You mentioned David West when you were talking about the Pacers vs. Heat matchups. What was it like seeing David West finally win those two championships with the Warriors?
I thought he deserved it. What’s interesting is that after I left the Pacers, I worked in Cincinnati for a couple years and did some sideline reporting and hosting for Xavier and the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati.
David West played at Xavier and is a legend there. Those people really respect him from the time he was in school, which didn’t surprise me, knowing what he meant to Indiana and meant to the locker room.
Everybody wants a ring, and the one thing I really wish was that Reggie Miller had a ring. So I understand guys wanting to go get a ring. So when West finally got that ring, I was really happy for him.
And anybody who saw what he meant to the Pacers franchise knew that he deserved it. He’d changed teams on three different occasions at that point, and alot of times when players go to different teams you hear how they don’t fit in with this system or they don’t like that they have a smaller role, or they’re not ready for a bigger role.
With David West, any role was fine for him. He could fit in any system, and I think that’s what made him unique.
You mentioned that you like Mike D’Antoni. What do you think is unique about him?
I really like him as a person, and I think he and his wife Laurel are both great. At the media availability, before the season even started, the players were saying that he was a really good fit for this team because he was going to let them be themselves.
When you have guys on the team with strong personalities, like Russell Westbrook and James Harden, it can be a good thing to allow players to do that. Although the term “player’s coach” is cliche and overused, you can see that Mike D’Antoni lets guys run the show alot of the times and I think he’s a nice person and is great with the media.
Everybody has a different preference of coaches they like, so I don’t know who does and doesn’t like him, but in my interactions with him as a member of the media, he’s fair, he answers questions, he gives thoughtful answers, and he and his wife are involved in the community.
Are there any other impersonations that we should expect to see you unveil?
You’ll have to tune into Sports Sunday to see. We come on every Sunday at 11 PM on channel two. I’m not great at impersonations but with us in the middle of the pandemic, you never know.
Speaking of pandemic, what are your thoughts on the league’s hiatus?
I really hope we have an NBA season. It’s a fascinating time right now because none of us know, not even the players. So the players don’t know whether or not to train as if they’ll have the playoffs in a month and a half or whether they should start to take it easy because they won’t be playing again until the fall.
They just don’t know, and alot of them travel and go home when the season is over, because they can’t do that during the season. So one of the most interesting questions has been in regards to what they’ve been doing as individuals.
It’s fascinating and I would hope that we would hear something in the next several weeks. I just want to know. But I’ve really enjoyed The Last Dance so far. That was incredible. For those of us that weren’t alive during that Bulls championship run, it was an education lesson.
Even though you watch documentaries and read all about it, it’s not the same until you hear the players. And they’re speaking with a level of honesty we’ve never heard before, so that’s also been really cool.