With the NBA Finals about to start (I think after like a week off or something, seriously, it’s ridiculous) we figured now would be a good time to look back on our favorite part of the playoffs. No, not the actual games, but instead the interviews that guys take part in. After all, have you ever heard some of the inane questions that sports reporters ask players during this endless playoff stretch? They’re terrible. Not to mention that the players themselves aren’t always the sharpest knives in the drawer, either. Either way, combine the intensity of the playoffs, the stupidity of reporter questions and the “who the hell knows what they’ll do” element of the players themselves, and you get some pretty awesome sound bites over the years. Here are our favorites.
Zaza Pachulia – Nothing beats having a guy who can barely speak English grab the mic like a pro wrestler and promise an awesome team effort in Game 7. What makes this interview even better is knowing Zaza’s squad got utterly obliterated 99-65 in Game 7.
Shaq – His career is likely over. And while he won four NBA Championships, personally I think this is the defining moment of his career.
LeBron James - LeBron didn’t go to college, which is why things like this happen.
Kevin Durant – Gets booted out of the playoffs, so naturally the reporter asks him how happy he is to see his opponent – Dirk Nowitzki – move on. Hey, at least he’s honest.
Rasheed Wallace – When you’re asked the same stupid questions over and over again, flip the script on the reporters like Sheed did years back. And yes, of course he was subsequently fined for this.
Brian Scalabrine – He didn’t play a single second in the 2008 Finals, so why he was even interviewed after Boston won is a mystery. But if you’re going to ask a guy about what it was like to win a ring when he played zero minutes, don’t expect him to give a non-sarcastic answer.
Michael Jordan – On April 20th, 1986, Jordan did just about everything. 63 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and correcting Pat O’Brien.
Ron Artest – He knows what’s it like to have been in the stands before, just in case you forgot.
Dirk Nowitzki – He kills it on the court. He also occasionally kills bugs during press conferences.
Kevin Garnett – Easily the greatest NBA Championship interview ever. Go crazy? Check. Hit on Michelle Tafoya? Check. Actually admit you’re crazy? Check.
Tracy McGrady – There is no clip of this unfortunately, but it remains the ultimate braindead comment in playoff history. Back in 2003, when the NBA extended the previous best-of-five first round to seven games, McGrady said this after his #8 Orlando Magic went up 3 games to 1 on the #1 Detroit Pistons:
“It feels good to get in the second round.”
Naturally, the Magic lost games 5, 6 and 7. The only year McGrady has ever made the second round in his career? 2009…when he was on injured reserve. Ouch.
Hedo Turkoglu – I realize this isn’t from the NBA Playoffs, but I don’t care. It’s the greatest NBA interview ever.