By Scoop Malinowski
STATUS: Former NBA guard 1994-2007 for Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors. Owns Three Tier Entertainment, a management and production company based in Los Angeles. Analyst for ESPN/ABC NBA Countdown show. Also has a multi-platform partnership with the The New York Post where he hosts a podcast and writes a weekly column under the name Renaissance Man.
DOB: January 30, 1973 In: Detroit, Michigan
Ht: 6-8 Wt: 215
CHILDHOOD HEROES: Magic Johnson, George Gervin, Isiah Thomas, Sugar Ray Leonard.
NICKNAMES: Long Boy, The Natural, Jinx.
HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Avid boxing fan, video games, PlayStation2, watch comedy shows.
EARLY BASKETBALL MEMORY: Winning the Michigan state championship my junior year in high school. My coach there (Perry Watson) had been to the championship game nine times in a row and they lost all nine! My junior year we went undefeated. Then we won it again my senior year.
PRE-GAME FEELING: Try to relax, do the best I can. Play like this might be my last game. I’ve got to make the most of it.
FAVORITE MOVIES: Scarface, Dead Presidents, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro movies, The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.
MUSICAL TASTES: I’m versatile, The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, Ice Cube, Alicia Keys, Nas, Mobb Deep, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Snoop.
FIRST JOB: At Dave Bing Steel Co. in Detroit (age 17).
FIRST CAR: Dodge Omni.
GREATEST SPORTS MOMENT: Being a member of the Fab Five (along with Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson at the University of Michigan). We were like brothers and we shared in each other’s success. We were only as strong as our weakest link. So that made us very strong.
MOST PAINFUL MOMENT(S): Our freshman year, losing in the NCAA Finals. And in high school, I was going up for a dunk and I got undercut and I fell right on my head. I was unconscious for a few minutes. Got carried out on a stretcher. I was all stiff, they thought that was gonna be it. I got revived when they were putting me in the ambulance and the cold Detroit weather hit me.
FAVORITE MEAL(S): Soul food, chicken wings or seafood.
FAVORITE BREAKFAST CEREAL(S): Golden Grahams and Frosted Flakes.
FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR(S): Vanilla or strawberry.
FUNNY BASKETBALL MEMORY: When the Fab Five decided to wear black socks. Coach Fischer didn’t know about it. We all had on our warm-up pants. As we were walking on the court, we snatched off our pants and we all had on black socks. It was all of our idea. Agassi stole that from us [smiles]. That was the first team to wear black socks. So we take credit every time we see someone in black socks [smiles].
LAST HALLOWEEN COSTUME: A Friday the 13th mask.
TOUGHEST NBA COMPETITOR(S): I would say you could choose from any given team on any given night in the NBA.
CLOSEST NBA FRIENDS: My teammates, Web – I first met him at an AAU tryout when I was 12. That’s how long we’ve been friends. Howard Eisley and Voshon Lenard – my high school teammates.
PEOPLE MOST ADMIRED: I like a ‘not to lose’ attitude. Somebody that wants to be the best and won’t settle for less. And anyone who does their best to make a better life.
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: Jamaica.