YOU the people have spoken. Thank you so much for taking the time to ask me some thoughtful questions. I want to be as "REAL" as possible with you…the fans. I launched this blog because I wanted to pull back the curtain a little bit to show the NBA fans something they haven't really seen before. So below you'll find some answers to some of the questions sent my way…
How anxious are you to play in your first NBA playoff game?
Honestly, I hate this question. You know why? My thought process is let me first get there. It is important for us to finish the season strong, get a good seed and hopefully home court advantage. I am excited about the possibility of having a real chance to win an NBA championship BUT I cannot emphasis this enough…the regular season comes first. One game at a time.
If you weren't in the NBA, what would you like to be doing career-wise?
Basketball is in my DNA. I will be involved in the game somehow…maybe a college coach or an NBA scout…college program ideally. I am also intrigued by the business of real estate.
Are you following UCONN hoops?
Not really to be honest. I haven't this year. I know the tournament is coming up so I will likely write something after I catch a few games.
Was there ever a moment when you felt like you weren't going to make the Dallas Mavericks?
I had no doubts that I wasn't going to make it but I have always been the type of guy that wants to know. The waiting was the hardest part for me. I can only control what I can control. I did my part but not knowing what Carlisle and the Mavs were thinking bothered me the most. They didn't make the call until the last day. When they cut the roster down…that is what made room for me.
What really happened b/w Rondo and Coach Carlisle?
Hmmm...well, two competitors who love the game…who want to win. Basketball is an emotional game. They are two strong-minded people. They had their disagreement but it is part of basketball. Things like that happen on every team and you go through it, move on and hopefully it makes the team better and stronger.
Do you regret anything about your NBA career so far?
I don’t regret ANYTHING. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I felt like my lowest point in my career was in Detroit, especially during the last year there, but I think that also prepared me for the future not only with basketball but also with life in general….dealing with adversity.
What really happened b/w you and Kevin Garnett? Is there still beef?
Naaaah...not necessarily beef. We don't communicate at all. It is what it is. It happened a few years back. I don't claim him my friend. I don’t hang out with him. I don’t lose sleep thinking about him or the situation. It is a situation that happened…it is over and done with.
Who is your best friend in the League?
I have a lot of close friends. The NBA as a league is a tight family. My UCONN guys for sure…like Rudy Gay, Ben Gordon, Andre Drummond. Austin Daye, especially while we were in the Detroit. Ramon Sessions is my young boy. Shout out to Royal Ivey. Bobby Simmons.
How has life been living with Alopecia? Was it hard at the very beginning? Is it hard when you go to a new team?
It was extremely difficult dealing with it in the beginning. Especially from the ages of 13-16. Kids can be really cruel. Not only that, my situation was that I had hair and then I lost it. Dealing with the change. My self esteem and confidence wasn’t there. At times it puts you in a state of depression. But once I learned my purpose in life and what I had to be…I feel like I was the chosen one. One of my purposes in life is to help others. As far as affecting me on a basketball team, it didn’t. I think people know it is my look. They may not know that I am dealing with Alopecia or what it is, but they know this is my look. And I'm proud of that.
Now that basketball is a job, how do you keep the fire burning?
This is a great question. Going out there and proving yourself every night. Going out there…you have to have a purpose. Why are you doing this? Why are you playing so hard? Why do we do the things that we do? For me, it helps support my family, but also I always wanted longevity in this League. Winning the championship has always been one of my goals. I have won at all levels…high school and college. So what drives me is my family and to win a championship.
Who is the best player you have ever played against or with that did not make the NBA?
This is also a good question. I would say Jason Fraser, Villanova. He is from Long Island. He was great at what he did. He blocked shots, rebounded, changed opponent’s shots. He ran the floor. His offensive game was getting better. He had injury issues. It limited what he could do. Watching and playing with him in high school, on the Long Island Panthers (AAU), he was something else. He was the same level as Amar’e Stoudemire coming out of high school.
Is it hard to stand out on and off the court when guys like LeBron and Splash Brothers take all of the limelight?
In this League you have superstars, good players, and role players. Everyone has a role on the team. Every team has their superstar. I don’t feel any animosity or any ill feelings towards the superstar. That is their job…to be a superstar. They have earned their stripes. Not everyone can be the superstar. It is important to understand your role and what your job is on the team.
Should collegiate players get paid?
No comment...lol. Just kidding. 100%. I am a big fan of that. I would love for college players to get paid. You know why? The NCAA makes BIG money off these kids. They have college video games where they are using the likeness of these kids and are profiting. The NCAA is a billion-dollar business. I understand that these kids get free rides, but I think everyone should get paid the same amount of money. What that amount is I don’t know? These schools make a ton of money through television, radio and advertisements, etc. For sure. 100%. I believe these kids should get paid.
If you were playing pick-up and had to pick up 4 players, non-current or former teammates, who would you pick up?
Ohhh...at Center I go Marc Gasol, I am the Power Forward, Small Forward Lebron James, at Shooting Guard would be James Harden, and my PG would be Steph Curry.
Do millionaires look at the price of gas and milk?
Lol that's a good one. I look at the gas prices, but not so much the milk prices. The gas prices I look at it, but it doesn't affect me because if I need gas then I just need it. I look at it to see where the economy is.
How do you feel about analytics in basketball? Do you pay attention to it?
No I don’t…I don’t pay attention to it. It is a bunch of numbers and I don’t even know what those numbers mean at times. I am sure it helps. It doesn’t hurt, but I don’t pay that much attention to it. At the end of the day, you need the players that are committed to execute whatever the game plan is.
How does it feel to be between Kobe Bryant and the basket with no help?
I give him a little space but not too much…and hope for the best! LOL.
Okay so that covers it for me. I tried to answer the most questions I could. Once again, I appreciate you guys tremendously. So thanks for your submissions. Stay connected.
Charlie Villanueva #believeincharlie