pretty good amateur cook, so I volunteered and did some work on the grill.

VIDEO: Making and eating cheesesteaks

I didn’t get anyone sick, so that was good. From there we piled back on the bus, stuffed, and headed for the city where I live, New York City. Along the way I had the chance to get some work in, surrounded by bobbleheads …

At 7 p.m., we rolled up in Harlem. We’ve been on the road for so long that we wanted a great meal, and I knew just the person to visit: My main man Marcus Samuelsson, a judge on “Chopped,” the winner of “Top Chef Masters”. He’s a huge basketball fan, and a guy who just happens to run one of the best restaurants in NYC, Red Rooster. For once, the whole crew sat together and broke bread …

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#hangtime crew

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And we not only broke bread, we ate every bit of it, as evidenced by Rick’s plate …

After dinner and coffee, Rick, Sekou and I grabbed a seat out on Malcolm X Boulevard with Marcus and had a great conversation about basketball and culture.

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#hangtime with @marcuscooks tonight in Harlem.

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After that, everyone else went to a hotel for the evening to crash, while I, for the first time in a week, went home to see my family and sleep in my own bed. Tomorrow, we’d be at it again. But you know, there’s no place like home … even if it’s just for 12 hours.

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