Monday, February 16, 2009

CAFE' 31

My friend John Polak and I are college basketball fans and we used to go to the Big East Basketball tournaments in New York City. John went to Georgetown (Hoyas) and I graduated from the University of Connecticut (UCONN Huskies).

For dinner we would usually go to Cafe' 31; an Italian Restaurant on 31st street right next door to Madison Square Garden. The meals were good and being right next to "The Garden" this was a good place to go so we wouldn't have to worry about being late for the evening basketball games.

On evening we were seated next to a table where Brian Shaw was sitting. I was about three feet away from Brian as the tables there are quite close to each other. Brian Shaw played for the Los Angeles Lakers on the team with Shaquille O'Neil and Kobe Bryant. He later became an assistant coach on the Lakers after his playing days were finished and is an assistant to coach Phil Jackson to this very day. Brian was part of the "ShawShaq redemption" which is a take-off of the "Shawshank Redemption" movie and announcers used to say this phrase when they assisted each other during a basketball game. Brian was having dinner with someone who appeared to be a sports attorney and later a college player from Rutgers University joined their table.

I said to Brian, "excuse me, Is your last name Shaw?" He said "yes". I said "so is mine" and then explained that I recognized him from his playing days. We had a brief conversation and he told be the real story of the relationship between "Shaq" and "Kobe" but made me promise not to tell anyone.

I promised not to tell and though I'm not a "promise keeper"; I'm not telling anyone.

Last night "Shaq" and Kobe " won co-MVP for the NBA All Star game.