Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Carmelo Anthony says he won’t do pre-game interviews – but he won’t stop talking to me!

I’m in the Denver Nugget’s locker room at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The visiting locker room is small and there’s just a handful of guys in here right now. Some have their headphones on listening to music, others are intensely watching an old Clippers v. Nuggets game on a projector, some are getting dressed and a few are in a small trainers room in the back left hand corner getting their knees wrapped or backs massaged.

Carmelo Anthony is standing in front of his locker, which is just a few feet away from me. He won't talk before games – well, at least he won't answer questions. I’m trying to interview Steven Hunter, and granted he’s averaging under two points a game (yes, that’s possible), I’ve always believed a good quote can come from anyone. And honestly, it’s better than no interview at all.

“Let me do my interview, man!” says Hunter before we even start as a few of the players come over and start snickering.

Just a few more questions later, we’re interrupted again.

“Where you from?” asks Anthony walking into the trainers room.

“What magazine?” I ask.



“Oh, you’re from ESPN.”

Hunter’s annoyed. “Let me do my interview, man!” he says. “Damn! Let me do my interview, man! Get the hell out of here!”

But Anthony’s having too much fun. “Ain’t nobody gonna know who the heck she’s talking to,” he jokes. “Who you interviewing? Steven Hunter what? You fired!”

“You’re an asshole,” Hunter snaps back. “Ain’t nobody want to interview your ignorant ass.”

A few of the guys in the locker room are laughing. “That’s terrible!” one utters.

“That was certified!” says another.

But Anthony’s not done. “What the fuck? Steven Hunter who? Give me that notepad! You gonna bring me some goddamn interviews, you got goddamn Steven Hunter! Take the pen you wrote it with and the pad you wrote it on with and leave everything!”

At this point I’m trying not to smile since I feel kinda bad for Hunter. All the guys in the locker room are laughing. While it’s all in good fun, Hunter’s starting to get a bit defensive.

“You stupid man,” Hunter says like a wounded dog. “You all are fired. You fired for that, man.”

“I love you to death, man,” Anthony insists.

“No you don’t. No you don’t.”

“Yo Steven, I love you to death.”

“No you don’t, man. You got that mother fucking 'Trust' tattoo on your hand. Ain’t nobody trust you.”

Anthony just smiles. Throughout all of this, I’m still trying to ask Hunter questions, which isn’t going very well since they laugh at every answer.

“… she says, ‘Why?’ And he says, 'Because they can run and jump!' Ha!” teases Anthony after one of Hunter’s answers.

“What did I say?” asks Hunter defensively.

“You don’t pay any attention to me, I’m just messing with you!” jokes Anthony.

“Let me do my interview, man!” Hunter says frustrated. “And I said, cause – anyways, next question.”

The next question isn’t any easier and the guys start giggling before he can even answer.

“Let me do my interview, man!” shouts Hunter. “You’re stupid man. This team’s stupid man … Go on man!”

They’re still laughing.

“Why don’t you ask me who looks most like a girl in the NBA?” Hunter says looking straight at Anthony. “Carmelo Anthony.”

I haven’t heard that comeback since the 5th grade, but then again I feel like I’m in elementary school, so it’s fitting.

The guys are still snickering but we make it through the interview. The moment of truth really comes towards the end when I ask him what's the weirdest question he’s been asked.

His answer: “Do you play basketball?”