On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by 13-year NBA veteran DeShawn Stevenson. They discuss his jump from high school to the NBA, being compared to Michael Jordan before the 2000 draft, struggling with his prep-to-pro transition, winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, his beef with LeBron James (which led to a Jay-Z diss track), playing in the Big3 and more. Time-stamps below.
:35: Stevenson talks about what a typical day is like for him these days, including his training for the upcoming Big3 season.
1:30: In high school, Stevenson averaged 30.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists, prompting Roy Williams to call him “my most gifted recruit ever.” Stevenson looks back on those days and what it was like dominating his peers.
2:20: Stevenson discusses his decision to go straight to the NBA out of high school.
2:45: During the pre-draft process, a top draft expert compared Stevenson to Michael Jordan. He talks about the first time he saw this and whether he felt additional pressure or heightened expectations due to the comparison.
4:45: Stevenson shares when he realized that playing in the NBA was actually a realistic possibility.
5:40: Despite the hype, Stevenson went No. 23 to the Utah Jazz in the 2000 NBA Draft. He recalls what it was like going through draft night and slipping later than most mock drafts had him projected.
8:10: Stevenson had a difficult time making the prep-to-pros transition because he was on an older Jazz team that was focused on contending. He talks about the hardest parts of his NBA adjustment.
10:30: There’s a lot of debate about whether the NBA should get rid of the one-and-done rule. Stevenson weighs in on whether prospects should have to attend college.
14:35: One of the things that made Stevenson’s NBA transition so tough was his veteran teammates. He talks about how it was difficult being on a team where he couldn’t relate to anyone and his teammates saw him as a threat to their livelihood.
17:50: Stevenson played 13 years in the league and started over 500 games. He talks about the keys to his longevity.
19:40: In 2011, everyone felt the Miami Heat would win the championship with the Big Three. However, Stevenson and the Mavericks were confident from the start and pulled off the upset. Stevenson talks about how they managed to win that series.
21:05: Stevenson feels if the Mavericks had kept that championship team together, they would’ve repeated as champs the following year. It’s something that still bothers him to this day.
22:40: During the 2011 NBA Finals against Dallas, LeBron was extremely passive and averaged just 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists. Stevenson talks about LeBron’s play during the series.
25:55: Stevenson shares what was said that prompted his beef with LeBron, which became a huge storyline during the 2008 NBA playoffs. Soulja Boy got involved along with Jay-Z, who dropped a diss track against Stevenson. DeShawn talks about how crazy that was and how it nearly got out of hand.
34:10: Stevenson talks about his experience playing in the Big3 for the third consecutive season and his responsibilities now that he’s a team captain (which means he builds the squad and is essentially the GM).
37:00: The league has added big names like Gilbert Arenas, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Lamar Odom, Stromile Swift and Greg Oden among others. He discusses the additions and how big the league could eventually become.
40:30: Stevenson went from starting 31 games in the 2013-14 NBA season to never playing again. He shares why general managers were hesitant to sign him following that final season with the Atlanta Hawks.
42:30: Stevenson famously had a working ATM machine in his home, which was a gift from his financial adviser. He shares whether he still has it.
This episode is sponsored by The No Chill Podcast, which is hosted by Gilbert Arenas and Mike Botticello. It’s a a raw, unfiltered, unpredictable podcast that breaks down all things NBA. Listen on Himalaya.