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- Alright this is a question
we kinda ask everybody that we have,
every guest that we have on the show.
And the question is when you got to the league,
who was the first person
to bust your ass like this is the level.
Like this is the highest level to go.
- Man my first game was against Melo and AI.
But I had to guard Melo.
I was 19,
he probably what? 24.
- It was Denver.
- 23.
- Yeah.
- And you know,
and I never played in that Denver altitude,
I didn't really know too much about.
And Melo was just physical.
He just was,
he would duck you in the paint,
hit you with the shoulder.
And then he'll take you out.
Jab, jab, pull over top of you so you can't.
You wanna be physical but you don't.
He was just have you thinking too much on D.
We had a back to back that night,
I got on the plane confused.
(laughter)
("Going Bad" by Meek Mill featuring Drake)
- Never stop. Never settle.
- I wanna talk to you about like growing up,
know what I'm saying in the Maryland, D.C.,
that whole DMV area.
Like I know like high school and ball growing up,
it was at a high level out there.
Y'all had a lot of dudes, know what I'm saying.
Like talk about some of the dudes you grew up playing with
that was like some of them dudes that was boys.
I know Beas is a dude that you grew up playing,
man I played with him my one year in Miami.
So I know he's a walking bucket.
Y'all got one of the cities
and one of the areas that's like you know,
well respected as far as like the people y'all then put out.
Just talk about some of the people
you grew up playing against.
- Let me go back far to like Washington.
Guys like,
I came out of Washington like Keith Bogans and.
- [Quentin] Forte?
- Yeah Joseph Forte, and then Steve Francis,
and then Demar Johnson.
All those dudes you kinda like grew up watching,
and they make it in a McDonald's game,
and make it into the league.
And then you playing against them.
And when you playing rec ball,
and you see one or two dudes that's just as good as you,
that one dude for me was Mike Beasley.
How crazy was that?
And then as I got older in eighth grade,
Ty Lawson I seen him for the first time.
And that was just like another experience to see somebody
that fast and that good at basketball at that age.
Cause like you're so sheltered.
Then you were seeing so many dudes
just go to nice high schools,
and then head to college and I'm like man,
I didn't realize how much talent we had
in the area until I got older.
And that just molded me into who I was.
Cause every night we was playing in high school
was against dudes that were either going to D1 schools
or like young dudes coming up,
so it was good competition.
Yeah man that's when the internet
was really just poppin' off really,
so we was just jumping on all of those sites.
And you know,
you wanted to see how you stacked up against the players
in your neighborhood and hopefully once you got out
and got some exposure in the country.
So you was hearing about so many players,
6'9", 240.
You like, what does that even look like?
You know 6'4" point guard, 195.
I'm like I've never seen this before.
So like your imagination was just kind of running wild
and then I was chasing the NBA life.
I just wanted to see what that was about.
And then seeing all the young players
coming out of high school and playing in the NBA,
it was just perfect for me at that time,
because it was not too much basketball,
but it was just enough.
You know what I'm saying?
I was able to still go outside and play
and still catch up on everything in the NBA.
You know what I mean?
That was cool.
- Demar Johnson was a crazy. Like crazy.
- For real like me and him,
like I met him at ABCD.
Me and him played on the same team together.
And he didn't even realize he was ranked.
Like that's what was crazy.
I remember we sitting there one day,
we looking at the rankings
and I'm like yo, what's your name?
What grade?
We're going over each others names.
And he's like yeah, says his name,
I'm looking,
I'm going through.
I said man, bro you number one.
Like you don't know?
He's like nah, I didn't even know.
I'm like man,
that's back when he really was
crossover, crossover, bang on you.
Like throw on you.
Shoot the three, like everything.
- He was saying he could come out after his junior year.
- [Darius] He could of went straight out of high school.
- [Quentin] They were telling him to leave after junior year
and everything.
I remember that.
- He could have went straight out of high school,
I couldn't believe he went to college.
- He did one year at Cincinnati, right?
- Yup.
- And then we was in the same draft.
All of us.
- Kenyon, Kenny Saddlefield.
- He was pretty good though.
- It was a problem.
- It was the deal. If Kenyon wouldn't have got hurt.
- Oh Kenyon broke his leg.
- That was the deal.
- Yeah that was tough.
- Kenyon Player of the Year, like they was running it.
- So what other players,
influenced you being like a tall,
you know what I'm saying 6'9", about seven feet type dude,
that's like shooting jumpers,
handling the ball as well as you do
and doing all the things.
Like basically being a two guard
in a seven foot, 6'11" frame.
Like name some of the guys.
I mean I heard you say some of the guys.
I heard you mention him before.
And I've always said that I looked at you
as like D Miles 2.0.
Like when D Miles hit the scene,
it was like what's going on.
This boy is 6'9" out here,
bap, bap, bang.
- Dunking on everybody.
- But I'm talking about really had
the right to left crossover that was moving.
- All that shooting a J, fades, all that, yeah.
- And was like banging that thing and like then you came,
and D Miles was like a I don't know,
like Ray Allen or Rashard type three.
You know what I'm saying,
the one thing that he was missing was like his jumper
and all of that and then you come in,
you know the 50, 90 whatever everybody says type dude.
- Yeah you just build on
what all those dudes you watch coming up.
Man I was just,
I had an opportunity to.
DJ like,
man he didn't have to but he took me under his wing
as I was coming up from like as a high school kid,
just always following him to the gym.
You just seeing the lifestyle,
seeing stuff that I wanted to be a part of.
He was always cool in bringing the youngsters back from
out around our way just to be around the life.
So he showed us love,
and you realize what the OG's really did for the game.
You know so the stuff that I seen him do
and then before him,
just really watching seeing what you was doing,
it was just like you just wanna do that,
and you just wanna keep building and seeing how far
you can take it cause it's just about evolution of the game,
you know what I mean.
So there's somebody that's gonna do what I do,
that's gonna maybe find 200 different ways.
So I would say not at a early age,
I was like finally, there's somebody that looks like me.
Cause I'm the only one walking around here
long and skinny and playing in this sport.
So I'm like man finally somebody that looks like me.
And it just makes you feel like
you can do anything out there.
So like everyday I was watching T Mac clips,
I had a tape.
We was rewinding tapes watching T Mac film,
looking at stats,
looking at how he goes left, pull up.
Like that was somebody I was drawn to and I had to study.
So I had to write so much stuff down on him
and I was just starting to learn about him
and see how he came from high school
and how he was 6'8" and long and athletic like me.
So I just kind of shifted my focus just to him.
And then once you go to one player,
then you just go to the next
and then you just go from there.
But T Mac and Kobe was the two guys
that are always stared at constantly when they played.
And try to figure out how they did what they did.
- I never could understand when people used to say,
man Kobe played just like Jordan like that was a bad thing.
- No.
Yeah no.
That's hard to look like Jordan.
- What? You know if I could rock like Mike?
- Yeah shoot the fade like Mike?
- The style how he dunked.
The flavor, the swag.
- So speaking on when you was coming up
and you know the influence was like,
at what point did it hit you or did you realize like man,
I could make it,
I'm nice.
Like I could play in the NBA one day.
Like at what point, you know what I'm saying was
it when you was hooping against somebody,
or at a camp,
or you made yourself known out of there.
At what point did you say like I'm going to the league,
I'm gonna get there.
- I went to Five Star camp.
I was a tenth grader.
Nobody really knew my name but it was like spring time,
and I was going into the summer playing in all these camps
like right before All-American camp.
But I went to Five Star.
And I got like the Most Outstanding Player
but when I was out there,
I went the year before and my first time ever at a camp.
And then that next year I was going back,
and I was playing outside and I was just cruising.
I was just pulling up from deep,
everybody was coming to watch the games,
I'm dunking on people,
I'm just like the game is coming super easy to me.
And last year it was like I was having a hard time
just trying to figure it out.
So I'm like I put in so much work,
and I'm starting to see the results and I'm like oh shit.
And I'm getting taller at the same time.
- [Quentin] Right.
- So I'm like I really could do whatever I want out there.
And I start seeing my name in the rankings.
And I seen on the NBA Draft website,
they had the mock drafts and I seen my name
on the mock drafts and I'm thinking like
yo I'm still in an apartment,
I'm like I've been watching this shit
since I've been 11 years old.
So I'm like man this shit getting close.
And then I just started to put my foot on the gas even more,
cause I wanted to just see how far I could take my game.
And shit, I'm here now.
- So what made you choose Texas?
- Man I wanted to go to North Carolina.
- First you couldn't go straight out of high school.
Cause you could have went straight out of high school.
Let's get that clear.
- Right.
- You could have definitely went
straight out of high school.
- So my coach at Texas that recruited me,
he was like yeah when they put that rule out,
my wife,
Coach Barnes, his wife,
we all toasting up because you can come to school.
I was like damn,
that's how they really looking at this thing.
I didn't know it was that big but,
I wanted to go to Carolina.
All my friends was getting recruited there.
Ty Lawson who I played with for three years.
My best friend,
we went to Oak Hill together.
Roommates at Oak Hill, that was my boy.
He went there.
And I'm like--
- So wait, they didn't recruit you?
- No no no no.
They was recruiting me heavy with him.
They were expecting us to come together.
I'm going on official visits,
I went to a game when they beat Duke at the buzzer.
And they won a national championship that year.
