One-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star Shawn Marion is unwinding now after 16 years in the league. He recently sat down with HoopsHype to talk about his life these days and his very accomplished basketball career.
Are you enjoying life post-retirement?
Shawn Marion: It’s pretty awesome. It’s an interesting step because you’ve been playing ball forever and it suddenly just stops. But on the brighter side, I get to spend time with my son, I watch him do bigger and better things every day and it’s pretty awesome and that’s all I’m focusing on right now.
How do you feel about the way your career ended, not playing so much with the Cavaliers in the playoffs?
SM: I have mixed emotions about it, but what is done is done. I felt it was time for me to walk away from the game. I think I was still able to do some things on the floor, but I decided I wanted to devote my time and my energy to my son.
Mark Cuban said once you were done playing you were going to have a job waiting for you in Dallas. Do you think that’s going to happen eventually?
SM: Anything is possible. Me and him talk. I’m definitely a Mavs fan for life. We did something there that was amazing. We won a championship together. That bond is going to always be there. Mark Cuban was awesome as an owner. He’s unlike any other owner because he’s a fan first. Great guy.
Do you think you would have won a second championship there had they re-signed Tyson Chandler and kept the team together?
SM: It’s possible, I don’t know. You don’t know until you get there. But if you keep the team together and everybody stays healthy, probably so.
Did the championship ring in Dallas make up for not being able to win it in Phoenix?
SM: That’s tough. I still wanted to win it in Phoenix, but just winning one in itself it was the ultimate goal. But I wish I could have another one in Phoenix.
What do you think is the main thing that kept you from winning one in Phoenix?
SM: I think we had everything we needed, but we relied too heavily on our starters.
Do you take pride in watching teams play today kind of like you played in Phoenix back in the day?
SM: Not at all. It’s just the way the league is moving towards. But it’s more exciting and everybody gets more involved, plus all the bigs retired! We don’t have bigs in the league anymore. The traditional bigs are extinct. The big guys today are almost like face-up type fours.
Maybe you would be playing center in the NBA today like Draymond Green does.
SM: Possibly! Anything is possible now with the way lineups are.
You were a bit underrated in the NBA during your career. With the emphasis on analytics and advanced stats, where you look pretty good, do you think you would be more properly rated today?
SM: I probably would have $300 million! (laughs). I would be better rated. I was great when I was playing and I had a great career. But now?! Sky is the limit.
Any bitterness about it?
SM: Not at all. Somebody told me jokingly I was born 10 years too soon (laughs). But that’s OK. Everything happens for a reason and I take nothing for granted. I was able to play against great, great players. It was fun. There’s great guys I was able to go against night in and night out. It was awesome. Especially in the Western Conference.
Do you think you’re going to have a chance to make the Hall of Fame? Are you going to campaign for yourself?
SM: Why would I campaign for myself? You campaign for me.
OK, I’m going to.
SM: You can do that for me… Look, I think my accomplishments and my numbers speak for themselves. I was able to do things on the floor that nobody was able to do at my height and size.