One of the most common questions professional athletes get asked has to do with life in whatever league you happen to play in. People want to hear about the wild side of life in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and of course, the NBA.
If you are a guy like me that happened to be on the roster with a lot of big names, they want to know the wildest thing you did with or saw so-and-so do.
I did get to play with some great ones. I was in Seattle when Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton were getting their careers started. When I was with the Lakers, there was Kobe, Shaq, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Derek Fisher—and it was LA!
I’ve played with or been on the roster with a lot of the best players of the modern era of basketball. So, when people ask me for stories, they think I’m going to spill something juicy on a superstar.
When I plead the fifth, they are disappointed. But you have to understand my side of it.
We were all young men developing and accomplishing things that maybe 1% of the populous could even dream of doing. We were unique individuals that had been blessed with the ability to play the great game of basketball at an extremely high level.
No one can understand what it is like to play in the NBA quite like another player can, and that sort of connection forges some pretty tight bonds. It creates a fraternity.
Like any fraternity, the best thing about the fraternity of the NBA is the names are never spoken to protect the innocent and guilty to a certain degree, no loose lips.
Do I regret anything from those days? Heck no! My time in the NBA involved some of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I still have life-long friends from my playing days. I wouldn’t trade that time, any of the experiences I had, or any of those friends for anything.
I know people would rather hear something crazy involving Kobe or Shaq or just something crazy in general—but I can’t do that to my boys. I have to protect them and to a degree myself as well.
Now, if I ever get clearance from the parties involved, then we might have something to talk about then. But until that happens…
No loose lips.