My junior year of high school.
So I'm like man,
I wanna go to Carolina.
But they were stacked though.
They had a nice senior class,
they went to the Final Four that year.
Or Elite Eight that year.
But Tyler Hansbrough was there, Danny Green,
all those dudes so I would have got kind of lost.
Not lost but I would be playing 25 minutes
instead of 40 minutes like I should be playing.
You know what I'm saying so.
My moms and my pops was like, nah we know what it is.
Me I'm like no I wanna go play with my homies.
Let's go hoop.
I just wanna go hoop with my homies.
And Texas I went on a visit.
And Coach Barnes,
you know he blew me away with just his approach.
You know what I'm saying,
just like he knew what he had in me.
You know what I mean?
He knew just like.
- We ain't about to blow this one. We got him on campus.
- I'm a still coach him up and be who he is,
but I'm gonna take care of him while he's down here.
I'm still a 17 year old kid.
But I know what I got.
He gave me the rock every time.
Even when we was working out.
I'm like oh shit I didn't even know this was like this.
We had a couple McDonald's All-Americans too
so once I got down there,
he gave me the rock.
But as I was going through the visit,
I'm like I've never been to Texas before,
it was cool, nice weather.
There's a lot of girls down here.
I'm gonna be far away from the crib,
nobody can just pull up on me like that.
And I'm like I could just really focus on me
and get away. So I'm like perfect.
And I end up doing what I did down there,
now I'm forever tied there.
They got my logo on the jersey,
they're about to have my logo.
They got my name on the practice stadium.
- Well first of all you did it big.
They got your name on there for what you did.
Eh, they better put your name somewhere
for what you did up there now.
- I went down there and did what I was supposed to do.
And now I'm forever tied there.
That shit's pretty cool now that I think about it.
Cause I sit back and like shit,
if I went to Carolina,
I would have just been.
- [Quentin] Another name through the system.
- Another name and 20 jerseys up there.
Now I go to Texas,
it's just me and TJ Ford.
And another guy.
- TJ Ford.
- That's literally why I went to
DePaul over like going to like,
Kansas was the other big school that was my final two.
- You's McDonald's.
That was crazy you went to DePaul out there.
- Word.
And so it was like that's what it came down to for me.
It was like you know I could stay here,
my family could come watch me every game.
You know what I'm saying all of the conference games
is pretty much in the Midwest,
they could drive and come to the games.
But more importantly it was like,
what we about to do here,
myself, Bobby and Lance.
Like we all Chicago boys.
It was so much hype around bringing back from
when Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings
and everybody had did in the early 80's.
Like they hadn't had that.
Like what we was gonna mean to the city,
and mean to Chicago.
And like I'm heavy.
Everything in me is Chicago so it was like,
this is your chance to make a stand.
Like really make a,
we all from the Chicago public school.
Like we're not from like a suburban,
all of us.
Everything says Chicago.
60628.
You know what I'm saying.
So it was like me going there,
it's like you said it's not like you can't go to UNC
or I can't go to Kansas and make my imprint.
But even still,
you ain't about to really succeed Mike.
You know what I'm saying?
You ain't about to top that.
Not that you going to try and be the top dog or whatever
but like just you know that alright at Texas,
when I go do what I do it's gonna rain.
You know what I'm saying,
like it's gonna rain for real.
It ain't gonna be like alright like all of these,
like it's like you wanted a few.
- Yeah man.
- And you see that now.
And like all these years later
it means that much more to you.
- I committed to St. John's.
Like I was coming off that Ron Artest, Eric Barkley.
Like it was kinda making a little noise.
- That was still a good team.
That was still a good era at St. John's though.
- Like Anthony Glover.
- They was wearing Jordan.
- Me and Omar,
cause Omar wanted to go to North Carolina.
- Omar Cook was nice.
- I told North Carolina like yeah
you get Omar and Eddie Griffin I'm definitely coming.
You know what I'm saying?
Like I wanna squad up.
And Eddie went to Seton Hall
and they picked Adam Boone over Omar Cook.
Omar Cook lead the nation in assists his freshman year.
- Omar was nice.
- You know what I'm saying?
- Omar was nice.
- So when he lead the nation in assists his freshman year
I was like I made a great decision.
Cause I was running the floor just catching that thing
and dunking that jump.
But yeah I committed to St. John's
and I decided like I'm out.
- What I wanna ask you is like back when y'all was in OKC,
when it was you, Russ, and James Harden,
like did y'all three know that it was like okay
y'all about to all three be future MVPs
and y'all all three is this cold.
Like if I'm talking about like this cold.
I know playing against y'all,
I didn't like,
like obviously you stuck out the most,
and you know Russ and James was good but like
I never was sitting there like okay all three of them
are gonna be a MVP at some point in this league.
Like that's like crazy.
- Me either.
- Like you going in practice
and going at it with them dudes.
And a relationship,
the tightness y'all had,
I felt like that was like to me in my opinion,
like that was like one of the biggest screw ups
that they allowed,
I don't know what the whole,
how anything went.
But just the fact that they,
just because the tightness of y'all.
And that reminded me of how we were.
Like you know it was three young boys that still should be
in college level,
but they was like all young and hungry out there,
dogs and they was all.
- Yeah it was perfect.
- But they loved each other.
They was everywhere together.
Every time you saw one,
you almost saw all of y'all.
And that reminded me of how we was.
So I was like how they let this break up?
Like these dudes love each other.
These three young boys is coming up superstars.
It ain't no hating on each other,
everybody loves each other and they all rock together.
And it's like how you don't keep that?
How many years is it that you had in Seattle?
One or two?
- Just one.
- First of all let me just say.
I loved Seattle.
I loved going to play in Seattle.
I felt like Seattle was a great city for the league.
Like it was a cool,
it was one of the coolest cities to fly into
and be there for a day or two and like vibe out.
I loved Seattle.
And I wish,
I hope they get a team back there and all that.
But I want you to talk about it.
You know cause I feel like you and Jeff Green
had a cool first year there.
And just talk about your experience there
in Seattle with the Sonics.
- Man it was fun.
The fans came out and supported from day one.
You know just even when I had a workout there,
they were at the facility trying to greet us
and make sure that we felt at home from day one.
Even before we were drafted so.
Everyday in practice they coming out and supporting us.
Even when we were bad,
we were 20 and 62 that year.
The fans willing to come out and support so much
because of what was going on up top,
you know they were trying to move the team to relocation
so the fans were kind of at odds with the organization,
but they still supported the players.
So it was kind of weird being in the city
and playing in the city but the love that they showed us,
just walking around and just being players there
was cool man.
They definitely deserve a team because that market
is just a basketball market, you know what I mean.
- And then how was that,
like going from that and alright like your rookie year,
you know for me it was alright I'm in LA,
I get me a place,
I'm staying here for the next four years.
Then you're like boom y'all get moved.
And it's like OKC.
I don't even know if like.
I had never been to Oklahoma City
for anything until we started playing there.
So I don't know if you was like that,
or like that was your first time.
Like what is Oklahoma City?
- See I spent a lot of time at Texas.
So we play Oklahoma a lot, in Oklahoma state.
So it's a six hour drive from Austin, Texas
to Oklahoma City so all my friends would come up from Texas.
That was like my home being in Oklahoma City for that long.
So I was cool with going back to the Midwest
because I was so close to the University.
So that helped my transition.
But as far as just like moving an organization,
we didn't have a practice facility for a second,
we didn't have no logo,
we didn't even know who was gonna be on the team.
- [Darius] How the jerseys gonna look?
- Yeah like we got there,
I stayed in a hotel.
The haunted hotel they was talking about.
I stayed there.
- The old school hotel?
- The crazy one.
- The Skirvin.
I stayed there for like the first two months
until you found a crib.
Like we didn't even know.
- So wait, did you ever have any type of craziness there?
- No no.
- I haven't either.
That's why I'm asking.
- Isn't there one time you got the bed bugs?
- Yeah that's what he said.
- I ain't never had nothing crazy up there.
- No it wasn't too bad.
I spent two months in there.
And I bought a house in Seattle so.
Just moving so fast it was weird
but we figured it out after a while.
- Hey there's one question that we love to ask everybody.
So when you first got drafted right,
it's your first time coming into some change,
when you can do something,
what's the wildest thing or the craziest thing
you did like buying something when you got some bread?
Like cause we all guilty of it.
Like we young boys,
he was 18, I was 19.
What was you, 19?
- 18.
- So you young. 18, 18 and I'm 19 so you get dropped.
In our minds, we rich.
Not rich, we wealthy.
That's what we think and we don't know nothing.
- We here for life.
- Right.
So what did you do?
- Man.
It's not like one thing.
It's just like you just spend it on stupid stuff.
Like I'm buying five or six Xbox's for no reason.
- Hey listen one for every room.
- Buying like seven, eight TVs.
- Every room gotta have this.
(laughter)
- I'm buying like coins for my Xbox.
I'm spending like a $1000 to get the VC on my Xbox.
I'm like just doing wild shit
and like just doing a bunch of electronics.
- In-game purchases is crazy over here.
- Mom I sent you this.
I sent you two of these cause you gonna need this.
I got this one at home.
- Hey look just go to the store and just get
four copies of Madden just because like one of them
is gonna scratch I need like four.
- Just stupid stuff.
You know just buying for no reason.
