Top 10 Sports Interviews

Posted by Mr. Guy August - 10 - 2009 - Monday 1 COMMENT

A quick rundown on my favorite subjects. Click on their name to read article. Drumroll, please.

10. Eric Gagne
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Original Magazine: Men’s Edge

Setting: Dodger Stadium. Dugout. Opening week 2004.

Liked: Getting into a discussion of “The Zone” with Gagne, and him telling me under his breath not to start the interview until his teammates cleared our vicinity. He was afraid they would give him shit for being interviewed, yet again.

Quote: “Wait’ll these fuckers pass.” Me: “You mean, those fuckers right there?”

9. Anthony Carter
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Original Magazine: ESPN Magazine

Setting: Staples Center. 2007-2008 Season

Liked: His humbleness. Admitted the reason he was forced to play in Italy in the beginning of the 2007 season was because he partied too much. Also liked his candor about how he needed to stop drinking in order to truly focus on his job. Note to Melo.

Quote: “Anyone who said they expected this of him is crazy.” George Karl on Carter’s play with Nuggets.

P.S. Article never got published because the editor was worried that I made up my comments about Carter’s option of selling drugs and robbing people or playing ball in A.C.’s hometown of ATL. Like most editors, overworked and unwilling to go the extra inch.

8. Derek Lowe
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Original Magazine: Men’s Edge

Setting: Telephone interview.

Liked: How D. Lowe wasn’t afraid to mix it up with a few nicely placed curse words and impressions.

Quote: “This generation of players is completely different. They understand kind of what happened before. But I think the majority of players don’t really care.”

P.S. Later ran into him at a Laker game
and tried to introduce myself but he was totally faced and surrounded by women grabbing for his loins. I decided not to compete with them in the Loin Grab Comp.

7. Randy Couture
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Original Magazine: Men’s Edge

Setting: Telephone interview.

Liked: Really personable guy for being such an ass-kicker. Taught me how to ruin someone in a street fight with elbows and knees — oh my!

Quote: “Everybody picks on the seventh graders. This ninth grade kid decided I was the guy he was gonna pick on and he started harassing me at lunch hour. I hit him with a double-egg and put him on the ground and punched him in the face about five times. Nobody ever really picked on me after that.”

P.S. If you haven’t seen his performance in Red Belt, you definitely should, great fight movie. Get it here:

Redbelt

6. Lamar Odom
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Original Magazine: ESPN

Setting: Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.

Liked: Having to maneuver my recorder from one side to the other as L.O. got his beard trimmed in a back room by one of his posse members. Felt good to finally get L.O. and his posse members to crack a smile with my Kobe Bryant impression. I asked Lamar what Kobe said to him when he raised his jersey over his mouth: “Hey Lamar! Pass me the fucking ball, man!”

Quote: On why it’s good to have Kobe as a teammate: “The open looks that I get. You know, he demands so much attention. We get a bunch of television games. You know what I’m saying? That’s because of him. You could feed off the energy. When we walk into a game, he has a great following. So his followers becomes your followers.”

P.S. Once again, nixed by ESPN Magazine. However, later an excerpt appeared on the ESPN Magazine blog.

5. Elton Brand
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Original Magazine: ESPN, Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. Times

Setting: Santa Barbara, Los Angeles

Liked: That I was interviewing “The Horse” at the old city college where I had dropped out of my first, and only, journalism class after one week. The teacher was a prick. He locked the door at 8 sharp. My hangovers hadn’t cleared up by that time. Also liked how available EB was when I was the Clipper Blogger for the L.A. Times. (Got fired b/c the Times’ Weasel NBA Editor wanted to be my best friend and I refused his lonely-ass advances and he made up some shit about how my speling and grammer sucked.)

Quote: “Kaman has the biggest entourage on the team. He has five friends that are down with him, in his crib.”

P.S. Elton later asked me if I wanted to run his film company. Had a bunch of meetings and emails with him. Ended when I told him politely that the idea he wanted me to turn into an award-winning screenplay was just not going to happen. It was THAT bad. And I was THAT close to being a full-fledged posse member. Aw, shucks, ma!

4. Luke Walton
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Original Magazine: Some forgettable named assholian magazine that still hasn’t paid me. You’re on notice, pal!

Setting: Telephone interview.

Liked: Walton needed hardly any prompting at all. Took the rock and ran with it up and down the court with glee. When I was at Laker camp later in the year, remembered who I was — and didn’t have any women grabbing for his loins.

