“Like most bipedal parents, we all discovered Harry Potter together, reading the books aloud to our kids,” said [J.J.] Abrams in an interview with The New York Times. “But one of my favorite children’s authors was introduced to us by our youngest son. When he was in kindergarten he brought home some books by Mo Willems, who has one of the most remarkable comedic voices I’ve ever read. His sense of humanity — of heart and generosity — is staggering. I was so blown away, I got his number from his agent and called him. I was essentially a sycophant, expressing what a deep fan of his I am, how I would love to work together one day. He was quiet on the phone, almost monosyllabic, disinterested. Frankly it was a bit of an odd reaction. It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered that I had, in error, called Mo Williams of the Portland Trail Blazers.”
J.J. Abrams on a case of mistaken identity. This is a story from last year, but I hadn't heard it until now.
“I got a lot of friends and I played in L.A., so I got a lot of Hollywood friends, so I thought it was someone I had met or someone I came across,” said Williams. “I was corresponding with him then I realized he might have have me kind of messed up with somebody else. We’re going back and forth on email, that’s the new age of communication. We were actually talking and he was giving me a lot of compliments. I felt like he was talking about me, you know, how great of a person I was. I was like ‘Yeah, that’s me! That’s me.’ I told him thank you. Then he said something that caught me like ‘Well, I don’t really remember that.’”
The “something that caught” Williams was Abrams referencing Willems’ work, which includes titles such as “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale”, “Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Out Late” and “The Duckling Gets A Cookie?!”. But as it turns out, Williams was considering going into Willems’ business, which only added coincidence to confusion.
“The crazy thing about it, I’ve been talking to friends about writing children’s books because I have a lot of kids,” said Williams.
This story is particular funny because it's this specific NBA player, Mo Williams, who isn't a superstar but also isn't a scrub who sits at the end of the bunch. He's just the right level of NBA famous. It wouldn't be as hilarious if it were someone much more or much less famous.