Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson on Clippers, Lamar Odom, Donald Sterling, Suns, Knicks, and more

Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson on Clippers, Lamar Odom, Donald Sterling, Suns, Knicks, and more


Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson on Clippers, Lamar Odom, Donald Sterling, Suns, Knicks, and more

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HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto is joined by former NBA players and current Players’ Tribune Knuckleheads podcast hosts Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles to discuss their time playing for the Clippers, including Lamar Odom, Michael Olowokandi, Donald Sterling, etc. Plus, Richardson’s time with the Suns and Knicks, whether Miles believes high school kids should be able to go pro like he did, what his career could’ve been if he was healthy, and more on the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast.

For more interviews with players, coaches, and media members, be sure to like and subscribe to the HoopsHype podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Listen to the podcast above or check out some snippets of the conversation in a transcribed version below.

1:05 How did you two get into podcasting?

Miles: I did an article, and Q assisted me on it on The Players’ Tribune. After we did the article, they liked what we did together and just came up with doing the show. We didn’t know what a podcast was at first. Then, we started to know what it is and how it was formed. We came together and started doing it.

1:50 You recently had Bam Adebayo and Stephen Curry as guests. What’s next for the show?

Richardson: Our vision is to continue. I feel like we bring a unique perspective of some of your favorite hoopers that come through. There are so many more players to get and continue to bring their stories from a player-to-player standpoint. This season, coming up, we’ve got some great guests with Tyronn Lue, Tracy McGrady, Teresa Weatherspoon, CJ McCollum, Rashard Lewis, Michael Finley, and others. We feel like the formula that we have, and the style we have, isn’t really an interview when we sit down with guys. We sit down, and we know that we present a safe space for those guys to come and they feel comfortable. I think that’s what really breads the good content and the stories we get. We know that we’re talking to our peers.

4:10 What have you both been up to since leaving the NBA?

Miles: Doing the podcast mostly. I’m trying to create other shows outside the podcast and build them around that.

Richardson: That’s a big part of everything we’re doing. The podcast for Darius and Me has been the platform that has led us into this second career after actually playing professionally. We’re definitely building out the podcast and the Knuckleheads as a platform continuing to bring unique stories and all our content to you in different ways. We’re not being closed to doing other things. We’re also involved in different types of media and are open to those things.

Miles: I do high school classics that I just started doing with Showtime.

9:45 Playing together for Clippers as teenagers

Miles: The only time I played with guys my age was when I played in high school. Off the court, I was always playing with college and pro guys since I was 15. That was normal to me, but the lifestyle wasn’t normal. Going to LA, one of the biggest cities in America, was surreal seeing palm trees, and the weather was good. It rained a little more than I thought. It was rough to adjust to it, but having Q (Quentin), Keyon (Dooling), Lamar (Odom) as a young squad where we all related, every time we were on the road, we’d all go out together. We did everything together. We played video games together. We were the youngest team ever in the league.

Richardson: We were the first and only team of our kind that had five core guys that were literally (pause), Me, Corey (Maggette), Odom, Keyon were all 19. Miles was 18. (Michael) Olowokandi was maybe 21. We were all at the starting lines of our careers. Lamar was the big dog because he was a year older than us, and he was All-Rookie and third in the Rookie of the Year.

Like you said about going out, we got rejected. Me and D Miles got rejected at clubs on the regular until we got out there and started to hang out with Lamar, and we met the right people. We found out the places that were going to look out for us and they just didn’t care at certain places. We’d go where we knew we could get in. Prior to that, we were sitting out there like lames plenty of times like, “damn.” “Nah. Y’all can’t get in here young fellas.” I used to always say it was Miles’ fault. I was the 18th pick. He was the face. Everybody recognized him like, “Man, you the little high school boy.” It was over with right there. He was the name, the number three pick, the highest high school pick at this point.

14:30 Lamar Odom

Miles: I feel like we had the best Lamar Odom out of the Lakers Lamar. The Lakers Lamar fit a system, but the Lamar we played with was unleashed. He used to go at folks every night. Left-handed floaters, three-pointers, pull-ups, post-ups, dunking on folks. He used to go ham with us. When I got there, he was definitely my guy. We played the same position, so I used to go at him crazy hard. I loved how smooth he was with the left hand.

Richardson: You didn’t go at him crazy hard.

Miles: I did go at him crazy hard. I used to dunk on Lamar at practice all the time.

