Twenty years after winning the Olympics with the Dream Team, what do you remember about that competition ?
It was an amazing experience. Practices were incredible. Just playing with the best players in the game, it was very, very fun. And when we stood on that podium, with the gold medal, that was probably one of the most incredible moments in my career.
Did you realize at the time that you might be playing in the best basketball team ever ?
Yes I think so. I’ve never played on a team where the other team didn’t even think they had a chance to win. We were signing autographs and taking pictures before the game. So yes, it made me feel like we might be the best team put together.
What did you think about Chuck Daly not asking for one timeout in the entire competition ?
I don’t think he needed one at any time ! Chuck was a great coach. He was a very smart guy and he knew how to get guys to play hard. He was the perfect coach for that team.
What his your Top 5 of the best players in the history of the NBA ?
I would have to say : Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan. I would probably put in Tim Duncan. And, if I had to have a point guard, I might go with Magic, but if I had to have any other guard, I probably would go with Kobe (Bryant).
Do you miss playing basketball ?
I miss the competition. I’m a very competitive person. I loved looking across the floor, seeing Patrick Ewing or Hakeem Olajuwon or Shaq. I knew it was me against him. That, to me, was very, very exciting. I missed that. Right now, there is plenty of things to keep me busy, that’s not the problem. But playing in the NBA is unique, every night you have a big challenge. I missed that competition.
Who is the best center you've ever played against ?
It has to be Hakeem Olajuwon. He had great footwork, could shoot the ball all over the floor. He was a mentally tough guy. Shaquille O’Neal was dominant because of his size and each year, he did get better. But all-around, I would say Hakeem.
What was your first thought when you first saw Tony Parker arrive in 2001 ?
When I first saw Tony, I thought it was time for me to retire! Tony was so fast on the court, I couldn’t catch him...
Do you think the Spurs can win it all this year ?
Yes, absolutely. The key for them is to stay healthy. In the playoffs, you need your superstars. You need Tim, you need Tony, you need Manu. Without those guys healthy and playing well, the Spurs won’t go very far. The young guys have played phenomenal. But in the playoffs, you need your experience guys to hold it together and carry you through the tough games.
And to finish, what is your best memory in your career ?
I have to narrow it to three. Number one: winning that first championship in 1999. That was huge. Number two: the Olympic Dream Team in 1992, getting that gold medal and celebrating with the team was a great moment. Number three: my last game retiring as a NBA champion. My family was there and I knew this was going to be my last memory on a basketball court. Those were the three highlights of my career.