During media day at the Fieldhouse, Danny Granger addressed a gaggle of local media. He took his medicine and did his job as the new face of the franchise, dipping into a serious monotone voice to answer questions about the raised expectations for his game, how the team would do with all the new players and whether or not contract extension talks would be a distraction.
When the group dispersed I caught up with Danny to ask him about his trip to Surabaya, Indonesia to visit the DetEksi Basketball League (DBL). As soon as I mentioned it, his eyes lit up and his voice rose with excitement. I captured our brief exchange to share with you and my friends in Surabaya who run the DBL.
IC: I've been exchanging emails with Azrul (Ananda) and Aziz (Hasibuan) and they let me know how excited they were about your visit. How was that experience for you?
DG: It was great. It was a lot of fun being over there. The basketball interest was HUGE, kind of more than I expected, but it was a lot of fun.
IC: Yeah, when you were over there you were almost mobbed and...
DG (interrupting excitedly): Oh, man! I had 24-hour security. Someone had to stand outside my door. It was interesting. It was kind of like, I wasn't used to it, but it was a lot of fun.
IC: Was the reaction more than you expected?
DG: Yeah, it was more than I expected. Here in the United States it's not like that, but you know, over there I was on like 50 bilboards before I even got to the city. But it was a good experience.
IC: Well, it's good to konw there may be some Pacers jerseys being worn over there this season.
DG: I'm sure there will be because I met a lot of the people, did a lot of interviews, played with the kids. We ran a few clinics and went to the U.S. Embassy, went to Jakarta, so I'm sure there will be a few NBA sales of some Pacers jerseys.
IC: I know the basketball is pretty young over there and they're still trying to develop programs, but how was the play of the kids?
DG: It was good. You know, they're a little bit behind us, but granted we invented the sport. But they're coming along well. They had a new facility that was just built. They have a league, the DBL league that's doing really well over there. The game I was at, you know they had 7-8000 people, lots of excitement. So it was a great experience.
IC: Real nice to hear, sounds like you enjoyed the role of hoops ambassador.
DG: I did. I did. I had a lot of fun playing the ambassador for the NBA and basketball.