Quote: “My dad can walk through a garden and name out every single plant. The first thing he does every morning is a walk off his yard. He checks out all the plants and yells at the gardeners.”

P.S. Work on your J, Luke!

3. Barry Zito
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Original Magazine: Men’s Edge

Setting: Telephone interview.

Liked: Going all Self-Help with Mr. Zito. Should be an example to all athletes. Unfortunately, he’s not. Read any books lately Manny?

Quote: “It taught me the power of the mind, and how powerful words and thoughts can be. Everywhere we go, people tell us how hard life is and how we have to struggle. It’s up to you if you want to focus on that.”

P.S. Also once wrote a piece on Barry going on surf trips with Brent Mayne & Ryan Klesko (the worst interviewee ever).

2. Brett Favre
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Original Magazine: Heartland USA

Setting: Telephone interview. Fahvera on the Farm.

Liked: That Favre wasn’t doing any lengthy interviews at the time and I got 45 minutes. How he just took charge of the entire interview/huddle and just spilled his guts. Having my ESPN Mag editor telling me he wished I’d done it for them. Well, duh!

Quote: On the possibility of Something About Mary 2, “I hope they don’t call me.”

P.S. This interview was stretched out over the years and enabled me to buy many, many Cup O’ Noodles. (This version is just a small excerpt.)

1. Gerry Lopez
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Original Magazine: Water

Setting: Phone interview.

Liked: Speaking to one of my few teenage-years heroes, as I idolized his smooth, soulful surfing style while growing up on the California sand.

Quote: “It’s always easier to ride the horse (or wave) in the direction it’s going.”

P.S. A freelancer’s bread and butter is being able to resell his article (sometimes in different forms) after a certain grace period with the original magazine. When it came time to do that with this article, Lopez, through his contact, said he wanted half the money for the next magazine. Suddenly my hero wasn’t my hero any longer. Sucks to grow up!

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Luke Walton 101

Posted by Mr. Guy July - 15 - 2009 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

lukewalton_mainLuke Walton lets us in on seven topics close to his heart. Note: DO NOT cue violins or the Lifetime Network. This is basketball, homies!

HIS DAD:

He’s a freak about plants. My dad can walk through a garden and name out every single plant. The first thing he does every morning is a walk off his yard. He checks out all the plants and yells at the gardeners.

HIS BROTHERS:

Our basketball games ended up in a fight every day. I was about to square off with Nate once, and my best friend David caught my arms, trying to break it up, and Nate karate-kicked me in the wrist. My whole wrist was, like, hanging there, broken, and I’m crying and stuff…And they’re doing work around the house, so there’s a wood saw on the corner of the basketball court. Nate starts trying to grind my head against it. Luckily it wasn’t plugged in.

HIS SURFING:

I surf, but not during the season. I can get up and go straight. I got a huge board. So I kind of just start yelling, if there’s other people on the wave: ‘Either get out of the way, or we’re going to crash’.

A lot of my friends surf, so I’ll go out with them and they’ll clear a wave for me. They’re my boys. They get on both sides of me and they’ll take off. And I’ll be fine, I’ll just go straight. Otherwise, I’m gonna crash into someone and it’s not going to be pretty.

HIS MOB CONNECTIONS:

When I was a rookie, we had an actual ‘Movie Mob’. D. Fish was the head of it, and Devean George was the CEO. Me and Cookie were the interns. We had to always go check the movie times and we’d get to the theater first and buy the tickets.

Now, Cookie (until he was shipped out) and I are the owners and Jordan Farmar’s our intern. We got a little group of us that goes: B-Cook, Ronny Turiaf and Farmar. It’s a good way to go out. If you sit in your hotel room all day, you’re just gonna go insane.

THE CLUB SCENE:

Dude, there’s only so many movies you can go to before you need a little bit of clubbing. But if we do go out before a game night, we’re not out there getting drunk. Guys are pretty responsible about that.

SUMMER VACATION:

Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye come stay with me in San Diego. They’re both from Phoenix. And we can’t really go to Phoenix in the off-season, because it’s so dang hot. So they come out here. So does Brian Cook and Kareem Rush. We workout in the morning and afternoon and, at night, we just kind of hang out and have fun…

THE FUN:

We bought a bunch of paintball guns and we went terrorizing the neighborhood. We weren’t going after houses, but we went to the little park down the street and we’d get teams of four-on-four, until we got chased off by the neighbors. They called the cops, so we had to do a getaway. You might not even want to put that in print. In case we’re fugitives.

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