Out To Sea With A Nugget, Celtic and a Bull

October 7, 2018
October 7, 2018 Rob Rauffer

Let me share another delightful tale from my time on the road. This particular story takes us back 27 years to 1991 when I had just started working as an ENG sound engineer alongside Rob Newman. Our main focus during that period was working with the NBA, and things were really heating up with the off-court coverage, thanks to shows like NBC’s Inside Stuff.During the postseason, we were given quite an interesting assignment. We were tasked with covering a group of NBA players on a 5-day cruise, known as the NBA Allstar Cruise, aboard the Norwegian Cruiseline in the beautiful Bahamas. Exciting, right?

So, armed with our trusty pelican cases filled with camera and sound equipment, we made our way to Florida. From there, we went through the process of loading and unloading our gear from cars to planes, and finally onto the boat. Despite ending up in a small cabin near the deck, Rob and I were thrilled. After all, who could complain when we were on an all-expenses-paid cruise to the Bahamas and getting paid for it?

Bill Cartwright
Photo: Snorkling with the players off the coast of Norwegian Cruiseline’s private island

Our journey took us to Norwegian’s private island, Jamaica, and Cozumel Mexico. Throughout the trip, we followed the players as they engaged with fans, participated in organized boat games, and sat down for interviews.

Among the players on board, there was a mix of average-level players and a few legends. Three individuals stood out the most: Bill Cartwright from the Chicago Bulls, Scott Hastings from the Denver Nuggets, and Robert Parish from the Boston Celtics. Robert Parish, also known as “The Chief,” was always the epitome of professionalism, keeping to himself as he always did. Bill Cartwright shared a similar demeanor. On the other hand, Scott and a few other players were always ready to party and have a good time.

Scott Hastings
Photo: Rob Rauffer and Rob Newman with Scott Hastings on the deck.

One of the most unforgettable experiences occurred when we gathered on the nearly empty top deck after a day of shooting, just as the sun was setting. It was Rob, myself, and a few players, including Scott. Scott had an open tab at the bar, and the waiter was incredibly attentive, ensuring that our glasses were never empty. Now, let me paint a picture for you: I’m about 6 feet tall on a good day (although closer to 5’11” and a half), weighing around 155 pounds. On the other hand, Scott stands at a towering 6’10” and weighs 250 pounds, with hands that could easily crush a beer can into the size of a golf ball. He could chug a beer faster than I could even open one. As soon as he finished one, another was already on its way. In less than an hour, each of us had downed a six-pack, and there was no sign of slowing down. The beers were coming so quickly that I had to start discreetly getting rid of them under my deck chair. This continued for another hour until it was time for us to head to dinner.

Photo: Rob and Rob making thier way up Dunn’s River Falls with Bill Cartwright

The cruise had many other unforgettable moments, such as snorkeling with the players, climbing Dunn’s River Falls with our camera and sound equipment, and visiting various ports where we spent a long night of music and drinks with the players in Cozumel.

All of this was for a mere 3-minute segment that aired on Inside Stuff! The photos captured so much of the hard work and fun we had. It truly was a job to remember.

Dunn's River Falls
Photo: Rob and Rob shooting at Dunn’s River Falls

Rob Rauffer was a freelance ENG sound engineer from 1991 to 1997, he worked closely with Rob Newman of Boardwalk Productions whose clients includes NBA Entertainment, NFL, NBC, NHL, BET and more.