While you're all waiting for DeShawn Stevenson to finally sign (and trust me, I'm even tired of talking about it, so you'll get no more from me until it's official), I strongly urge you to read Dan Steinberg latest. He went out to dinner with Oleksiy Pecherov and his mentor, Harvey Grant, and the piece has plenty of funny moments. For example:
"It's always so many people," he said, "and when you stand in this line, people all the time, they ask you something: 'Are you a basketball player? Can I shake your hand?'"
The tower of Stolichny Salad. "Get used to it, brother," Harvey said.
"What about shake hands?" Pech asked. "Some of them smell bad, it's difficult to give him hand."
"You shake their hand, then you go in the restroom to wash your hand," Harvey explained.
"But some of them, I say hello, he say give me your hand, I want to shake your hand," Pech said, demonstrating the techniques of the ardent hand-shaker. "What's wrong with him? What about Gilbert, he walk around?"
Zack and Harvey described Gilbert's enthusiasm for meeting fans and strangers.
"You know what, it doesn't cost anything to be nice," Harvey said. "It doesn't cost anything to smile....Always be nice. Always be nice. Kill them with kindness. If people be mean to you, just smile."
"It is the key to friendship," Pech agreed.
"It costs nothing to smile," Harvey repeated. "It costs nothing to smile."
For all of our rants about O-Pec's inability to box out Justin Williams and Jason Maxiell, we forget the type of person he is. He seems very coachable, he's a workaholic, and he genuinely seems like a nice guy, even if he's not good at pretending to be one. We're lucky to have a reporter like Steinberg who can really bring O-Pec's personality to the forefront.
Even if he turns out to be a big bust, I'll always cheer for the guy.