While signing a photograph for a five year-old girl, the Mother of the child pointed down at the picture that had the bright blue Sharpie scribbling across it.
"Wow, look at your hair back then," said the woman with a smile across her face. "It was so floppy!"
The man sitting across the table laughed, letting a little blush out along the way. She was right after all, his hair had been rediculously "floppy", a peculiar mix of a Beatles cut thrown in with a little Ben Roethlisberger slick-back. In kinder words, it was somewhat of a fun distaster.
In his defense, most people do make some bad style mistakes in their early twenty's. As Jay-Z can be quoted in "Forever Young", life is for living, not living up tight. And this haircut may have been the perfect example of him letting loose.
But now entering his fourth year of his veteran NBA career, Indiana Pacers Forward Josh McRoberts finds himself being an elder.
Well, as much as a 23 year-old can be.
"It's different," said McRoberts, who now maybe older, but still carries a boyish charm that oozes off of him.
"It's kind of weird to not be the youngest guy on the team anymore. I'm happy about it though!"
McRoberts is also one of the oldest ones here though, taking pictures, giving away t-shirts, and placing his John Hancock on memorbilia at the "MOVE IT MOVEMENT Tour", a program sponsored by Cartoon Network to teach young kids to get more active and live a healthier life-style. In fact, one local celebrity and television icon had stolen his thunder line of children for a few minutes, allowing him to be interviewed.
And how could he compete? The Pacers mascot Boomer and Scooby Doo are among the heroes of the target audience of 6-14 year-olds.
"I would probably be more excited about Boomer," said McRoberts about which of the three he would talk to if he was seven.
"I would also rather be out there kicking the soccer ball, or maybe playing hockey, but if the three of us walked out, I'd be excited mostly for Boomer."
There will be a time when those screams for the plush cat will turn into more cheers filling Conseco Fieldhouse for McRoberts. Already the franchise king of exciting dunks when the game is in hand, the Carmel High School graduate had begun to leave his mark towards the second half of the season, scoring 18 against Houston, 14 against Washington, and even 15 against the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Sure, the points against the Lakers did come in a 122-99 loss on the road. But it's McRobers scrappy play, hustle, and determination to continue attempting to salvage the moments that has helped continue to build the trust of his Head Coach Jim O'Brien.
Well, at least the trust to help lead the Pacers rookies and younger players into the Orlando Summer League.
"We want to try and put the ball in his hands as many times as many times in the passing game, and have him be a facilitator as well as, if the pass is not there, to be able to put the ball on the ground and get his own shot," said O'Brien of McRoberts during the summer.
And though some professionals might have been offended by heading back to Orlando once again, McRoberts took the full opportunity by the reins. After starting up in the league slow, though showing some feistiness in the first game by getting tossed out against the Magic, MRroberts dropped 21 points/4 assists against Utah.
At the least, the experience had shown that his game has been improving.
"I think when you are immersed in coaching for two weeks, it helps," said McRoberts.
"And being with the younger guys, getting acclimated with the rookies we'll have in training camp made it a good opportunity."
Of course, being the oldest guy doesn't automatically mean you were the most watched guy. That title was earned by Pacers rookie Lance Stephenson, the 19 year-old from Cincinnati who was selected in the second round, but is the all-time leading score in New York prep history.
"Lance is a real strong guy, he is real young," said McRoberts. "I have been giving him a hard time about it since he is 19, but he is strong, so athletic, and will be interesting to watch."
But from where will McRoberts be watching Stephenson from the bench, as he has spent for the majority of his career, or will he be getting more minutes, especially with the uncertainty of Tyler Hansbrough, as the end of the 2010 season suggests?
Only time will tell. Until then, McRoberts is just working hard. After all, crafty veterans do have to work harder in the off-season to keep their spots.
"I'm just going to continue to work to get better," said McRoberts. "Improve on different things on the court such as my shooting, but also improving off the court to get stronger."
If McRoberts does show up better, O'Brien and Pacers fans will be very pleased. But let's take it one small victory at a time, and hope McRoberts shows up to training camp without the "floppy" hair.