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“The game would be easy for MJ, Bird and Magic nowadays”

Dee BrownHow about you for Bulls coach? You were a floor leader. Would Pippen be a good choice?

Thanks for the endorsement but I have no interest in getting back into coaching at this time. Pippen would be a person for mystique, but doesn’t have any coaching experience and hasn’t expressed interest in everyday coaching.

Should Shannon Brown and Larry Hughes be coached to be the Bulls’ point guard? Hinrich cannot penetrate or pass to the post. Is that the reason Chandler was a flop in Chicago?

Neither one of those guys are pure or natural point guards so you’re better off sticking with Hinrich and seeing if he improves his point guard skills. A couple of years ago, before injuries, he was a very good point guard and was invited to USA Basketball tryouts. Chandler wasn’t a flop in Chicago. He was young and inexperienced and still developing as a player. Chris Paul is so good for him. The system in New Orleans is great for him also.

After all these years, what is you feeling towards the Wellesley police department for the way they treated you? Was it racial profiling?

I had no ill feelings towards Wellesley police then and still don’t. Things like that happen all the time to regular African- Americans and other minorities but doesn’t garner media attention if there’s no celebrity involved. Racial profiling is in our society, but I think that event was more of mistaken identity than racial profiling. Even after the event, I chose to stay in Wellesley and became good friends with the police department and community leaders.

Could you have done a better job running the Knicks than Isiah did if you were blind-folded for the entire 4 1/2 years just as you were blind-folded during your Slam Dunk Contest victory?

Funny! Everyone can say they would have done a lot of things different after you see the mess that the Knicks are in now. It goes back to Scott Layden, the GM before Isiah, and snowballed after that. Isiah made some bad personnel decisions, but he did draft well. When you’re over the salary cap and play in New York, people want results now. So Isiah tried to do that, but the pieces didn’t fit together and he didn’t do a good job coaching them. We’ll see what Mike D’Antoni does with the same pieces.

Is it a good solution for the Phoenix Suns to add a new coach instead of Mike D’Antoni?

If the coach doesn’t feel wanted or doesn’t have the support of upper management after very successful years there, then it’s time for all parties to move on. And that’s what D’Antoni did by going to the Knicks. It’s going to be interesting who they hire to play that style… Or a different style because of the age of Nash and O’Neal.

I have a question… I consider Tim Duncan the best power forward ever, but many would laugh at that opinion. What is your opinion on Tim. Is he better than Sir Charles, Malone and McHale?

I would have to put him in the Top 2 slightly behind McHale. I played with McHale and he was unstoppable in the post. And was a great defender. And think of the players he played against in those days. Sir Charles, Malone, Worthy, Horace Grant, Rodman, Tom Chambers, Oakley… There is a big list of great players that played power forwards on offense and defense during the 80s and early 90s. Duncan has four rings and McHale has three rings. Love Duncan, but McHale is my man.

I wanted to know your opinion on Steve Nash. As I reflect on his past seasons, especially his playoff series, I often wonder why his play is to held to such high regard. He no longer can consistently outscore the opposing point guard and defensively he is a liability. Why is he a perennial All-NBAer and All-Star when his defensive play is non-existent?

I think it is what he did for the Suns team. He made players better. The system was perfect for him and he used it to his advantage. Nash has never been a great defender, so that’s not new. I used to love playing against Nash because he wasn’t a great defender and had my best games against him. He got better as he got older, but the key is that he’s getting older. Fans like him and that’s why he gets voted in. He does make the Suns go, so he deserves all the awards and accomplishments he has received.

Do you feel that the basketball sideshow And1 sends a bad message to the young kids? It shows the kids that trying to over dribble and throwing the basketball off of people’s heads is more important than learning how to hit a mid-range jump shot. Or do people understand that it’s more of a circus sideshow rather than basketball?

I think it’s basketball entertainment, but not how you want kids to view the way the game is played. It shows bad habits and things you can’t do in a real game. It’s fun to watch if you use it as that. The guys who play are very talented and know the game, but they understand that is entertainment also. So if young kids want to learn fundamentals by watching a game, I suggest they watch women’s college basketball.

What is it like playing in the NBA? What was your drive in succeeding in this league? In addition, what was your food meal plan like (in terms of calories, categories of food) during the season and playoff series?

Playing in the NBA is the best of everything. The best players, arenas and fans. My motivation and drive was that I wanted to be the best that I could be and if that got me to NBA that was great. And once I got there, I knew other players wanted to be in my position, so I had to always work extra hard to make sure I was at the top of my game. You eat as healthy as possible to maintain your weight during the season because you lost so much playing over 100 games a year. You ate good carbs and and tried to refuel before and after the games. Recovery was the key to being a successful player because the games and practices where everyday for eight months.

This year’s playoffs have been the most physical playoffs in a long time, and I’m loving it. It seems nowadays that players, refs and even announcers overreact to hard fouls and physical play. Do you feel that the league should try to move back a little to a more physical style of play that would create more rivalries? And how do you think todays NBA stars would handle a more physical game? Guys like MJ, Malone and Barkley would go right at the physical play. How would LBJ and Chris Paul react if they got the physical abuse that those former NBA stars received?

There’s a difference between physical and dirty play. When I played in the 90s, the game was very physical. Players drove to basket and knew there was going to be some contact and layups were not allowed against very good teams. Because of the rule changes and the way fans view the game, they don’t want much physical play. They want more flowing basketball games, which takes out the physical nature of players at times and then when you see a hard foul, it’s called a flagrant. MJ, Bird and Magic played in those physical days and that was how the game was played. The game nowadays would be easy for them because they would live at the foul line. Guys like Barkley, Oakley, Rodman, Xavier McDaniel and those types of players would be in foul trouble now because the game is not as physical. Guys like LBJ, Kobe and Paul could adapt to that play because they are very special players and would use those rules to benefit them.

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