When 22-year-old model Damaris Lewis, who has posed for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue and recently toured with Prince, isn’t working, she can be found watching basketball. And when the Brooklyn native isn’t watching ball, she’s busy writing about it on her blog, Heels to Hoops. We caught up with Lewis to discuss her hometown team(s), James Harden and more.
SLAM: I know from Twitter (@DamarisLewis) that Oklahoma City is your squad, but you’re probably feeling a certain way about Houston right now too after the James Harden trade.
Damaris Lewis: Well, I won’t necessarily say that they’re my squad but I have been checking up on Houston games. I like OKC simply because they’re a family, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that these guys are trading cards. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were like the three amigos. When he got traded, it gave Harden a platform to be a star on his own team.
SLAM: It’s funny you used the term “trading cards.” I feel like, with the industry you work in, you have a unique perspective on the sports and entertainment industry.
DL: [Laughs] It’s kind of the same thing. We do advertisements and we work for clients, and we might work for them once or we might work for them for a year. After that time is up, sometimes they go and get another person, and it’s not because they don’t like us. So with the Thunder, it’s going to take time. It’s like when they lost Jeff Green. At first you were like, “What?!” Now you’re already used to seeing him on the Celtics.
SLAM: I saw you interviewed Jeff on your blog. What inspired you to start Heels to Hoops?
DL: I tweet so much during games and I like to write, so I thought, Why not put it on a blog? When I first did it, I interviewed two New York Giants. That was cool, but someone told me I should interview basketball players. So now I get them myself or through people I know. I also post stuff about work—that’s why it’s called Heels to Hoops. You can go on the blog and see a basketball post or a modeling post. There’s no limit to it, and if the blog grows, that’d be awesome.
SLAM: You’re a jetsetter because of your work. How do you find time to watch ball?
DL: League Pass. I have League Pass Broadband and Mobile. When I’m home, I use my TV, too. One night [recently] I must’ve had the Knicks on
TV, Rockets on my computer and the Thunder on my brother’s computer at the same time.
SLAM: So I know you’re interested in the Knicks, your hometown team, and the Thunder and Rockets. Any other teams catch your eye?
DL: I’m always interested in the Bulls. It sucks that Derrick Rose is injured but I’m impressed that they’re still winning without him. There is something about teams you know have to work 10 times harder.
SLAM: Brooklyn is your borough. Does that automatically make you a fan of the Nets?
DL: Anything positive that comes to Brooklyn, I’m a supporter of… but I don’t want to be a hypocrite fan. I never really watched the Nets, so I can’t be one of those people who gets up and starts cheering for the Nets and have no idea who I’m cheering for. Yes, they’re in Brooklyn. Yes, technically it’s my hometown team. But I think I need to watch them without publicly talking about them for a while.