Sporting News recently caught up with A.C. and asked him a few questions about today’s NBA…here are his answers.
1. What current player do you wish you could have played with?
That would probably have to be Chris Paul. He’s a fighter, I’m sure he’s exciting to play with, and he shares the ball. That’s a great combination of characteristics for a fun teammate.
2. How has the NBA changed since you were playing?
The NBA has become more global since I played. The league office has done an exceptional job of building the brand, and I love seeing the worldwide appeal that the league has generated for the game of basketball.
3. On a scale of 1-10, rate the quality of the play in the league today.
Probably a 7. There are a few exceptional, complete teams in the league right now. However, the majority fall in a middle category of being pretty good teams that need to learn the nuances of becoming a team-first unit as opposed to a team that revolves around the efforts of one or two individual players.
4. Who’s your pick to win it all?
I think the team is going to be from the West this year, and the parade will likely happen in New Orleans or Los Angeles. If one of those teams don’t produce, I think the Lisa Leslie / Candace Parker duo from the Sparks can probably get the job done.
5. Finish this sentence: The 19-year age minimum is…
A step in the right direction. Players have to be a little more mature to step into the world of the NBA, and professional sports in general. The older the better. With that said, I understand age does not automatically produce maturity. But a college experience, if a player takes advantage of it, can teach them a lot of the tools they will need in the NBA. If college isn’t part of the path for some players, good old-fashioned life experiences can still greatly contribute to the maturation process.
6. What do you think of Josh Childress’ decision to sign with a Euroleague team?
I think Josh Childress is a businessman. He is building the Childress brand as any smart, small business owner would do. I’m sure he carefully considered which route would be the best to achieve his strategic marketing goals.
7. Who’s the best coach in the league today, and why?
Byron Scott. He has had a pattern of success in every journey he has taken; New Orleans is only the latest example. Obviously, the NBA took notice in crowing him Coach of the Year. Finally, he is the father of my god-daughter, London. (So I like the guy anyway!)
8. Give me five can’t-miss future Hall of Famers from the league today.
Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe Bryant. Tim Duncan. Kevin Garnett. LeBron James.
9. Who’s the league’s best point guard?
Chris Paul, followed closely by Derek Fisher.
10. Finish this sentence: People say college basketball is more of a team game than the NBA. I’d like to tell them…
They’re right. College basketball preaches a team-first system.
11. If you could have either of these two on your team right now, who would you choose: Kobe Bryant or LeBron James.
I coached LeBron at an NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge game and it was great having him on the team. Obviously, I won a Championship playing with Kobe. Even though both would be exceptionally exciting, I would say Kobe.
12. Same question: Chris Paul or Deron Williams?
Chris Paul. His style – and the Hornets style – is a great blend of basketball. It’s fun to watch and to play. Deron is obviously an extremely talented player, and I guy I wouldn’t mind going to battle with. But between the two, I have to pick Chris.
13. One more: Kevin Garnett or Tim Duncan?
Today, I would probably say Kevin Garnett. He is determined to accomplish what Tim has already accomplished – multiple championships. Both are complete players and bring their game every night. but I have to go with Kevin.