- [Darius] Buying for no reason.
- That you wouldn't buy
if you didn't have this type of money.
- I wanna talk about this.
I think it was lockout year.
I think it was lockout year, right?
- Yeah.
- You went on a off the court tear.
I'm talking about everywhere you was going.
Like from that summer on,
you was fifty balling every tournament
from Drew League to the Rucker to just everywhere
you was going to see your off the court swag,
when you don't got no coach around,
I could just give 50s out.
Like you giving charity out every city?
That was an amazing run.
And you know about this cause we hear,
it be classic, classic kill mode during the summer.
Like you hear people,
he done been at this workout or that workout
and he then killed.
But you never really see it.
The first time I ever seen somebody kill
and go to all these places for the summer was you.
It was in a time where footage was out there
where everybody was taping everything.
Cause we went to summers where we went down to Miami,
we going there,
we coming to hoop.
- Killing.
- Yeah, yeah we hooping.
- That's when it was no working out with each other,
we coming down there to straight play five on five
and hoop against y'all every single day and get our game,
work on our game that way.
But I seen you go on a tear that summer.
Boy I was like.
- You know we liked to hoop though.
You know we was hooping everywhere,
and everybody was just trying to get together and just play.
You know what I'm saying?
Just at least a game style somewhere you know.
So we had all them games.
I'm like ain't no structure,
we all playing pick up.
So whoever the best out here,
they're not going to get the most shots.
So everywhere I went they was just
rolling the red carpet out for me.
And I'm like man I'm just sparring right now,
I'm just getting my action in,
cause I can't really get no game action.
- No game.
- I'm tired of working out.
I'm just trying to hoop.
- So what did that do for your confidence?
- That was a key summer for me.
It was key.
- That's what I'm saying like
I know like when we be in Chicago playing,
you know how it is like you had your best year
when you come fresh into camp,
and fresh into it.
I was bopping.
Like you really been right leading into it
into your highest peak.
Like you been playing,
you been working out,
you've been getting it in,
and you feeling like you've been killing fools.
Like we was looking,
I'm like yo.
Young boy like really making a statement right now,
letting it be known like what y'all gonna do.
- Going into that summer,
we had just lost in the Western Conference finals.
That was our first time there.
And you know I'm working out a month out,
not even a month,
like two weeks after the season's over with.
And not expecting the lockout.
So I'm just working out and hooping
like I usually do and we just going everywhere.
Man let's just get together and workout at least.
- [Quentin] Is that when you had the van?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Man had the commercial going.
- [Kevin] I was playing so much.
Nike was like you might as well
just turn this into something.
Something cool.
- That was a dope little movement
y'all had with the van bro,
I remember that.
- It was cool to keep basketball going,
cause that lockout man.
- Yeah that was whack.
- That was whack.
It was whack but I know it has to happen
when it comes to the business
but we just had to keep the ball going.
It was tough to not play.
Everybody was feening for hoops at that time.
- It was a good summer cause I watched you all summer.
50 ball every state.
Like you was in every state just coming in, just 50ing.
- Man you know how it feels
when you're out there just hooping.
And you got the rock all the time.
You're just working on stuff.
- And everybody wanna see.
And how live the crowd.
- Yeah.
- That's that free money.
That just we in here.
- I'm taking 50 shots one game.
I'm taking 55 shots,
I'm like I just need to get them up to see if I can.
You just work on your game.
- You were shooting that jump deep as hell.
When you was coming up,
somebody that the world might not know
or somebody that pay attention to,
the world might do know or heard of him.
That you was like a walking bucket.
Like every time you see him,
man he scored like with the best of them.
Who was that person that you was like man?
- Just anywhere? Or just in the league?
- Anywhere.
- There's a lot of dudes that's walking around here
that get buckets on anybody in the league.
- Definitely do.
Not in the league just somebody that nobody might not know.
- So there was this dude in our neighborhood,
name was Kurt Smith.
He was like 5'9" point guard,
but he was one of those like,
he played like Sam Cassell.
You know when they back you down,
they back anybody down shoot the turn around J.
It don't look good,
but he's scoring every time.
So it's like he still impacted the game.
It was like no matter who was on him,
we play outdoors all the time.
Even when I was in the league,
league dudes playing against them.
- He's still getting gravy.
- He's still getting buckets,
getting to where he wants to get to.
He played at Drake and he played back in the day,
and he was in the Capital Classic.
So he's actually played some ball.
He could have played in the league.
He was in a training camp,
you know how that goes.
- Yeah, yeah.
- You get to training camp for bites.
But he was still solid up until he was probably 36, 37
playing around the neighborhood.
- [Darius] Still getting buckets.
- He still had game though.
All the OG moves that I learned,
back down, turnaround fades, all that.
He was doing all of it at 5'9".
- Who taught you how to shoot?
Like who taught you your form?
Like you've got good form.
You'd be so tall you got high arc.
You know what I'm saying?
Like you've got good form.
And you've been having good form
since the first time I seen you play.
- Man I've been crafting this joint for a minute.
So when I was like nine or 10 I used to have to
lay on my back and watch Martin
until the commercials go off.
And I used to lay up like this.
- [Quentin] That's a real one right there.
- Until that commercial would come on.
Every commercial at the break,
I'd do that for like two episodes.
I'd do that every night.
And that just had me stuck there for a second.
- Who made you?
- My godfather who taught me how to play.
He brought me in the gym at seven and handed me the ball.
So he was doing little stuff like that
in my workout routine.
And that shit just stuck.
I had to shoot so many shots
just one arm in front of the rim.
All the way back to the three point line
just working every small part.
And it just got to where it is now.
- Man that's crazy.
- Word.
I'm telling you that's why I be trying to
get my kids to like watch the game,
every time out knock out ten pushups, five pushups,
whatever like the whole game.
Every commercial like just get it in.
We ain't there yet.
(laughter)
- We came in and we got the privilege to be with Jordan.
- That's crazy.
How was that?
- Represent Jordan.
- Crazy.
- Y'all workout with him?
You have a workout with him?
- Yeah.
- Yeah we used to play against him
when I was in high school.
He was in high school and college.
We used to go to Santa Barbara and we was invited to
his camp and we used to play against him.
- How was he in a pickup though?
- What?
A whole lot of cursing.
And a whole lot of buckets.
- He was getting buckets easy huh?
- Still.
- Like easy.
When he got to the league when he was with the Wizards,
he was getting buckets easy.
- Still.
- Still.
Like a 40 year old man averaging 20, 21.
- That's getting buckets.
- In the league?
And like this is the physical league.
This is where they can touch you a little bit.
No man, come on now.
- He was posting up the little youngins.
All of them.
- To average that?
Like come on be for real.
- Yeah he different.
- We got the opportunity to play with him,
I mean not play with him but wear his shoes
and represent his brand and so forth.
You got a deal with Nike and you got the KD's.
Like my son got KD's.
- [Quentin] You remember my daughter had a gang of 'em.
- It's crazy to see that.
- Them KDs, like they a hot commodity.
They were saying something like you had to sell
a certain amount of shoes.
I'm like man they loving it.
Like everybody was supporting it
and wanted it and you got a dope shoe.
- Appreciate it.
- Like how does it feel to have a dope shoe?
I know coming up and where we come from,
and then have your own shoe and people rocking with it?
- [Quentin] It's the dream.
- And they dope.
- And like he said,
people rocking with it too.
- People rocking with you though.
- It's crazy man.
It happened so fast.
From always getting the Eastbays and opening the Eastbays.
- Like you in the Eastbay and your teams
is getting the KD's for the season.
- Yeah it just happened so fast.
It's crazy to think about
and then see everybody showing love.
And appreciate the story I bring within the shoe too,
it was just a journey.
I'm at about 12 shoes right now.
And they told me only me, MJ, Kobe and Bron
got 12 signature shoes.
I'm like me?
- You dropping albums man.
You're like Hov.
- That's crazy.
- I'm like me?
Where I come from, where I grew up.
- That's amazing.
- Just like wanting to do stuff like that
and actually do it,
it's like man it's crazy.
All up from the game though.
So I appreciate just hooping everyday that got me that,
you know what I'm saying.
- Putting your DNA on your shoes.
Putting stuff like that's dope.
- Exactly.
Everything.
Stuff that's gonna live on.
Even though people might not know about it.
But it's gonna live on in my family forever.
- Straight up.
- That's the most important thing.
- Word up.
What I wanna ask you is like,
back when y'all was in OKC,
when it was you, Russ and James Harden,
like did y'all three know that it was like,
okay y'all about to all three be future MVPs,
and y'all all three is this cold?
Like if I'm talking about like this cold.
Like I know playing against y'all,
like obviously you stuck out the most,
and you know Russ and James was good but like,
I never was sitting there like okay all three of them
are gonna be a MVP at some point in this league.
- Me either.
- Like that's crazy.
You going in practice and going at it with them dudes,
and the relationship, the tightness y'all had,
I felt like that was like to me in my opinion
that was one of the biggest screw ups that they allowed,
I don't know what the whole,
how anything went but just the fact that they,
just because the tightness of y'all.
And that reminded me of how we were.
Like you know it was three young boys
that still should be in college level,
but they was like all young and hungry out there,
dogs and they was all.
- Yeah it was perfect.
- But they loved each other.
They was everywhere together.
