The season is is winding down, and the playoffs are on the horizon. This year has been full of storylines, and one of the things I try to do on a weekly basis is to take the burning questions amongst basketball enthusiasts directly to the athletes. The same arguments that I hear in the barbershop, I take into the practice facility or locker rooms on game day to get the opinions from the players themselves.
Like the name of this column, I do my best to stick to the script. I have inquired with some of biggest and brightest names around the league to see the similarities and differences.
The Orlando Magic were visiting Philadelphia this past weekend, and I was looking forward to covering the game because I wanted to speak with Aaron Gordon. Not only is he always straight up and honest, he also quickly made his mark as one of the young, up-and-coming exciting players.
I often go to a team’s shootaround on gameday to speak with the team and gathers some quotes, however for this particular contest, gametime began at a rare 5 p.m., so the Magic didn’t have the morning practice session. This meant that the media availability after the game would be vital to me getting what I needed.
Current events are tricky, and sometimes they can make or break an interview. Gordon played collegiately at the University of Arizona, and the program and the NCAA has come under fire recently, nonetheless, he took some time post game to speak to address it publicly. He didn’t have to do that, yet there he was in a very sincere manner, going to bat for his college coach Sean Miller.
He mood was somber and I wanted to respect his space and not ask any further questions. I contemplated for a moment on asking Aaron Afflalo for a few minutes, then I decided to go with my initial plan. After a few seconds of awkward silence, I struck up a conversation with Aaron Gordon, and after a while, we were laughing and joking.
When did you know that you could be an NBA player?
I’ve felt that way since I was this high school. It’s something that I always wanted to do. Some kids say they want to be an astronaut and I told my teacher that I wanted to be an NBA player.
Was there a moment in high school or college?
No, actually I was in middle school. I had 29 points and my homie had 2 [points] and we won 31-29. I haven’t looked back since.
You and Zack LaVine put on a show in the dunk contest in . A lot of people think you were robbed. What are your thoughts?
Bismack Biyombo jumps into the conversation
Biyombo: What people? No, he wasn’t…I was there.
People say that he should have won, the talk is out there.
I made one of the best dunks of all-time.
In the dunk contest?
Yes in the dunk contest. Top five!
Biyombo: Okay, yeah. I have to give you that. When you went under your legs and dunked it, that was nice.
Who would you say are your top five in-game dunkers of all time?
Vince! Then I would have to say, Blake Griffin, when he was younger he was definitely a great game dunker…Michael Jordan, Dominque and Dr. J.
Let’s talk sneakers. I see you with the Air Max 95.
Yo, I’m a kid from California, I don’t have…my kick game is so low—I have no kick game.
So what are you wearing? Some Vans?
I have Converse. If I could wear one pair of shoes for the rest of my life it would be the low-top original pair of Converse [Chuck Taylor All-Star].
Really? To kick it?
To kick it bro! Straight kick it.
So what made you wear Air Max 95?
They feel good. They feel good on my feet. I’ve also stepped my game up to red bottoms, so my kick game is starting to come around.
That’s what’s up…so on the court you are going for comfort?
Yeah, I go for comfort, that’s pretty much it—comfort, grip, durability, and if they’re light [weight].