Was basketball always something you wanted to do career-wise?
I always thought this would be my life. It was basketball and nothing else. It’s all I wanted to do my whole life. Now, I’m starting to get into my prime. I’m 27 years old, going into my eighth year, and all I want to do is win games. Hopefully one day I get a chance to win a championship.

Were you a big sneaker guy growing up?
When I was young, the colors of the shoes were what got me. That was it. The Pennys, all those. Now that I’m older and can afford them, I want the most exclusive joints ever. You save ’em up from when you were a kid and now no one has ’em anymore and you rock ’em. When I was growing up, the coolest shoes were the Pennys.

Everyone has their favorites. Which were yours back in the day?
My favorite shoe was the Pennys, man, the white and blue from when he was in Orlando. And they came back out. Growing up, it was really hard ’cause I was like a size 13 from 6th grade on! So it was really hard to get shoes. Yup! A 13 in 6th grade! Those Pennys, man, man, they were $150 or so. I think I had to cut like two yards, it took like almost two days to do it. Cut up the whole yard, cut grass, pulled weeds, just to get the money to get the Pennys. It took a long time. The Air Max’s back in ’95, too. It was pretty much the hottest shoe around here, in Saginaw.

So you still buy new ones?
Yeah, I still buy ’em, oh yeah. Aww, man, I have close to 100, 150 pair now. I got a big foot, a 15, so it’s hard for me to find my size.

What do you love about kicks? What makes them so special to you?
I think it’s the tongue. It’s so important because you have to put your jeans behind the tongue. And you know the ones you can’t do that with…you have to wear shorts with those. You gotta have the outfit to go with it first of all, you know? The shoes make the outfit. Most people think the outfit makes the shoes, but it’s the other way around. You gotta show them off. It makes the outfit!

Do you have any exciting plans for your time off this summer?
During the season I don’t have much time to see my family, so I’m glad to take time to see friends, family, relax, play with my kids. I have two boys and a girl. We might go to a family resort, just relax.

Are your kids into kicks?
They’re a little too young now. My sons are 8 months and 2 years old. And my daughter is older but not into shoes yet. But when I get a couple of sneakers, I grab a couple for them. I’m getting them all ready!

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