Every time you saw one,
you almost saw all of y'all.
And that reminded me of how we was.
So I was like how they let this break up?
Like these dudes love each other.
These three young boys is coming up superstars.
It ain't no hating on each other.
Everybody loves each other and they all rock together.
And it's like how you don't keep that?
- Man you know how the business gets sometimes.
It's out of your control to a point
where it's just like even a great thing.
We still gonna be homies,
and we still gonna appreciate
the little days we had together,
but it's like man if we just stuck together for real?
- [Quentin] Man.
- Like for real, for real.
If we all just stuck together and doing what we was doing.
It just looked beautiful.
But at the same time,
it still worked out for all three of us.
- It did.
- We all went on our own separate paths,
and kind of created our own lanes for ourselves
and made a name for ourself,
and had some team success along the way.
So it worked out perfectly cause we had enough time
with each other to kind of build a relationship
and appreciate how good we were.
Cause playing with Russ and I've never seen somebody
jump that high or run that fast or be that explosive ever
or anything in my life.
You know what I'm saying?
And to see that up close every night
and know that he has a physical advantage
over every point guard he's playing against.
I had the utmost confidence walking into every game.
I'm like my man is coming to go hard on all y'all.
- All everybody.
- And I know it.
Y'all don't know it yet.
But he going hard on everybody.
He backs down to the point where it's like yo chill.
Chill for a second big homie.
You know what I'm saying?
But you like that aggression.
And then out of nowhere,
cause Russ comes from out of nowhere.
He wasn't even playing his first year at UCLA,
coming off the bench.
He dunk on somebody.
Like what was number zero?
Alright better we got Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo.
Then the next year,
that's when he jumped on his sophomore year,
and now he's the fourth pick
and now he's starting point guard.
I'm like yo this reminds me of me.
Just coming out of nowhere and stuff happening so fast.
And then James the same way.
Our paths are just too parallel.
Like we all grew up in different sections,
but I see the similarities in how we came up.
James though.
James is just different.
I seen that in college.
And high school.
Like throwing behind the back passes
and pick and roll in high school?
Like nobody is doing that.
Coming off the pick and roll,
manipulating the pick and roll in high school at 6'5".
Strong, shooting the J.
I'm like yeah he different.
- I think it just speaks to each one of y'all individual
greatness for what y'all have been able,
like you say,
as dope as y'all were together,
and how y'all had it going
and then to have it be pulled apart like that.
You know everybody goes their separate ways,
but still,
y'all have still succeeded
and putting y'allselves on that level.
- All y'all got your own shoe.
- Everybody got their own shoe.
- That's crazy right?
- But everybody got their own MVP trophy.
More importantly, like that's bigger than the shoe.
- And more importantly our charisma
be tied together forever.
- [Quentin] Forever.
- [Darius] Forever.
- No matter what we do.
- Memes and like then the next time little kids
will say this was photoshopped.
Like no they didn't play together.
Like that's real though.
- They'll be saying that in a few years.
- Like what? That's for real?
- Five more years,
they will say hold up, nah they didn't play.
- That didn't happen.
- Seriously.
It's already happening today but like you said
it's just crazy to see how far we've all come.
It's so fast.
- How proud was you to see James finally get MVP,
to see Russell Westbrook win MVP and do what they did?
I know like you said y'all played together
and went on a whole journey together all the way
to the championship and could have won it, early.
- Yeah, man, yeah.
- But then y'all break up
and then you see them shine and get MVP.
How proud are you to see that?
- And contrary to what people would believe
about y'all relationship,
we know as players that outside of,
like we as players don't feel the need to answer or address
scenarios that the media or whoever
may create or whatever they think.
Like they can create whatever narrative they want.
And we fine behind closed doors
and completely supporting and rooting for each other.
But they think whatever narrative they think.
- [Kevin] Yeah.
- So for you to see those dudes, like he's saying,
how did that feel to see them dudes achieve those goals
and that level of success?
And you knowing already how it feels.
- Man you just go back to the days
that we were working out after practice and competing.
You know who can shoot the farthest jump shot,
how many jump shots we could make from the corner,
playing one on one,
playing pickup,
you know in them little couple weeks
before training camp starts.
You just think of all that stuff,
and you crafting as youngsters,
and to see dudes that you put in so much time with,
cause like y'all know,
we spend more time with teammates than you do your family.
So like you really getting to know these dudes
and now they on stage getting MVPs,
and they making so much money for them and their families.
And they starting families,
and like dudes doing so much with they lives,
I'm like yo we getting old.
- Right.
- We getting older in this league
but look what we come from.
So hell yeah I was proud cause
like once you get something in this league,
and you got other guys in that club with you,
it's just good to share those experiences man.
So like I said,
we're gonna be tied together forever.
- You got any funny stories with you and Westbrook
and James Harden when y'all was younger?
Like they was rookies or something like that,
you made them do something,
go and get the donuts or something.
- Nah, cause we was all so young.
I remember one time James got so mad.
We had Nate Robinson on the team.
- [Quentin] Oh God.
- And James and Eric Maynor they used to always play around.
So we're in practice one day,
we're all at practice.
We're wondering where Nate at.
Nate runs into James car, drives his car all the way
around the corner parked it at the car wash.
Ain't tell nobody.
- He ran into it?
- He just parked it at the car wash.
Out of nowhere.
- The best part is that he risked being late for this.
- Yes.
- [Quentin] He's nowhere to be found to achieve this.
- He's taking pictures like ghost riding this joint.
Like on top of the hood.
Parks this joint at the car wash and like ain't tell nobody.
We walked into the locker room,
like James like yo where my keys at?
He's steaming.
He hot.
He's ready to fight Nate almost.
Like pissed.
You know if somebody just moves something,
when you're trying to leave out of nowhere,
you irritated.
Man like that's the first time
we ever got into anything as a team like that.
When Nate come on the team.
It was hilarious.
And I see why James was pissed
but like that was the first time anything happened.
I'm like yeah these boys are different in the league.
Especially dudes like Nate.
- Did y'all ever have like,
did y'all play one on ones,
king of the hill?
- Yeah, yeah.
- I just look at that.
Like even just thinking about that,
that just makes me feel like when I see the clips of y'all,
like the USA team.
Cause that's like all y'all boys is Olympic team level.
Like how was that?
And how did that work?
Like that had to be like one of the best examples
of iron sharpening iron.
- [Kevin] Yeah for sure.
- Like y'all three boys sparring in one on ones,
king of the hill,
five spots,
three spots, three dribbles, whatever.
It don't get no better than that.
- Man we used to bump in practice though.
- [Quentin] That's what I'm saying.
- And we used to play five on five,
and James used to have the bench mob,
and me and Russell would be on the first team.
I'm talking about every practice.
If we're not going full court,
we going half court controlled scrimmage.
Every practice.
Scott Brooks,
we're not calling no fouls.
- [Quentin] It's going down.
- We going down.
And we playing a little side,
throw it at the elbow one on one,
just in the middle of practice
just to throw something in there.
We doing this everyday.
I'm talking about dudes is,
we hacking,
we throwing elbows,
we're going hard in practice so when we got into the games,
nobody was punking us.
We had Perk too when he got there.
He was really the enforcer and knew what was going on.
What he learned under KG.
So it was like we had that influence in our locker room too.
And it was just like man we just took off to another level.
When Scott Brooks was just like,
he just let us go after that.
And man we got so much better.
Just everything.
I was learning from James
on how to play on the pick and roll.
I was learning from Russ when to be explosive
in the lane and go for a left.
I was learning little stuff from them
just seeing them every day.
And you got your coach who was just empowering us
to be who we are.
It was a perfect situation.
Cause a lot of dudes come in the league
and they don't have that situation,
but they might be just as good,
you know what I'm saying?
That's just the difference.
The little small difference in careers.
Like we was in the perfect environment for our skill.
- Yeah.
That's how we was when we was with the Clippers.
Cause we was on the bench
and it was me, him and Corey Maggette on the bench.
- Crazy bench mob.
- Then you've got Keyon, then you got LO and Elton starting.
We used to go through wars in practice.
- [Kevin] How was your one on ones?
- [Quentin] Man listen we used to for real
get into fights in practice.
- Like go at it.
- [Quentin] Practice is in like that life.
Fight people for real man.
- I was just like y'all ain't gonna act right.
Just get up outta here.
Get up outta here.
- For real.
AG like y'all are tripping.
Y'all can't be fighting.
Like we used to for real,
it used to get to that point
cause there were so many of us all of the same age,
first or second year all trying to kick their career off.
Nobody ain't looking at nobody like you
not that much better than me.
You don't just the nod like that.
I could work you out right now and I'm about to go at you.
- [Kevin] Yeah yeah.
- It was everyday back and forth, nonstop.
- Y'all practiced a lot?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
We was young.
Come on man, back then.
- And we wasn't no winning team.
Everywhere.
- It wasn't none of that.
- And we young.
- We don't even know better.
So it ain't like we know like hey, we shouldn't be.
Like nah,
it's whatever they say and do, we doing.
- Like if people seen me and Q play against each other,
they thought we didn't like each other.
- We was friends.
- That's how it's supposed to be.
- Cause that's how hard we go at each other.
They seeing it like we worked out for the Nets.
Man Q was going there.
They had the number one pick.
We was going at each other so hard.
- I know I ain't about to be number one.
