What do you think about basketball today? Do you miss the eighties and the nineties, when you were playing ?
The eighties and the nineties were an amazing time to play basketball. There were a lot of great players. But I like basketball over all, in this era or the era before. I just like the way the game is played, the excitement, the fast pace. I’m just a fan of basketball.
Do you think Atlanta can win the championship this year ? And what is your role with the Hawks ?
With Al Horford out, it’s going to be tough because he’s a big part of our team. And now he’s out for the season. But we’ve been competitive. We’ve won a lot of games on the road, and that’s a good sign for a team. But it’s going to be really tough to win with Horford out. As for my role with the Hawks, I’ve been a vice-president for the team for nine or ten years. I wear a lot of different hats.
What do you remember about your rivalry against Michael Jordan ?
It was an exciting time. If you can't get up to play against a guy like Michael Jordan, you just can’t get up to play. We had some fierce battles, we had games where we’ve beaten them, and games where they’ve beaten us. But when you go against one of the greatest players to ever play, those are memories you’ll always have. They are part of your life. Jordan and I, we are both from North Carolina. We’ve seen each other grow for so many years .
Some people say that your dunk contest against Jordan in 1988 was the best ever. What do you think about the dunk contest now ? And who are your top 3 best dunkers in the league ?
The dunk contest now has too many props. I’d love to see guys do the contest without all the props, so we can see their true ability. My three top dunkers in the league ? Blake Griffin, of course, is number one. I’d have to go with Javale McGee even if he’s a big man because he has a lot of jumping ability. And I would probably say Lebron James.
Do you regret not being on the Dream Team at the 1992 Olympics?
No because at the time, I had a broken ankle. Definitely, I would have been selected but injuries sometimes stop you from doing things you want to do. But I wasn’t disapointed, no.
What do you think about european players today in the NBA ?
A lot of the european guys are jump shooters. They really spread the offense. When you have big guys who can shoot the ball, it makes your team very versatile. European players have evolve over the years into solid NBA basketball players.
Last question, who are your Top 5 NBA players in the history of the NBA ?
If I have to exclude myself, I would say Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Tim Duncan.