Top Stories

Desmond Mason Rumors

All NBA Players
Desmond Mason
Desmond Mason
Position: -
Born: 10/11/77
Height: 6-5 / 1.96
Weight:222 lbs. / 100.7 kg.
Earnings: $37,641,002 ($56,369,680*)
This is the latest in a monthly series in which industry leaders describe the projects and products that give them the most joy and pride. This month, former NBA player and visual artist Desmond Mason reflects on the process of creating “The Wall” in his Oklahoma studio. Desmond Mason: “I’ve always seen art as a way of expressing my feelings, a way to escape my situation, or a way to simply be creative. I’ve learned so much about myself through my creative processes and I’ve always tried to take that knowledge and apply it to my life or the lives of others. Each piece I do has a special place in my heart because it is directly attached to my emotions and my life’s journey. Some of the pieces I’ve created have had significance or importance due to my emotional state, some due to the style, efficiency or creative flow at that time, and some simply because I thought they were my best works. Art is completely subjective and that’s valid even for the artist that actually creates the art piece. Some pieces I’ve created I loved and others I hated or highly dislike, but all in all, I enjoyed the process of creating each one.”
Stern asked to buy one of his drawings featured in the magazine — a portrait of Al Pacino in “Carlito’s Way.” “Is he the consigliere of the Gambino family? What is going on?” Mason recalls thinking at the time. Stern paid $500 for the work, though Mason now admits he was so flattered, he would have given it to him for free. The unconventional exchange between commish and first-year player was just the tipoff for Mason’s not-so-average life off the court.
Mason has since shed his basketball persona for his true passion, being an artist. In his return, Mason filled Axis’ Pioneer Square gallery with abstract works on various mediums for a private exhibition benefiting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. In the center of the 18-piece collection was a new piece specifically for the show titled “The Irony of Darks and Lights.” The abstract painting on wood panel looks as if peering through thick evergreens to view Lake Washington. “It has a very serene and soft feel,” Mason said. “I miss driving across the lake on the 520 and getting into downtown and seeing the Space Needle. Even though it was busy and a lot of traffic, for me, it had a serenity.”
After Mason’s debut, his next seven shows sold out, making his retirement from the NBA in 2009 a smooth transition. His family of four is based in Oklahoma City, and he holds an average of eight exhibitions annually that span the globe. Unlike his debut in 2004, returning to Seattle and seeing his work sell for $4,000 to $10,000 assures Mason he’s on the right path. “I understand what basketball gave me the opportunity to do,” he said. “It gave me a platform to display my art on a high level. But no one is going to buy a painting from Desmond Mason for $15,000 just because he played for the Seattle Sonics and Milwaukee Bucks. There’s a limit. Now, it’s not so much about me playing basketball. It’s more about they love what they’re looking at.”