- And they was over there looking like,
we don't even know what to say.
We don't even want to get in between.
- That's how it's supposed to go.
- You show up at each other.
You got the opportunity the last time,
a three peat has been done is 2003.
Shaq and Kobe.
You know that's the last time a three peat been done.
You got the opportunity to be in the history books of that.
With the Michael Jordans,
with the Shaqs,
with the Kobes.
You know with the Scotty Pippens, the Dennis Rodmans.
How do you feel about,
knowing you know your history
and you grew up watching all that,
how do you feel about getting that opportunity
to win three and what's the constant grind?
Y'all can win championship
after championship after championship.
Explain the constant grind to get there.
- Man you know first of all the opportunity
to do that man is just,
especially with a great group,
it's rare.
Especially in the league man when you get a nice time period
to settle in with a group and play basketball
and learn and grow.
So it's good to have that opportunity and then to win two,
and how special that was and that experience.
To comeback with the same team,
like I said that business sometimes gets in the way
but that grind everyday man,
it's just that focus that you have to be on
and like in the playoffs.
In the series.
You know when you get to each round,
it gets a little tougher and tougher.
The rotations are a little tighter,
you might play seven or eight guys,
and now you gotta play 42 minutes instead of 37.
So you gotta be more focused for a couple more minutes.
So it's like you just gotta reach another level
everyday with your mentality.
And that's tough to get up everyday and do that,
you know what I mean.
Out your bed and really focus on like
can I be the greatest finals level focus
I can be every single night.
And that's the grind.
And it's hard to do it but that's what we get paid to do.
That's what we love to do.
What else are we supposed to do with our time?
That's the hardest part,
is the mental part of it now.
Because when you win and you get some success,
you expect to wake up and just be
like shit I'm just chilling.
- [Quentin] Right.
- You know what I'm saying,
I got two chips,
I'm doing whatever I want,
I got bread,
I could fly wherever I want.
But I just wanna keep playing and see how good I can get
at the game and then if we accomplish a lot as a team,
that's even better.
But that grind and getting up everyday man,
it's tough.
- Yeah.
- So for me,
I look at you as like one of the best offensive players
in the history of the game, right?
So how do you feel when you walk into the gym
and you getting ready to hoop,
you're getting ready for the game
and you've got Steph and Clay on your team.
Like when you're all ready yourself,
it's one of the most lethal offensive weapons
in the history of the game.
And then you sit there and you turn around
while you're throwing your jersey on
and you got two of the greatest shooters to ever
put jerseys on period.
That's just with you.
Like how does that feel?
You already like Steve Nash say,
you a bad man, you feel me?
And then you've got these two light skinned murderers
with you.
- Man, you got dudes that can shoot that accurate,
that consistent,
it's just like they're reliable every night
with the jump shot.
You gotta respect everything else
cause they open up so much for the team.
Like just knowing that you're running with
some dudes that love to play,
and that work on the craft everyday,
and care about it just as much as you,
it makes coming into every game fun.
Cause you never know what they could do.
Clay hit 14 threes in a game.
And that's just on a random day.
- [Quentin] Crazy.
- Back to back I'm like.
- [Quentin] After struggling.
- After struggling,
I'm like where is this, I've never seen this before.
Out of nowhere like that.
And then Steph will hit 51 in three quarters
and the crowd going crazy,
feel like you're at the park playing with these dudes.
Then it's like that's that real.
That's how basketball is supposed to be played.
That's how I enjoy playing the game.
Now you got three snipers out there like that,
dudes that can shoot that thing.
- It's unfair.
- Come on man.
- It is not fair.
- It's good to see that ball go through the rim
and hear that net after a jump shot.
That's one of the best feelings on the court.
- How has it sharpened your game from taking 20 to 25 shots,
getting your 30 or your 35 points to now,
you might get 30 with 12 shots.
You might get 30 with 15 shots.
You don't really get no more than 15 shots.
But to go from shooting all the shots
to every shot gotta count when you shoot.
How much did that sharpen you up?
- Yeah sharpened me up a lot.
- [Darius] Cause I know that's helped you out a lot.
Like you see it.
- It was an adjustment.
Cause I didn't realize how tough that is
on a night to night basis when if I'm one for seven
or two for eight to start the game,
I usually can shoot myself out of that
and get back to 12 for 20 whatever 48, 49% is.
But on this team,
I might not be able to have the time first of all.
Cause we blowing teams out sometimes to get back to
where I want to get to with just a rhythm where I feel good.
My next shot feel good,
not just a percentage,
but just like I know my jump shot feels perfect right now.
You know what I'm saying so like,
it was taking me a little bit longer
to get back to that point.
Where I was like I'm feeling great so now I'm like alright
if I get four shots the first quarter,
I gotta make sure a couple of those
are the easiest ones I can get,
or not just like I'm gonna shoot a step back three
my first shot.
Or catch and shoot fade away my second shot.
I'm just like let me get the easy ones first,
then open my game up from the layups to the mid range.
And then if I'm feeling good I can knock down a three.
So I just really start thinking like a big.
Like can I get some lays, can I get a mid range,
let me see if I can.
- Couple of bunnies.
- Couple bunnies first and see how my J working tonight.
Cause if it's not working,
then I can't be forcing all night
from the three just trying to find that,
then I end up shooting 44% on the week.
And then I'm like oh shit.
I'm in a week long slump
and I'm like let me hurry up and get out.
I don't wanna even think about that.
I just wanna make sure my J feels good.
I wanna shoot well every night.
Take good shots.
It's good figuring the game out that way,
cause anybody could play erratic
and I got 40 shots to work with tonight,
let me just do anything.
- That means you take your heat checks.
You don't take no heat checks.
- No I try not.
I still do.
I still got them games.
- Not as many as you used to.
- No not as many no.
I still have those games,
like last game I'm searching for a bucket,
cause I couldn't make a shot.
Or we couldn't generate no offense.
So I'm like alright,
hesy three.
That's a terrible shot but I'm just praying it goes in.
I'm like I know it's not gonna go in.
But let me just try it.
But I don't wanna take those shots no more.
So I'm trying to get that little stuff out the game.
That's where I'm at with it now.
- So talk about when
how it felt to actually win a championship.
Like when you won the first one.
I mean obviously you won the second one,
and you trying to get a third.
But like what did that feel like to you?
Like what did you do?
Like did that make you feel like alright people
can shut the hell up talking to me,
or did you just not even pay attention,
when you're just too happy
and just into your happiness with it?
Or did you go like man I'm about to ball out this summer.
- [Darius] First thing you thought about.
- Like I'm the champ,
like nobody can't say nothing to me.
Like champ I'm about to go crazy this summer.
Like we talked to JR,
like he went shirtless.
He went shirtless,
did you do anything crazy, like wild,
or was you just like, how was you?
- So I watched NBA so much,
and I watched all those moments growing up.
And I was just seeing so many celebrations,
the confetti,
the ceremony and families on the court taking pictures.
And just the music behind that.
So I'm just like thinking about that
all the time before you win a chip.
Like I wanna see what that's like.
So I just wanna experience what it's like
when that buzzer go off and you know you're a champ,
and everybody running from the sideline.
Like those visuals,
that's all I was thinking about.
Like damn my family here.
I know how they gonna come down,
they gonna meet me in the back.
Taking pictures.
- You're setting it up.
- [Kevin] I just wanted to really actually physically
go through that moment.
So when I did it and I got home,
I was just sitting back replaying it.
I went to sleep at like six A.M.,
and then I woke up and I sat up on the couch the next day
and I watched TV.
And then my summer kept going.
And I'm like damn this shit,
this really what it is.
Like this is simple as it is.
I might have went out to the club couple weeks later,
but I was gonna do that anyway.
- Right.
(laughter)
- You know what I'm saying?
Like my shit just kept going.
- I just remember seeing you in an interview,
and I don't remember who did the interview,
I was like they is looking for
some type of emotional outburst,
my boy is not like.
I was like yo he chill right now.
He like yo we champs.
Like I'm MVP. I just murdered everybody, like alright cool.
But I'm not about to cry,
I'm not about to do none of this stuff that y'all.
- I thought I would.
I thought I would.
- [Quentin] But you could tell that they was like,
especially after you gave the emotional MVP speech,
I think they was like looking for you to do that.
- They were looking for that moment.
- And it was like,
I was looking like,
yo he's not, he's not rolling.
Like they asking the questions,
looking to get it out of him and it was like
that's not what he on right now in this moment.
- It was cool to do.
Plus we knew that we had a great opportunity.
And it wasn't a surprise to us.
It wasn't like man let's just see what we got this year.
We come into the season like we wanna win a championship,
we got the team to do it.
Let's go do it.
Let's just finish the job.
So after the first one,
the first one was emotional,
it was different emotions,
you feel more excited and you want that feeling
to last a little longer but for me,
the second one was just more like man,
we're actually building something.
- Word.
- We're a nice team.
Like people looking at us as one of the best teams
to ever play in this game.
So it's like that's the cool part about it.
Obviously the moment was nice.
Everybody expecting you to be emotional,
but it's just like knowing that you kind of stamped yourself
a little bit in history so far,
I'm 30 years old,
I'm like shit that's cool to me.
- [Quentin] Still got some ways to go.
- Yeah like that's pretty cool.
So that's how I thought about it.
- Confidence is a big thing.
