When it comes to modern day pro athletes, cell phones are about as permanent as team loyalties.
They change all the time.
So on Saturday afternoon, I put a call into Bobby Jackson to discuss the Sac Pro League that starts on Monday at Capital Christian High in Sacramento. (More info on that must-see event here) But the voice on the other end didn't sound anything like the former Kings player and current Houston guard. It was, I would find out, a young man named Ben.
Ben was nice enough to tell me that this was no longer Bobby's number, but I couldn't resist asking what it's like to have the old line of a guy who is as popular in NBA circles as he is among Kings fans. What's more, Jackson is a yapper in every sense, whether he's talking trash on the floor or chatting with friends, colleagues or family off it. As Ben explained, his new phone has opened a window into the world of an NBA player.
"I get text messages asking me to sign trading cards, and every time there's a basketball game I get a call or more text messages," said Ben, who is an IT manager at a construction company locally but didn't want to share his last name. "I don't mind it. I just tell people they've got the wrong number."
Some people, however, don't believe him.
"I've had people asking for money, saying like, 'Yeah, I owe somebody so much money and I'm broke and could you please send me some,'" he said. "I'll tell them they've got the wrong number and they won't believe me.
Ben said he's not a basketball fan, but he will occasionally watch the Kings and was well aware of who Jackson was. As for Bobby himself, I eventually tracked him down and had a laugh about the mixup.
"That's exactly why I changed my number," he said.
- Sam Amick