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Biofile Christian Laettner Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

STATUS: NBA Center/Forward from 1992-2005 for Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat. Won NCAA Championships in 1991, 1992 with Duke University; 1992 Olympic gold medalist.
HT: 6-11 WT: 245
DOB: August 17, 1969 IN: Angola, NY
CHILDHOOD HEROES: Rod Carew, Pete Rose and Julius Erving.
NICKNAME: Late.
HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Golfing, wave running, some snowboarding, play the piano, family, table tennis.
FAVORITE MOVIES: The Deer Hunter, Terminator, Rocky, Star Wars.
MUSICAL TASTES: Just the popular music of the day.


GREATEST SPORTS MOMENT: Winning the two national championships (’91 & ’92 with Duke). My first NBA playoff experience when we (Atlanta) beat the Pacers (’96). Beat them in the first round of the playoffs. The year before the Hawks had lost to the Pacers. And they traded for me. And the year they traded for me, they won. So it was very gratifying for me.
MOST PAINFUL MOMENT: Losing for three seasons in Minnesota, I would say was painful. And losing to UNLV by 30 when I was a sophomore at Duke (in the 1990 NCAA Championship game). That was tough too.
FAVORITE MEAL: Pot roast in the oven with mashed potatoes, and gravy, and cream corn and buffalo wings. With a Sprite [smiles].
FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR: Strawberry.
FAVORITE BREAKFAST CEREAL: Frosted Flakes with banana in it.
FIRST CAR: First car I bought was a ’92 black Honda Accord.
FIRST JOB: I ran a tennis clinic in Buffalo when I was in high school (age 17).
CHILDHOOD DREAM: When I was really young, there was nothing. When I was 14, I wanted to be a pro basketball player.
EARLY BASKETBALL MEMORY: I used to play for my dad (George). He coached me for four years in grammar school. And I loved that.
FAVORITE ATHLETES: Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Agassi, Sampras, Hingis, Venus Williams, Bo Jackson.
TOUGHEST COMPETITORS ENCOUNTERED: No one out there that is so much more fierce than anybody else. Everyone’s tough.
PEOPLE QUALITIES MOST ADMIRED: I like people who don’t talk about other people. People who don’t talk behind other people’s backs. That’s the kind of person. And you only find that out about people if you’re around them a lot. Those are the people I lean towards and become friends with. Besides that, I like people who have a sense of humor and loosen up a little bit. But then I also like when they know it’s time to shut up, they keep their mouths shut. But mainly people who don’t judge and don’t talk about other people.
INTERESTING FACT: There is none [laughs]. I guess, I have a pet shark.
WORST INJURY: Broke my collarbone when I fell off my bike. I would say that was the worst one besides a badly sprained ankle.
CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 1993 NBA All Rookie First Team; 1997 All Star Game; Enshrined to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 as member of 1992 Olympic “Dream Team.”

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