Like where do you get your confidence from?
Cause I know like with you,
you played a lot of basketball.
Like on the streets, off the streets,
on the highest level.
And I know you feel that can't no man in the world
guard you at all.
Like you playing the game against yourself.
To have that confidence
and keep that confidence and know that.
Like where do you get your confidence from?
- Let me say,
there's some dudes out there
that I feel that make the game tough for me.
There's some defenders out there
cause I don't wanna act like
I'm just sweeping through everybody.
I respect the dudes that go hard against me
every night because they make me better.
And I'm gonna always remember those type of dudes.
But I also know I can get mines off on anybody I feel.
So once I start doing it at the playgrounds coming up,
and then I was doing it in middle school,
and high school and it went up each level,
and then I did it in the finals,
I was just like oh yeah.
It's stamped in my mind like nobody can stop me anywhere.
Oh I can get my shit off anywhere
and I feel good playing ball on any court.
And I know they're gonna pick me top five picks anywhere.
- Yeah.
- If we had 10 guys lined up.
Anybody.
I know they gonna pick this dude.
They gonna pick me cause I can shoot and I'm tall.
So I got that.
I feel like I can play on any court
at any time with anybody.
I'm like shit.
What do I gotta worry about playing ball?
Let me just hoop.
- Just hoop.
- That's how I kinda approach it,
and it's been fun for me ever since.
- Who is the best defender?
- Tony Allen.
Chicago.
- Chicago. TA.
What that boy say first team, shout out TA, okay TA.
You got bean there,
you got KD saying you the best defender, hey boy hey.
- In the league now who is the best defender?
- In the league now,
there's a lot of dudes.
- That guard you.
- Trevor Ariza is tough.
Trevor Ariza tough cause he got IQ and he long and athletic.
And he gonna just play with you sometimes.
He might play a little bit of matador,
let you get to the cup and everything.
He play the game with you.
He actually a hooper.
I didn't realize that until like.
- [Darius] He got a little thinking cap on him.
- Yeah he actually thinks the game on that level.
So I like Trev.
PJ Tucker cause he's just,
those physical dudes, they make me think a little bit.
Cause he used to come into the game straight elbow me.
So I'm like, he's ready for this tonight.
I know what I'm into so dudes like PJ Tucker,
they try to get in to me a little bit.
But had me thinking about other stuff.
I can't really try to body and post up,
get my post up game all the time on guys like that.
So I gotta move around a bit.
So I'm thinking as I'm having these defenders on me.
And then point guards usually do a good job
with their hands.
Cause I'm so long on my dribble they use their hands a lot.
But if I get a little bit of space,
and I'm inside a three,
I feel like I'm making 100% of them.
- I hated guarding you.
All you do is foul bro.
I'm telling you when I first come in the game
I'm like alright he's skinny,
I'm strong.
I'm gonna make him feel me first.
Pause that.
That's the first thing I'm gonna do
is come in and throw a forearm on him.
Get into his chest, trying to like look,
it ain't gonna be this tonight young boy.
And it's like bro as soon as he raise up,
that's why I used to tell people like bro,
no.
If he raise up over you it's over.
Like I'm talking about I'm guarding him, I'm guarding him,
as soon as he gets this area and he looks,
it's curtains.
It ain't,
he don't see nobody.
- That's how I started simplifying my game plan
against guys like that because I grew up
playing on the crossing all that extra stuff,
and then these dudes used to get their elbows in me
and put their shoulders in me
so I'm like let me look at this spot,
run right to it and just shoot it.
- That's what I fear about the kids these days.
They ain't never been touched before,
so it ruffles them when they get a little bit physical.
When I was coming up,
you couldn't call a foul.
You couldn't get a foul.
Like none of this stuff.
But you too tall.
- My pops used to take me to the courts outside.
I'm like 12, 13 and he let me play with
the older dudes and we hooping,
and I'm out there doing my thing.
They older, I'm young.
I'm getting to the cup easy shooting Js,
easy.
And you know I tried some shit,
tried to dunk on one of the OG's
they take me out the air on concrete.
And you like oh shit.
I realized what this game about.
And then you go into the league and you see these dudes
who just physical as soon as they come into the game,
that's their role.
So you gotta adjust.
And like playing outdoors my senior year,
they had this dude on the outdoor court
around the neighborhood.
All he did was foul everybody.
You know what I'm saying?
He was the Dennis Rodman of the.
- Right.
- I played against that coming up.
A lot of people don't realize,
like I was outside playing against this type of stuff.
- That means a lot.
- But you know I used to play against
a dude like that in the park,
his name was Mississippi.
We used to call him Mississippi.
- Strong and shit.
- He used to just hack all the time.
- Box out heavy.
- But they used to train my IQ.
I still know how to get off knowing that I got somebody
out there intentionally trying to foul me.
- Wherever you at,
shout out to Mississippi.
- Mississippi.
- If you still out there.
You sound like you was a beast.
- [Kevin] Flagrant two on everybody.
- I want him to talk about defense.
Like you long and agile and you gotta have defense.
Like I thought you had good defense in OKC.
Now that you on a championship winning team,
they try to say that all of a sudden you got this brand new
defense like you didn't block weak side shots
or play good defense.
You not a gambler.
You're not one to just running through
the passing lane and gamble.
You're not a big gambler.
But you play good defense.
Like you play good enough defense where you can guard
the other best player and go back and forth.
- [Kevin] Yeah.
- Like how does it feel to finally recognize
like man I can play defense,
I been playing defense.
- Yeah man it's cool when your coaches
just trust you to guard anybody.
You know they might throw me on James Harden
for a few possessions or CP or Kyrie one possession
and then Bron I had to guard him for a full series.
So maybe guard a four man here and there on the switch.
So just feeling like I'm not a liability out there.
You know I never wanted to be one of them dudes that like,
yo sub off for defense.
I never wanted to be one of those dudes
that was on the sideline at the end of a game.
So like I always kind of played defense
or tried to learn defense
with that kind of thought in the back of my mind.
So like alright how can I stay down on pump fakes,
not foul,
use my length.
But not gamble.
If I see something, try to take it,
but usually just try to play the percentages with my length.
Cause like if you're shooting over me all night,
I like my chances.
If you're knocking them in,
I'm like yo that's a good game.
- If I can get you to make a tough shot,
like I did my job.
- Yeah exactly.
So I try to play that way.
Keep it simple.
And once I did that,
I was able to kind of guard different sizes,
different styles out there.
And shit if I could play 48,
they would keep me out there.
You know what I'm saying?
As long as I can play every section of the floor I'm solid.
- I wanted to ask you too,
top five.
- All time?
- All time.
But my top five,
I'll tell you my top five.
But out of my top five like the 70s and 60s
I kind of leave out.
Like the Chamberlains, the Elgin Baylors, the Jerry West.
- [Kevin] Yeah me too.
- It's all respect but kind of in them 80s on up.
For real for me that's really kind of my history history.
- [Quentin] So let's hear your top five.
- Who you got?
- In my top five is Michael Jordan of course
is number one to me.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is number two.
Kobe Bryant is number three.
Shaq is number four.
Just seeing they dominating ability.
And Lebron probably by the end of his career
is my number five.
You know what I'm saying?
- Yeah.
- Going off what I'm going off,
like I said you kinda leave the Chamberlains and stuff.
Just give them their praise and respect
and not just leaving them out but just me being an 80s baby.
Who would you say your top five is?
If you could put it in a order.
- Mike obviously, one.
Kobe, two.
Shaq three.
Hakeem four.
Magic.
Magic.
- I can't argue with that.
You wanna hear mine?
- Yeah.
- I was gonna say Kareem
but I'm like Hakeem was just as good.
- But Kareem is the whole show.
- He's the all-time but I think on the court though.
- He's the leader in all points and everything.
- I know but I'm saying nobody could,
Hakeem had the,
he couldn't be stopped on the post.
- I feel like Kareem played against
a different generation of players though.
- No man.
From center.
From center to Kareem,
like he won on all levels.
They don't give Kareem actually the praise
that he actually deserves.
The only person I seen that was just like
what it was is like Mike.
- I agree with that.
- But Kareem, like had the most points
and hard to get the points and all that.
The hook shot that can't nobody do.
- [Kevin] It's timeless.
- Nobody can even do this shot.
- Yeah that shit will still work today.
- He was doing it fluently like it was like
with the shake with it.
- Yeah he was off the catch with it.
Soon as he caught it.
- Off the catch like you can't block it and all that stuff.
And he won on every level since he been playing the game.
- Yeah.
- Like every level he was the best player in the league.
- Yeah he was the most dominant easily.
And it was nice and graceful too.
It wasn't like he was stronger than everybody.
- And that's why I give him his props.
- [Kevin] For sure.
- Like was dominating.
_ No for sure.
I'm looking at it from like a pure skill standpoint
when it comes to like.
It's like a toss up between to me,
Kareem and Hakeem.
Cause it's just like.
- Hakeem was more skilled in my opinion.
- He would cross,
pump fake,
turnaround J.
It just to me is more my taste level.
- All them players I named in my top four,
they was the best player in the league
more than three to four years.
The best player in the league,
wasn't nobody in the league better than them.
- [Kevin] So if Kareem was in the league with MJ,
would he have been the best player?
- [Quentin] Nope.
