If you had ten minutes with any pro athlete, what would you ask them?
This month I had the pleasure of interviewing former “Bad Boy” Rick Mahorn. Rick Mahorn needs no introduction, but for those of you that don’t know he is a retired NBA player. And most notably was a member of the 1988-89 NBA Champions Detroit Pistons that swept the LA Lakers 4-0. Remember those brooms? Didn’t it seem like yesterday that the entire City of Detroit was gathered in Hart Plaza all at once to celebrate the championship?
Rick is affectionately known as the “Baddest Bad Boy of them all.” But he really has a heart of gold and is a true professional. Since retiring from the NBA he has coached in the CBA and the WNBA, where he won a championship with the Detroit Shock and his former Bad Boy teammate, Bill Laimbeer.
Sports Fans, I bring you the Motor City’s own…Rick Mahorn!
Alana: What is the best thing about being involved in pro sports?
Rick Mahorn: The best thing about being in pro sports is the competition. Being competitive. Competing with the best in the world. That shows that you accomplished something in your sport and your craft.
Alana: What was your favorite or best experience as an athlete or coach?
Rick Mahorn: My best experience was winning a championship in the NBA [and] my friendships through my careers.
Alana: And your worst experience?
Rick Mahorn: I never had a worst experience. Worst experience was probably losing, I don’t like losing. And being a competitor you always want to give it your best shot and not lose.
Alana: Any particular game or time you can remember losing when it hit you below the belt?
Rick Mahorn: No, I left it on the court every time I played. Whether it was a thousand plus games and every time I played and every minute I played hard. Knowing that I put my 110% on the court – so I really never had a worst time.
Alana: Trends – where do you see the sport going? What direction do you see pro ball going in?
Rick Mahorn: Hopefully the direction that it goes in is to keep it simple. Don’t try to glamorize it and treat it as if it’s entertainment – which it is. But keep it to the competition and the competitive part that sports are all about.
Alana: Are there any trends that you don’t like?
Rick Mahorn: The trends that I don’t like are the lack of professionalism. I think everybody should treat the game with respect. Dressing up, being professional in a professional atmosphere, and just always keeping it professional.
Alana: Who did you idolize growing up?
Rick Mahorn: My mother. A woman that did so many things for kids to be successful. A lady who was on welfare raising kids from the ‘hood and trying to be successful in life and raising great human beings.
Alana: Do you think athletes are role models?
Rick Mahorn: We are all role models. Kids idolize athletes, but it’s your parents, it’s your home, it’s your guardian. Everybody can’t be Michael Jordan – if that’s your hero as far as sports. But your hero should be your father, your mother, or your guardian. Your hero should be the person providing for you so you can progress.
Alana: What do you think makes a good owner of a team?
Rick Mahorn: Someone that is passionate, but yet will sit back and let his team evolve. And he shows the leadership and direction of the team and let it go from there.
Alana: What kind of relationship did you have with Mr. Davidson?*
Rick Mahorn: It was a great relationship because Mr. Davidson was always caring and concerned about his players. Making sure that [he] was talking about their families and not necessarily talking about basketball.
*Note: Bill Davidson became the majority owner of the Detroit Pistons 1974 for $6 million and owned the team, which is currently valued at over $430 million, until his passing in 2009. Bill Davidson was one-of-a-kind and is missed by fans and players alike.
Alana: What pro team do you think was the greatest of all time? If you had to pick one?
Rick Mahorn: There are some many teams that started this league. You’ve got the Lakers, Boston, Chicago, and the original teams that started this league. I think they are all great and classy.
Alana: Who are your top five former or current players in the NBA? If you had to pick a starting five who would you pick?
Rick Mahorn: Kareem Abdul Jabbar as one. My second would be Bill Russell. My third would be – small forward – Dr. J. No I take that back – Larry Bird. My big guard would probably be Michael Jordan. And my point guard would probably be Maurice Cheeks.
Alana: And if you could play a sport other than basketball, what would it be?
Rick Mahorn: Football. That was the first sport I played and I was better in football then I was a basketball. I played four years and one year of basketball.
Alana: Thanks Rick for your time.
Rick Mahorn: You’re welcome…anytime.
Good Night Sports Fans,