Richardson: Lamar was the dude. When we got there, out of us, he was the superstar of the team. We all felt like he was unbelievably talented. As D Miles said, he probably had a higher ceiling or another level. To know Lamar, it’s to know why he played like that. He was selfless. He loved to pass and do all that other stuff and get guys involved. He’d rather get 17 or 18 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and a couple of blocks than get 30 points any day. That’s why he worked so well wherever he went. When he went to the Lakers, it was the perfect fit for that system because he was an unselfish player.

17:40 Michael Olowokandi

Richardson: This is the part people don’t know. Olowokandi didn’t grow up like the rest of us. He didn’t play basketball until he got to college. He was like on some real Prince Akeem stuff (Coming to America) living overseas and said he wanted to come to college in California. He picked Pacific. The coach saw him on campus like, “Come here, son. You need to do this (basketball).” He had never played basketball before. Olowokandi played more soccer. To know that he went from never playing to becoming the No. 1 pick, that’s an accomplishment. People that pick up basketball that late don’t get to go to the NBA and be a professional athlete.

Miles: When he was playing with us, he was putting it together just like all of us. All of us had some type of talent in us to do a lot of things. Everybody had their own niche. That’s why it worked so much. We pushed each other, and we rooted for each other just as hard. With him, he was just trying to put it together. He was the No. 1 pick. He tried his best to be as good as he could be, and he was a good teammate.

Richardson: At the end of the day, he was a good teammate. Look at the longevity of his career. He was impactful during his career. No matter what people say, I have very low respect for people that, if you didn’t walk in these shoes and play in the NBA and go through what these guys had to go through, I can’t take your word for it. I can listen when my peers are going to be critical of each other because we all had to go through the same thing. For people and fans that don’t know what it takes to go through this thing day to day, it’s tough for me to listen and they call somebody a bust and names. Everybody that plays in that league knows the value each teammate and everybody has. They know they can play, and there are a lot of people that can play a lot better than they’re allowed to play, but we all have to play our roles in the NBA.

21:15 Donald Sterling

Miles: He just got the team a few years before we got there. We saw him at the games or team functions and stuff like that. He was a little weird to us. We were young. He looked like one of the guys on TV or something.

Richardson: He started to be more present towards the end. I played for four years there. Maybe years three or four, he became more present. We weren’t privy to any of the weird or crazy stuff. I think he started to be around more right after I left. When I started to hear some of the different stories, I was gone by then. We thought he was flamboyant and a little different, but we had seen a lot of that in LA.

23:05 Quentin Richardson’s time with the Suns and thoughts on Mike D’Antoni, Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson

Richardson: As far as success and winning, that’s the farthest I’ve made it and the closest I got to winning a championship in my career. That team was super fun. We had Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson. We basically came out of nowhere. They had us picked to finish last in the division that season, and we came in and took everything by storm. We all always say that we felt like that version, the 2004-05 version of the Suns, if we had a chance to run it back for two or three years, we absolutely feel we would’ve gotten a championship out of that. We had one year, and they traded me to New York, and Joe went to the Hawks. After that, it was never the same version.

25:40 Were you surprised the Suns never won a title after that?

Richardson: Yeah, I was. I could say I was surprised, but I also understood too because the competitor in me felt like if Me and Joe were still there, we would’ve. Joe became an All-Star. I never became an All-Star, but I felt the way we fit in with that team that if you would’ve put some of those complementary pieces around that core, we would’ve definitely won. I felt like I was more exchangeable, but what Joe was, they missed that. Joe was literally the starting two or three, but he was the backup point guard when Steve went out. Leandro Barbosa wasn’t there yet. He was still our shooting guard, and he wasn’t as polished as he became. They brought in Raja (Bell), but they never got that backup point guard situation they had with Joe shored up.

27:30 Quentin Richardson’s time with the Knicks

Richardson: You have to look at the timing of everything. When you throw the names out there, it sounds crazy. When you look at the timing of everything and meshing of everything, it was like mixing oil with (inaudible). You had Larry Brown, who was an all-time great coach, one of my favorite coaches, but we all know coach Brown is one of the sternest coaches there was. You had guys like Jalen Rose, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Kelvin Cato, Jerome James. All these veteran guys were more towards the backend of their careers than their primes. Then you had David Lee and Jamal Crawford. Lee was a rookie when he got there. Nate Robinson was a rookie. Renaldo Balkman was a rookie. The mix was crazy. It was a chaotic culture they came into. That was the reason why everything was going haywire at the time.

