By now you've undoubtedly seen Hames' photo of Rondo and Love shaking hands at Fenway's EMC Club. Tweeting from username @BigDub74, Hames captured a sequence of photos showing the two NBA superstars exchanging pleasantries during Love's weekend visit to Boston.
— Big Dub (@BigDub74) June 1, 2014
Rondo had been watching the game from the Monster seats in left field when some fans alerted him to Love’s presence in the EMC Club. The meeting, however, only happened after the 39-year-old Hames pointed out Love as Rondo walked toward the exit.
"I’m sitting at the outside bar [at the EMC Club], and Rondo comes walking up from out in left field," Hames explained. "He’s with his family and walking really, really slow. So I said, ‘Hey, Rondo, are you here to recruit K-Love?’ He was like, ‘Huh?’ I said, ‘You’re here for K-Love, right?’ Again, he looks at me real weird, and I point across the bar, and I go, 'That’s Kevin Love. He’s sitting right there!'"
Hames said Rondo dropped his bag, then went over to greet Love. Rondo joked Monday that the meeting lasted "about 39 seconds" and that he didn't put a hard sales pitch on Love.
"No, the only pitch that was thrown, I think, was [Red Sox pitcher] Jon Lester -- he threw out a couple pitches," Rondo joked. "I didn’t pitch anything. I just told [Love] to enjoy his time here."
Later, Boston's point guard was told that the photo had caught fire on social media.
"Did it make TMZ? It’s all over the web?" he asked. "We do work together. We play against each other. We compete. So when I saw Kevin, I spoke to him. I wished him good luck here. He spent a couple days here in Boston. I told him I was spending a couple months here in Boston."
Hames said he probably snapped about 10 photos of the meeting, a few of which have now made their way to Twitter. Hames’ co-workers joked on Monday that he should have tried to sell the photos, given their exclusive nature.
Hames, however, said he hadn't thought much of the photos initially. He said his family, including his wife, Emily, was there to celebrate the birthday of a family friend and was near the outside bar so that Hames' two daughters, one age 6 and the other age 2, could run around. Hames said some friends at the park had alerted him to Love's presence earlier in the game.
"I have a lot of friends who work at Fenway, so I got inside the club, [and] as I walked in, someone said, ‘Kevin Love’s here!’" Hames said. "So I just walked by Love and said, ‘Hey, Kevin, would love to see you in Boston next year,’ or something like that, and he just gave me a thumbs up. Everybody was approaching him -- he was very, very cool. He talked to everybody."
Hames, a Quincy, Massachusetts, resident who played college baseball at Northeastern, said he's a fan of all Boston sports but is partial to baseball. That said, his eldest daughter has shown an affinity for the Celtics, and the family attended multiple games last season at TD Garden.
Hames sent the Tweet with the Rondo/Love photo at 4:10 p.m. Sunday but thought little of the stir it would cause. It was only when he looked down at his iPhone about five minutes later that he noticed his email inbox was overflowing with 60 new messages, nearly all notifications from Twitter.
"It hasn’t stopped," he said. "I’ll enjoy it. My five or 10 minutes of fame. It’s kind of funny reading everything."
The photo had been retweeted from Hames’ account more than 530 times, as of Monday evening, and his Twitter followers have more than doubled (up to 150). Most are Celtics fans waiting to see if sends out any more snapshots. He's fairly certain he's the only one who captured the moment, given the absence of fans in that area during the late innings of the game.
His friends have joked that Hames deserves a cut of any deal Love signs in Boston if he is traded here or signs as a free agent next summer. For now, though, he's enjoying the brief bit of celebrity from Love's much-publicized weekend in the Hub.
"It’s been absolutely crazy," he said. "Never in my wildest dreams did I expect all this."