- [Kevin] I'm just saying but Hakeem was though.
- [Darius] No he wasn't.
- I mean he won two rings.
- [Darius] The best player in the world
was playing baseball when Hakeem won two rings.
- But he won two rings but everybody know
who was the greatest player though.
That's what I'm saying.
- The best player in the world
was playing baseball when Hakeem.
- But we knew who the best basketball player was.
- Hakim got to be the best player that time.
- For two years though.
For two years?
- I'm just saying he was the next in line after MJ.
But we knew MJ was number one.
- Kareem them two years that he was the best player,
he would have did something with MVP Shaq?
- Stop no.
Nobody couldn't do nothing with Shaq.
- Shaq was so dominating.
- Time out. Time out.
Hakeem is the one who Shaq gives it up
to say that he gave him the business every time.
- Yeah in the finals.
- Shaq says it himself.
- In the finals when he was a youngin'.
- I understand young Shaq.
- He was a youngin' though.
He was a youngin'.
- I understand young Shaq.
But I'm talking about three peat Shaq?
- No no.
- That was a different Shaq right there.
- This is what I'm saying like prime Shaq
was the most dominant player in the history of the game.
- Nobody in the world was better than Shaq.
When three peat Shaq.
- He was the most dominant person I ever seen.
- Prime Shaq is the most dominant player
in the history of the entire game.
- Okay. That's what I'm saying though.
- Nobody arguing that.
- When Kareem was doing his thing,
Kareem was the best player in the world
for at least four to five years.
- That's cool.
- He was.
- Like Michael Jordan to me was the best player
in the world from 89 to 97.
- If you put all of them up against Shaq in his prime,
he make all of them look like Chris Dudley dunking on them.
That's how he make them look.
Shaq.
- No Shaq was dominant but like you said,
like that little period,
when you're like the clear cut best player in the league
for like more than three years, four years,
then like.
- [Quentin] It's impressive.
- That's impressive right there.
- Yeah if you can get three four years
of being the best player in the league.
- But I'm saying is like,
Hakeem he wasn't better than MJ.
MJ was the best player,
even before he won them championships
when MJ went to go play.
MJ was still the best player in the league.
- In the world.
We talking about in the world.
- But I'm just saying Hakeem was still nice
and shit but playing in the same league.
But if you switched them two and put Kareem,
you wouldn't just say he was clear cut
the best player over MJ.
- Right. True.
- That's what I'm saying.
It's hard for Hakeem to be that great
when MJ was in the league with him.
- You can't do it.
Just like Karl Malone couldn't win them chips.
- Kareem had his time where he really didn't have anybody
that was that good in the league with him like that.
Not like MJ, like greatest of all time.
- But you can't go off that.
- I'm not saying that.
- You gotta play your era.
- I'm not saying that I'm just saying
like they both would have been second behind MJ.
- Yeah.
- I feel like you the best player in the world right now.
Like you the best player in the world right now.
You pick up the torch.
You can be the best player in the world
for another three, four, five years,
and now you the half a decade of the best player.
To be the best player in the NBA in the world.
- When we talk about best players though like,
I try not to even.
- That ain't for you to judge.
That's for us to judge.
- Yeah.
I'm not saying it's to judge,
but it's just like now when we really talking about it,
it's like we got different tastes
when we're talking about the best player.
- It's all opinion even with the old people.
Even when we talk about the older guys and the legends.
- How you dominating games.
Like these dudes really was dominating games
on the same level,
but one team was winning more.
And so we say this guy might have been the greatest.
But like these dudes actually doing
kind of the same stuff out there.
Like putting up the same dominant numbers.
- When Kobe won making the playoffs,
or going home first round.
- He was still killing.
- He was the best player in the world.
- He was still killing.
That's how I look at it.
- Like I'm talking about he's going home
first round to Phoenix.
Everybody in the league know,
that Kobe was the best player in the world.
- When I say the best,
when I look at these dudes,
I'm like this dude is unguardable by anybody on the floor.
I think he's the best guy walking on this court right now.
I seen that with Mike on every court.
And I also seen that with like Hakeem too.
Like I was like my eyes can't lie.
I seen these dudes take over every game
they had been a part of.
- I'm not taking away from nobody.
Cause it was a lot of good players.
Lot of good players in the era.
Like Barkley was a player.
- Penny.
I'm like all of these dudes was nice.
- Penny, Grant Hill.
Like you had great players.
The Dream Team was full of great players.
But to be amongst the wolves it's the leader of the pack.
It's somebody who's uno numero.
Like Jordan had to work his way up.
Like when Jordan was doing his thing,
Magic, Isiah, and Larry Bird,
they fighting to be the best player in the world.
- Yeah.
- That's one of the main reasons that I feel that Kobe
is constantly disrespected
in this whole GOAT and everything.
- But that's why I said Kobe there.
- No I'm not saying that y'all did it.
I'm just saying period.
That I feel like I literally had to guard him.
Prime, three peat,
all the way to whatever you wanna say.
Bro,
you hear me like please.
What are y'all talking about?
- [Kevin] It's ridiculous.
- My top five is MJ, Kobe, easy Kobe.
- Easy number two ever.
I don't even wanna say number two.
He's just up here.
Not a greatest but in terms of skill to me.
- It's MJ, Kobe,
Shaq,
then I'm going Lebron.
Then I go Kareem.
- See I like to put these dudes in there when they done.
When they retired though.
That's when I really get to evaluate the career.
- I really don't really use Kareem as a measuring stick,
because he like he said,
he's in the 70s and pre all of that.
And he just greatness.
I don't wanna even really mess with that.
- To me he's like one of the founding fathers
of this whole shit.
- That's what I'm saying like him, Bill Russell,
they just like over there.
They're way over there.
You don't even mess with them.
- So I put Kareem,
y'all are the towers of this whole shit.
Y'all helped build this whole thing.
So it's hard to put them in there.
Plus they big fellas.
- [Quentin] That's what I'm saying.
Like that's why I kinda just leave them over there.
- They really positional players.
Like dominant just at that position.
I'm on the block with it.
- I can't not put Shaq in there
because he the baddest dude to walk this planet.
- He's so current too though.
- That's what I'm saying like man.
- He was nothing we've ever seen.
- And he's seriously,
he transcends any,
I don't care what year,
what era,
he gonna monster heel everybody.
Nobody in no year,
no time was bigger or stronger.
They can't deal with it.
Nobody.
- [Kevin] You had to just relax while Shaq won it.
- You name em.
Darryl Dawkins, none of them.
He'll make all of them look like little kids.
Like for real he was a monster.
- He was the first one that big to move that easy.
Cause you know all the other bigs was long and lanky.
He moved so fast and he was dunking stuff so easy.
I'm like how does this dude get to play in the league.
- Like Darryl Dawkins shattered glass.
Like he brought down the whole foundations.
- The whole court.
- You hear me.
- Shaq used to dunk on people like.
Y'all played against Shaq and them prime years.
- Trust me.
- Three peat.
- That man body hurt.
Man of steel.
- They starting games off doing what?
Tossing that right down there.
- Spin around lobs and stuff.
- The number one and number two player in the league,
the number one and number two players in the league
was on the same team when we got to the league.
- But that's what I'm telling you.
- [Kevin] You had to chill for a few years.
- Guarding Kobe,
like you remember the scene in Love and Basketball
when Sanaa Lathan she defending and it's crazy.
That's my description every time guarding Kobe.
Like bro,
everybody knows it was that one point
where he literally is the one player in the league,
he might shoot a left hand.
He'll do anything.
You can't put nothing past him.
He'll do anything.
- He'll try anything.
- That's what I'm saying.
He was out there like I'll try it on you boy.
I'll try something and not even care.
Like I'll try something on you.
And being like how you out there like bro,
this dude here.
- Knowing some shit.
- What?
- He's on some shit.
- Please.
And they disrespect him constantly.
Like nobody had the mentality that he had.
Like man that man would like
it's kill everybody all the time.
Can't nobody fight me.
You say something to me I'm putting 50 on you.
And I'm not saying it.
I'm talking about literally
I'm about to try and put 50 on you.
And I'm gonna talk bad.
- '05,'06 season I think.
- [Quentin] That man was a killer.
- I was staying up late,
sitting in high school watching him going to work.
I watched the 81 point game live.
And when he got to cooking in that,
I was like this is the greatest player I've ever seen.
I really thought that that night.
He's shooting fades,
he's coming into the lane stopping on a dime.
Give you two pump fakes right before three seconds,
I'm pulling up.
- [Quentin] Playing hard, physical.
Oh okay.
- Screaming after he dunked.
- That what you? Oh okay.
- Like all the best defenders
that I heard of in the league coming up,
like before I got into the league.
The Bruce Bowens, the Shane Battiers, the Raja Bells,
like he was really going right at them, every night,
and he was really trying to punk them.
Like he really tried to show it.
Like they was good defenders.
They got paid for playing defense.
And Kobe was like no.
Stop playing with me.
- [Darius] Nobody was gonna get no name on him.
- No you weren't getting a Kobe stopper name.
Ruben Patterson.
Stop.
- Game winners on that boy.
- No he was cooking them peoples.
He's too good in this league.
Cause he was like the rest of the two guys in the league
was catch and shoot threes,
or they was great defenders,
or they couldn't really shoot,
and there was pick and roll guys.
It was not a complete two guard around at that time.
