I never envisioned myself playing for the U.S. Olympic team -- growing up, I never envisioned playing in the NBA, to be real with you. I never envisioned that type of stuff. So this is like a dream that I never had come true. It's like I'm a part of what's really going on. It's still very hard for me to believe that I am really going to be a part of the biggest thing in the whole entire world.
I don't want to just be an athlete. I kind of obsess on that sometimes. I don't want my son to be reading, oh, 'disappointment, just a scorer, selfish, didn't win enough, never quite the best' -- whatever. I want to be bigger than that. I want to shape my own destiny instead of just having him read about whatever on the back page.
If I were president? First thing I'd do is take care of the schoolteachers. I'm not saying we should start 'em out with six figures, but in some places they've got to be mother, father, brother, sister, and mentor. They're real important people. Let's give 'em a raise - and attract the best people to the job.
I think people fail to realize that teams and organizations have been stacking teams since way back in the day. The Lakers had the Showtime era. Boston had six hall of famers on one team. You had Detroit, the New York Knicks, and now the Miami Heat. They were stacking their teams back then, it just fell off over the years and now it picked back up. Boston did it first, then LA. I was fortunate enough to play against them when they had Shaq, Kobe, Rick Fox, Gary Payton, Karl Malone... that's five hall of famers on one team! So you can't get mad at Miami for doing what they did.
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Although you do look at the big picture, if you're dealing with the now, it can be kind of frustrating. You're losing basketball games, things not going the way you want it to go or should go, but at the same time we've just got to stay with it. Just stay positive, just stay focused, as a team, as a unit, because the ship easily can sink early.
A lot of people think that as a player, during the lockout, you just have your whole day free. It's not like that - especially for me. I wake up everyday, train in the morning from 9 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Then I have a business meeting here, have to meet this person there, it's non-stop for me.
It [boxing] helps my hand-eye coordination, my stamina, my footwork, and it gives me that competitive edge and drive. And in the ring it's mano-a-mano. So it helps you build that arrogance, that cockiness, that confidence in yourself that the man that stands in front of you isn't going to beat you, and that translates to the court.
I want to retire in New York, let's be quite frank. I think a lot of people jumped the gun when I said I wanted to be a free agent. And yeah, I want people to come to play in New York. I want them to want to play in New York. I want New York to be that place where guys want to come play.
I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It's like you have an evaluation period. It's like if I'm in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.