29:55 Larry Brown and Stephon Marbury feud

Richardson: I think that was a product of a horrible season. The season didn’t go the way everybody wanted it to go. Everybody had expectations. In New York, the noise is as loud as it is anywhere. Coach Brown is a strict coach, and he wanted us to play in a way that Stephon wasn’t accustomed to right away. They had their differences about things. It happens with a million different teams all the time.

31:49 Isiah Thomas as a Knicks executive

Richardson: He was bringing killers in. Everybody you name. Eddy (Curry). He had a career year. Z-Bo (Zach Randolph) came in and did what he always did. I think the year after coach Brown left, Stephon (Marbury) had a good year before he got injured. I think that was the year we got close to making the playoffs, but then everybody got injured at the end of the year. I always said about Zeke (Isiah Thomas) as an executive, if you look at the people he drafted and the people he signed in Toronto, Indiana, and New York, he was signing players. It may not have always gone down the right way, or they fit, but he was signing dudes that were real hoopers. I had nothing but respect for what he was trying to do and put together. He drafted Wilson Chandler when nobody would’ve drafted him, and he turned out to be a player in the league.

34:00 Should kids be able to go pro out of high school?

Miles: Yeah, I think they definitely should let kids make that choice for themselves. The organizations just have to do their job if they want to take a chance on it. I feel like straight out of high school kids, the ones who’ve had good careers, we’ve had a lot of great ones on the track record. One of them is LeBron James.

35:13 What was it like playing with LeBron when he was a rookie?

Miles: Of course, we didn’t know he was going to become who he is now, but the respect level was definitely there because he could actually play. His skill level was all the way there. I watched him his whole senior year. We won 18 games that year, and he was the hottest name in Ohio at the time. We weren’t, and we were the professional team. When he got there, we knew he could play. There wasn’t a question about that. It was do we put it all on him right now, or do you slowly bring him into the forefront? What Paul Silas did was slowly bring him into the forefront.

36:50 What could Darius Miles have been if he was healthy?

Miles: I was dealing with knee injuries since year three. When I got traded, I was coming off of knee surgery. If I could’ve played and done what I wanted to do, what my mom was telling me to do, I think I would’ve had a nice career. I think I finally would’ve gotten on a team that was winning basketball (games). All the teams I played for were in a rebuild or starting over. I think I definitely would’ve had a nicer career.

38:12 How would you evaluate your careers?

Miles: I’m content with my peers respecting my game. That’s all I can want from them. When I was on the court, I’m not a liability or anything. My peers respected what I brought to the table when I got between the lines. That’s all I could ask for. I feel like I got that from them. People know I could hoop. I’m cool with that.

Richardson: Everybody can look and see what our accomplishments were and our averages. For me, when we played in the ‘05 era, Kobe (Bryant) was the dude. We got a chance to sit down with Kobe on our show and have an episode. Before, during and after, he let us know the respect he had for us, what we did and how we brought it on a nightly basis. The way he could describe our game let us know that he knew how we brought it. I don’t care who you were. When you played in our era, you wanted the best to see you. Kobe was the best. He let us know that he saw what we were doing, and he acknowledged and respected it. To me, that was enough respect right there. Kobe was the best, and whoever you are, that’s what you aim for, and Shaq too.

40:15 Is there anything you’d change?

Miles: There are a million things that I’d do differently, but there are a lot of things that I’d do the same. My teammates and coaches, I had a chance to be around. You only live once. You’ve got to live with that. I’m blessed to be around some of those organizations. For the Clippers to still acknowledge me after only playing two years, I feel like I’m a diehard Clipper. To get all that is truly a blessing. I really wouldn’t change anything, but there are a million things if you think about it.

Richardson: I’m the type of person that says everything happens for a reason. You change one thing, and I might not have my family or my kids. I might not be sitting where I’m sitting. I’m a faithful person. I think God has a plan, and I feel like this is the way it was supposed to go. We were supposed to go through what we went through and learn the things we learned. Now, we’re better me for it, both of us. We’re able to go into the later years of our life with more knowledge and being better people.

You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto), Quentin Richardson (@QRich) and Darius Miles (@21Blackking) on Twitter. 

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