Like not real complete like Kobe.
Except for what, T Mac maybe?
- [Darius] Yeah Mac was the next thing.
- T Mac was close.
He was the closest thing.
But he still wasn't Kobe.
- [Kevin] All those two guards in the league.
- That's what I'm saying.
Like he made anybody who even had a run
to threaten the throne,
he just.
- He was cooking all of them.
- The next best two guards was AI and Ray Allen.
Was the next two best.
- Mike Redd came up a little bit after that right?
- Yeah. Mike Redd but the next best two guards
was at the time was AI and Ray Allen.
- [Quentin] And T Mac.
- But T Mac was a small forward.
- [Kevin] Yeah I looked at him more as a three.
- He was playing small forward.
T Mac was killer too.
- AI couldn't guard Kobe.
- [Quentin] No.
- I don't think Kobe could guard AI a whole game.
- No.
- Yeah they weren't a matchup.
- That's no real matchup.
- But Kobe used to try to run up on it.
Like he was.
- So we could do the better in the 90s now.
- No I wanna say one more thing man.
Stop cutting me off.
Better today or better in the 90s?
Jerseys.
- The jerseys in the 90s was better.
- The jerseys in the 90s was better.
- Yeah.
Technology better today,
but the style was better back in the 90s.
- So what's your favorite jersey from the 90s?
I know mine off the top.
The old school New Jersey Nets Drazen Petrovic joints.
- The blue with the red.
- Them joints was hard to me.
- The Suns.
That's just a classic joint.
The Suns with the side.
And the Grizzlies.
The Vancouver Grizzlies joints was fire.
- I was just finna say the Toronto Raptors though.
- But Toronto had the best one.
- The Damon Stoudemire.
- And it had the little raptor on the front with the ball.
- That was the first time,
that was like the funkiest NBA jersey of the time.
- [Darius] Toronto Raptors joint was hard.
- That was the one.
The purple joint with the stripes.
- And when Orlando dropped that black pinstripe.
- The pinstripe.
- The Chicago Bulls pinstripe
still the best jersey of all time.
- They was after though.
We bit after the Magic already did it.
- Yeah it was after the Magic.
- But that was still stupid hard.
- Oh yeah that was after the Magic.
- Yeah yeah.
So better in the 90s or now.
NBA player handshakes.
- They better now.
- [Quentin] Yeah they do everything.
- They do everything.
They back flip and they nay nay and all types of stuff.
- Yeah I miss Russell and.
- Cameron Payne.
- Cameron Payne.
They used to rock the joint.
- They used to get it in.
- I used to wonder like,
and you knew it couldn't be all rehearsal
cause they would go off board and do their own thing.
- Man, what?
- [Quentin] They just be wildin'.
- Better in the 90s,
or better now.
The layup line.
Like how they do in the video
when everybody jump when they dunk.
Like in the 90s.
- I like the regular layup line.
Get ready for the game man.
All that extra shit.
Man get back to the line.
- So it's better in the 90s?
- Yeah man.
- You couldn't touch the rim so everybody had to go up there
and get you a quick little drop in.
- And run back to half court.
Back in the half court right now, man.
- [Quentin] You get a tech if you dunk in the layup line.
- Now they let them dunk so hard in the layup line.
I'm like they gonna break the goal before the game start.
- Yeah back in the 90s was better.
- I kinda know the answer to this
but I'm gonna ask it anyway.
Better in the 90s or now.
R and B music.
- Come on man.
That's always on the radio was R and B in the 90s.
Coming up.
Only was on the radio.
Nowadays.
They popping pills all types of crazy stuff.
- That's always going on.
Even in the R and B songs you gonna have
a rapper featured in it.
You ain't just gonna get no.
- Hip hop is crazy right now.
Trap music.
- What about rap music?
Better now or in the 90s?
- See that's the thing I've been thinking about
that cause they more artistic now.
They all artists at the end of the day.
So they a little bit more artistic with the sound now.
But the straight bars back then.
Rapping about stuff back then,
the content was better.
- So he's a rapper.
- [Kevin] No I ain't no rapper.
But I have rapped before.
- Yeah I heard a song I used to listen to
the song with you and Stack Five.
- Oh yeah yeah.
Stack he's really into it.
I ain't into it like Stack.
- Shout out Stack Jack.
- I was in Atlanta when he was really going in
with the rapping stuff,
really being focused on it.
If you're stranded on an island,
and you needed five albums to get you through it.
What is your five albums
you need to get through this island?
- Black album.
- [Quentin] Okay. Hov.
- Confessions. For me, the Usher album.
- [Quentin] Usher's. Okay that's a bar.
- Gotta pick a Drake album.
- Drizzy.
- Scorpion album.
I mean that's probably the best work to me.
The new joint he dropped.
- So you like that joint?
- Yeah it had the R and B album and different vibes on that.
- That was rocking.
- Gotta have Drake.
- We got Black album, we got Usher's Confessions,
Drake's Scorpion.
- Midnight Marauders.
Gotta have Tribe vibes on there.
Tribe Called Quest.
- [Quentin] Tribe Called Quest.
- After that.
Damn that's a tough question.
Then you gotta have Ready to Die.
- Oh the Big.
Okay I'm not mad at that top five.
That's a solid five albums.
- Dance moves.
Better in the 90s, better now.
- They better now.
- Yeah there's so much now.
- There's so much.
They upgraded.
- The electric slide still lives today.
Cha Cha Slide.
Still doing that.
- [Quentin] The Casper Slide.
- Cha cha now y'all.
Cha cha again.
- [Quentin] Two times.
- Yeah you right.
- That's real.
I think I like the young kids,
the real young kids,
the little little kids that crank it.
- The little kids.
- It'd be like yo this is hilarious right now.
- Let them grownups dance on the ground.
- I ain't talking about the big kids.
Better in the 90s or now.
I know this one.
In game dunks.
- Oh yeah 90s for sure.
Man Vince Carter was windmilling easy in games.
Getting dunked on left and right.
- [Darius] It was a lot of body to body.
- Yeah it was a lot of body to body.
- I think what made it better in the 90s though
was that you got to actually show boat.
Like when Shawn Kemp cradled that joint
and dunked on Chris Gatling and then pointed at him.
Like now you get thrown out of the game for staring
or like you know something like back then you could
stare people down like Mike dunk on them
and scream and scream.
- Point at them.
- All of that.
- Shaq dunked on what's his name
and pushed him out of bounds.
- Nothing happened.
And Dudley throw the ball at him.
- Yeah that's just hoops.
- Like now it's like you can't do anything.
You scream, stare for like one second.
They're like tech,
no you can't even look at him.
But don't look at him.
So it's like, you know.
- No back then they was getting dunked on crazy.
When Vince went baseline on Chris Mullin,
I'm like why did you even try that?
How you try that in a game?
You go baseline on a random drive and you just windmill.
Come on.
Nobody's doing it.
Greatest dunker of all time.
- To see him now still do it.
- He's still out here doing it.
- He was about to dunk on Karl Anthony Towns.
If he was in the air.
Like he had seven threes the other night.
He hit seven threes.
- Shout out Vinsanity.
- He's 41.
That's amazing to see Vince Carter like that.
- Who would ever think that we would be talking about him
and his legacy and it wouldn't be about dunking?
Like it was no way that his legacy wouldn't hang on dunking
and this man then rewrote everything.
And he out there like he's breaking all kinds of records.
It's crazy.
- It's sick to me cause my first ever basketball jersey,
I'm in third grade was Vince Carter.
Now I'm playing against him.
Third grade and he's still in the league.
Like that's crazy how long he'd been around.
That's crazy.
Sixth grade.
- Football.
Better now or in the 90s?
- In the 90s for sure.
I mean it's safer now though.
It's safer now.
But football, they was hitting back then.
They was hitting.
- [Quentin] Steve Atwater. Ronnie Lott.
- Them safeties was really putting an imprint on the game.
- Linebackers was coming around on him.
- Man what.
But now defensive lineman.
I seen a defensive lineman run a 4.4 the other day.
I'm like these boys are growing.
- The DK what's his name?
- Oh yeah yeah.
- Metcalf, DK Metcalf.
- He's a physical specimen.
He ran like 4.3.
He lift like 27 times on a 225 rack.
I'm like who is this dude.
- He look like a linebacker.
He looked crazy.
- He a receiver?
- Yeah receiver.
- He gonna be wreaking havoc out there.
- That's like the 2.0 TO.
Let's see if he can live up to it.
- Man that's a lot to put on him.
- Celebrations.
Better now or better in the 90s.
- Man the 90s, man.
That's where it started really to be honest.
They had to reign y'all in,
they had to tone it down with y'all now we can't do nothing.
Cause y'all done wild out for about 10, 11 years.
- They didn't use to like when we did that.
Some of the coaches.
They didn't use to like what we did.
You know, always we wanna thank you for rocking with us,
right now this the Q Rich, D Miles,
the Knuckleheads live on location.
We at San Francisco,
straight across from the Golden Gate Bridge over there.
My man.
Easy money, aka KD brought us into his space man.
Rocking with us.
We definitely appreciate it man.
Much love.
- No doubt man.
("Going Bad" by Meek Mill featuring Drake)
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Kevin Durant joins Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson & Darius Miles | The Players' Tribune

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張兆毅 published on August 15, 2019
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