Peter Rosenberg was a diehard hoops fan long before becoming a staple at Hot 97, New York City’s famed hip-hop station. Growing up in Maryland, Rosenberg was a huge Terps fan and, he insists, a deadeye perimeter shooter. He’s spent the last near-decade as a radio personality, chopping it up with musicians every morning, while his passion for sports landed him a co-host gig on ESPN 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show.”
We caught up with Rosenberg to talk hoops for the first-ever SLAM Music Issue.
SLAM: What are your early memories of watching basketball?
Peter Rosenberg: The first basketball I remember is the ’87 season, Lakers winning the championship. I believe it was also the same year Larry stole the inbounds against Detroit and hit DJ [Dennis Johnson] for the layup. That year was the first year I remember watching. I wasn’t really a fan yet. I think I actually liked the Lakers because I didn’t have any connection. The next year, my dad’s friends from Boston started getting me into basketball. I immediately became a Celtics fan. Bad timing, of course, because the Celtics’ last ring was ’86. I fell in love with Larry Bird. That was it. Then of course the Jordan era started. I’ve been an NBA fan since.
SLAM: How would you describe your game on the court?
PR: No defense whatsoever. And lots and lots of jacking. I’m a decent shooter and can shoot from deep somewhat well. I don’t really do a lot else well. In college and into my early 20s and playing pickup with any regularity, I got to a place where I could be not horrible in other facets. Manageable if I had to bring the ball up. I’ve got range. I could pull up a couple feet in front of halfcourt.
SLAM: What’s your best on-court moment from back then?
PR: My personal best memory in a legitimate game of any sort was a rec game my freshman year of high school when I scored 18. I went 4-6 from three. I had an overall good day.
SLAM: Who’s the best musician that you’ve seen on the court?
PR: I haven’t played ball with that many people. I don’t know if I’ve ever played with a musician who I was like, “Holy smokes.” I know Bieber’s a pretty good player. He was great in one of the celebrity games and people thought it was a fluke. But Bieber, at least when he was young, played a lot and was a decent player. I’ve played with Jadakiss. Jada’s got a little game. Yo, I’ll tell you what, that video I saw of Lil Dicky was crazy. As a shooter, as a gunner, that video was crazy. With the camera on, and boom, knock down 16 threes in a row. That was wild.
SLAM: Who wins a one-on-one contest at Hot 97?
PR: [Hot 97 host] Ebro can’t move. Let’s be clear: his knees are a wrap. I don’t even know if he could step out fast enough on me if I was just shooting. That said, if he backed me down, I’d have a bit of a problem. I’ve heard DJ Bobby Konders is good at ball. DJ Enuff and DJ Camilo ain’t a problem. I don’t think they ball like that. I’m gonna go with me, because I don’t know any better. If my health is in good shape, right now I don’t have any problems, I think I’m a tough out for these guys. They don’t want it.
Max Resetar is an Assistant Editor at SLAM. Follow him on Twitter @maxresetar.