Zach LaVine Talks Destiny 2, Kobes and Dunking

by May 22, 2017
Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine’s 2016-17 season was unfortunately cut short when he went down with an ACL tear in early February. The 21-year-old was getting buckets before that, though. He went off for a career-best 37 points in November and then topped that with a 40-point performance in December. He became a knockdown shooter, either off the catch or off the bounce. And speaking of bounce:

Last week, LaVine was one of the first people to get their hands on the all-new Destiny 2 (releasing September 8). We caught up with a very hyped LaVine after he had ran through the game a little bit.

SLAM: You’re one of the first people to play Destiny 2. What’s your reaction?

Zach LaVine: It’s ridiculous. They’ve got so many new, different things in the game. The guns, the gameplay, it’s a totally different vibe. It made my day.

SLAM: Is there anything that surprised you when you jumped in?

ZL: The shooting is really smooth. Everything is on point. It registers really fast. The movements are a little bit different. They have a whole new system. They have a new ability, instead of just your melees, your grenades. It’s really cool.

SLAM: In the introduction to the game, the developers said that it was built for both vets and rookies. Where do you fall on that scale? What’s your playing style like?

ZL: I’ve been playing Destiny since it came out, but I’m still not the best at it. I would say I’m a really competitive decent player (laughs). I’m not gonna be the best, but I’ll play the hell outta it.

SLAM: Karl-Anthony Towns is a big video game guy. You gonna pass him the sticks any time soon?

ZL: He’s really good on Call of Duty, but I gotta try to get him over to Destiny. It’s a totally new thing over here. Me, him and Andrew could all be running strikes together (laughs).

Zach LaVine

SLAM: You played in a lot of Kobes this past season. How many pairs of Kobes you have?

ZL: I have the whole FTB pack. I’m sponsored by Nike so I try to bring back some of the old school Kobes. I can’t wear adidas, but when I was at college I used to wear a lot of the Crazy 1s. My favorite ones are the Kobe 1s, the ones with Nike, that he scored 81 in. I wore those a couple of times this year. And then I think it might be the 5s that are favorites as well. Those are comfortable.

SLAM: What about off the court? A lot of people wear Kobes everyday.

ZL: The Mentality’s are cool to train in if I’m doing a field workout. I just got on my hands on a pair of the ADs. I’ve been wearing those on the treadmill. Outside of that, I think Kobes are more of a basketball and training shoe. You could still wear it but for more outfits, swag type things I might put some designer shoes on.

SLAM: You’ve said that your dunk against Alex Len might be your best body-to-body, but you didn’t really show any reaction after that dunk. What was the reaction from the squad after that joint?

ZL: Nah, they all went ballistic. They were really surprised that he jumped because I had a clear lane. That’s how basketball is though, man. You don’t wanna get too high or get too high. I’ve dunked on people before so it’s not anything. I kinda stared him down a little bit, looked at the bench. But it’s in the middle of the game, so Thibs is always yelling to get your ass back. You can’t really celebrate too much.

SLAM: Is that your favorite dunk?

ZL: I caught a tip-dunk my rookie year that I really enjoyed (watch it below). I feel like [the Len] one was probably it, because it was on a big stage game, it was highly televised. I feel like it’s the most known.

Max Resetar is an Associate Editor at SLAM. Follow him on Twitter @maxresetar. Photos by Randy Shropshire and Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Activision