Even if I did want the ball, it’s not like he would’ve given it to me! (laughs) He’s absolutely right about the free throw part, though. So what? My thing is, was I even playing basketball when he said that? I definitely wasn’t a Laker and I don’t know if I was even playing in the league. When I heard about that – and really anytime someone brings my name up out of the blue like that – I just wonder, “Why? What did you gain from that?” Why is the best player in the game at the time mentioning little old me? It was flattering. (laughs) But he was absolutely right.
I needed ankle surgery and shoulder surgery when I was playing for the Lakers. Mitch Kupchak asked me not to get the surgeries. He said, “With one ankle and one shoulder, you’re still the best defender we’ve got. All we need you to do is defend.” I literally had trouble raising my arms. That’s why I don’t care when a fan hears this and laughs or whatever because they don’t know the full story. I know what was really going on and so do my peers.