Were sneakers a big part of your life growing up?
Absolutely. My favorites were most definitely the Jordans. For some reason, I loved the patent leather ones, and also the ones that had solid black on the toe, on the front toe part, in patent leather. I wore mostly Nikes when I played. Guys never wanted to play in their Jordans. They just wanted to wear them to school and show them off.
What did you play in back then?
You know what’s funny? Huaraches were one of my favorites back when I was younger and they still are now. Last season, I wore the Huaraches in the Playoffs. I love them. The most important thing on a shoe, to me, is the cushioning on the inside, the comfort level. And the support around the ankle. The support can’t be too low. I don’t like playing in new shoes so I don’t switch up shoes very often during the season. I’d say I switch every 10-15 games. When I’m done with a pair, I sign them and give them to the kids in the arena who waited around or to people for an auction.
Favorite shoe of all time?
Hmm…that would be two. I would say the Scottie Pippens and the patent leather Jordans. The Pippens were solid black with an air bubble all the way around the shoe.
Was basketball always your first sport?
Growing up, I played football in addition to basketball. I was a receiver. Football, that was my love, especially growing up in Texas. Football is a big thing in Texas. I played in little league, middle school, and then I got to high school and they made me choose. I grew six inches in one summer and that kind of told me I should play basketball!
Now that it’s been a while, how has the move from Seattle been?
It was different. I had a weird feeling in my stomach when I knew I was going to be changing teams, because honestly, I grew from a little kid into a man there. And I made a name for myself in Seattle. And then to change teams, it was a little hard, because I miss the city of Seattle, I got to know the fans, got acclimated to the city. It was like a home. But then again, it was good to come to Florida. The move brought a new energy. Coming here, I’m a lot closer to Houston, which is where my family is. It makes it a little easier for them to come visit me during the year.
And the weather!
The weather! The weather is better! It’s like night and day. In Seattle, when I would go out, I always had an umbrella and extra clothes because it was gonna be cold and rainy. Now, during the season when I get off the team plane, I have to change into shorts and t-shirts! We all have our suits on and then when we land, we change into shorts and t-shirts because it’s so warm!
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