When all else fails, follow the locals!
Another long work day abroad, just to get your mind at ease that I am not sitting by the pool and enjoying a Turkish holiday ;-)
Up early in the morning, catching up on invoicing and other correspondence - then cross Istanbul in the Metro (two lines) to catch-up with Finnish Men's National team Head Coach Henrik Dettmann, first meeting with Turkish security then at the gate of the apartment complex. After four phone calls, I was taken on a golf buggy down through the garage and up on the lift.... they do make things complicated sometimes.
Quick interview and photo-session with the coach, as well as catching-up on stuff... even when this is mostly work, it is always nice to have a more relaxed chat with people on the road.
Then back across town on the Metro (just missed rush-hour!) - lunch.. shower and off to the Sinan Erdem Spor Salonu for the evenings EuroCup game.
Aah, the entry wasn't easy. Instructions were to use a door on the RIGHT hand side of the Arena.. slight language barrier with security .. whom all sent me in different direction. After trying all doors with anyone guarding them, and always been sent to one direction or next.. I did what I should have done to start with. Stand outside the dark doors of Media Entry and wait for local press... they always know who to call and contact. So after five minutes, I was following three journalist and a door was opened to them and I just followed them in SUCCESS!!
Off to the press seats, get wi-fi code, accreditation badge, chat with the locals - high five the players I know.. the usual prep to a game.
Cover the game, concentrate on Murphy - nice dunk inside the first five minutes, I knew that was the picture! Although if Murphy would have made the flying dunk to start 3rd Q with.. that would have been even better. Post game video interviews (one below - two more to follow in the next two days). Great game by Erik - on the court from start and one of the key players for Besiktas tonight.
Arena was a bit like when I visited Sasu Salin in Ljubljana for some EuroCup games - tough to fill a 14000 Arena for a regular season game. But the Besiktas fans we GREAT!! making noise well before tip-off, and when DJ tried to play music.. they whistled so he would turn it down and the fans could keep singing ... some REALLY great fan culture!! Thumbs up from this traveling photographer!
Quick drive to get something to eat with players - off to the hotel, edit material.. and after few hours of sleep - Havalimani Ataturk and flying back to Birmingham.