Rock N Jock
Underground rock superstar Craig Owens discusses his love of hoops and not missing an NBA minute on tour.
SLAM: Who’s your favorite player that’s playing in the League?
CO: Right now, I can’t even say. A couple years ago I would have said Steve Nash, but he’s not looking like Steve Nash…I mean he’s leading the league in assists, but it’s early. As far as talent wise goes? I think he takes the cake, but unfortunately it’s about youth and athleticism along with smarts. There are so many things that go into making the perfect NBA player. So right now I can’t do it, but if I had to choose one, I’d say Durant. KD, He’s humble, I think he’s doing it for the right reasons. He may be a little too perfect at this point, but you can’t stop him. He’s amazing, leading the league in scoring for the last 2 years. So if I had to pick a guy it would be KD and they’re who I expect to take the West this year.
SLAM: They’re a good example of how to do it, instead of trying to get a bunch of stars, actually building through the Draft.
CO: Exactly, but you needed a KD in order to do that and I think the Pistons need one guy. I think we need to clean house and get one guy , build around the young guys and show them how to do it. I’m not talking about a Kurt Thomas, play two minutes and sit the bench kind of guy. I mean a real leader, a star. Someone that can show them the confidence that they need. That’s what brings guys up, look at LeBron when he was in Cleveland and the level the others guys played at when they were surrounding him, then look at the next years. It’s not just LeBron leaving, their confidence left with him. I just think a star elevates a certain level of confidence. I think that needs to be installed in my team.
SLAM: What are your plans when this tour is over?
CO: We have a UK tour coming up, then we’ll take some time and chill. I’ll be back at the court, 6 a.m. every day. I try to play two-three times a day. I work on my shot, free throws, posting up. The I do suicides. Just as many as I possibly can to elevate my game because I love it.
SLAM: Can we expect to see you at any Pistons games this year?
CO: Probably…I mean you might see me suit up for them the way we’re playing [laughs]. In all seriousness, yeah I’ll be at a Pistons game this year, I have some time. Unfortunately the lockout messed things up for me I was planning on going before this tour started, but yeah you’ll see me there.
CO: I’m hoping for OKC and Chicago, I would love to see those two teams in the Finals.
SLAM: Do you think Durant can get the MVP this year?
CO: We’ll see how far he leads his team, everyone was so quick to jump on the Aaron Rodgers for MVP thing and then the playoffs happened and now they’re not so quick. It all depends, we’re early in the season to start calling out MVPS. I saw an article yesterday, “Is Lebron the MVP?” because the dude is up there in everything, scoring, assists, rebounds I mean literally everything. But we’ll see what happens in crunch time cause that’s when Lebron crumbles.
SLAM: What do you think of some of the up and coming teams like the Wolves?
CO: Kevin Love is killing it! And Rubio, he’s what? Number 2 in steals? I know everyone was talking about him forever and there was so much hype leading up to him, but I enjoy watching him play. I think he’s got some talent. I really like Stephen Curry, and what he’s doing. I think they’re going to be a great team. I think there’s a lot of up comers we need to watch out for and stop paying attention to where all these stars are going. Like the Knicks, everyone said it was going to be their year and I see them maybe 8, but the way they’re playing right now I can see someone else coming in and taking it from them.
SLAM: If they get a point guard, I mean Amar’e is lost without a point guard.
CO: Yep. I mean honestly I think Amar’e is great and Carmelo is great, but they’re not great together and I could have told you that from the beginning. I’d like to see Melo try harder, I don’t think he’s in shape. I’d like to see him stop complaining, I’d like to see some passion. Maybe sit down with Kevin Garnett and learn a thing or two about some passion on the court, as opposed to seeing how many shots he can take whether they win or lose. He’s a very talented player, there’s not doubt, but he could really be one of the best if he tried a little harder.
SLAM: He seems content to be in a big market and have his name in lights to me.
CO: I felt like he was content in Denver, I haven’t really seen that work ethic from him. It’s different, I mean Paul Pierce isn’t in the best shape either they have kind of the same frame, but you see that passion and that leader ability from Pierce.
SLAM: And all the guys they traded for him are doing well. Gallo gave Melo 37 the other night.
CO: Exactly, I think that was a really bad move. I was talking to my friend Kevin Nash about how we’re big fans of Gallo and what a mistake that was. I mean when you have a diamond in the rough like that you keep him you don’t get rid of him for the dude that just wants to play in a big market. I hope these young kids keep coming up, we’ll see what Minnesota does and what a lot of these younger teams are going to do. Most importantly we’ll see what the Bulls, what the Heat, OKC, the Lakers are gonna do and I’m not really counting the Mavericks out either, but the two guys they added are going to bring them down unless they change their attitude as players, and they’re not going to do that. Odom and VC are not Mav type players. Odom just doesn’t have that kind of Jason Kidd, Dirk dig in deep and pull it out attitude. Carter has done some things, but I mean he’s been on how many teams now?
CO: There’s a reason for that.
SLAM: I think Odom is just letting his emotions get the better of him, rather than use it to drive him. He got his feelings hurt by LA and now he’s just pouting his way through the season.
CO: I agree and there’s two things in life you can when something bad happens and that’s why basketball applies to life too, two things you can either sit and pout about it or you can get up and do something and I’d like to see that from him. I haven’t seen anything from him in Dallas and they need that energy that he can bring, that he brought LA.
SLAM: The Mavs look like they got old overnight.
CO: I think they had a hangover. One thing I learned is to never count the veterans out.
SLAM: All right man, I’ll let you get to work. I appreciate you doing this.
CO: No sweat, man. And if Russell Westbrook reads this and wants to learn to shoot a jumper, I’ll teach him.
image courtesy of Nicole Rork