Page 2 Staff
We sent Eric Neel with 10 Burning Questions to find out. The verdict? Dallas, San Antone and L.A. are the ones who should be nervous.
1. Page 2: What does it mean to you to be named to the U.S. Olympic team?
Mike Bibby: It means a great deal to me. At first, I wasn't sure, because I thought maybe I should get my rest, nurse some nagging injuries, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so I couldn't pass it up.
If you had to choose between wearing an NBA championship ring or an Olympic gold medal, which would you choose?
Bibby: Mmmmmm, that's tough. Probably an NBA championship. Because that's your team, you know. An Olympic team is a put-together team, but my team is like my family. I would want to see them happy first. I would want to share the win with my family.
Give me three reasons you don't sweat what Shaq said about you being named to the Olympic team.
Bibby: One, he doesn't pick the committee. Two, he doesn't pick the team. And three, sometimes he just says stuff to spark stuff up, and I don't ever let what he or anybody else says worry me.
2. What's your best move on the floor?
Bibby: My jumpshot.
What do you do best off the court?
Bibby: My brothers, my cousins, some of my friends. We have drafts every year. I got the old-school Cris Carter, Al Toon, Lance Alworth, Kellen Winslow. I got the old Steve Young, Larry Csonka, Jim Brown, Mel Renfro and Ken Houston on my team.
I like the old flavor. How does your team do?
Bibby: My record is, like, 120 and 20.
What are you worst at off the court?
Bibby: Talking to a crowd of people. I'm kind of quiet. Like when I go make appearances and stuff, I can ask questions and answer them, but as far as saying my own stuff, uh-uh.
You play in front of thousands live and maybe millions on television. How do you get in a mindset to play?
Bibby: Basketball is what I do.
Do you have any pregame rituals or routines?
Bibby: I try to do the same stuff every time. I put my shoes on from left to right. I get taped from left to right. Do everything from left to right. I don't know why, it's just something that I do.
What's the pregame music in your headphones?
Bibby: I got a few friends that rap ... the Realist from Texas is one. Tupac, Biggie, Jay-Z, I like all of that. After the games, with my kids -- my son and my nephew usually ride with me to and from the games, and they like to listen to Tupac.
Bibby: As soon as I let it go, the flight of the ball, everything looked like it was perfect. It was so quiet. Even when I think about it now, it's just so quiet. Everything from that, it's just rememberful to me.
4. Tell me three reasons you'd rather play in Sacramento than Los Angeles.
Bibby: I ain't got nothing against Los Angeles, but you know in Sacramento everybody's loyal. We definitely have the best fans in the NBA, too. And the team is reason No. 3, because, like I said, it's a family affair with us.
What's your favorite road trip city?
Bibby: Phoenix. That's where I'm from. It's like old home week. I get to see old friends and play video games.
5. Tell me something about Rick Adelman that would surprise most people.
Bibby: He jokes about as much as we do. He's one of the guys. He likes to throw his jokes in here and there, just like us.
How about something about Chris that would surprise most people?
Bibby: He's one of the coolest people you'll ever meet. Everybody thinks because he makes so much money and he's a superstar that he'd be a jerk, but it's not true. He's one of the nicest guys in the league, and he keeps it real, too.
6. What's the hidden key to you guys making a run for the title this year?
Bibby: If we move the ball, and move a lot, I don't think anybody can stop us. We got Keon and Jimmy Jackson this year, too.
Who is the toughest matchup for you personally?
Bibby: I'm not telling you that. If I tell you that, it'd give him an edge.
7. If you could play with any two players from throughout history, who would you choose?
Bibby: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.
Bibby: My mom. She got me where I am today.
8. Finish this sentence for me: A lay-up is better than a dunk because ...
Bibby: I'm not as young I used to be.
How old are you?
You don't get to say, "I'm not as young as I used to be" at 24.
Bibby: These legs got a lot of miles on 'em. It's been 38 minutes-plus since I came in.
9. What is the biggest misconception about the NBA and its players?
Bibby: That this life is easy, and that we have it all. People don't understand, we're all away from our families a lot. The money is great and everything. We're blessed. But your body gets older quicker. It's lonely on the road. People here are grown men, you know, so not everybody wants to hang out, and it gets lonely, you know.
What is the one stereotype about NBA players that is most true?
Bibby: I'm not a snitch so I'd rather not say.
You have a bunch of tattoos. What do they mean to you?
Bibby: All of them have a meaning. I have one on my back that represents a little clique of my brothers, my cousins and friends. I got one of my friend who passed away this summer on my arm, may he rest in peace. I got the cross because, you know, I'm a religious person. And I've got my two kids' names on me, because when I go to my grave I want to have part of them on me.
Besides yourself, when you step on the floor every night, who are you playing for?
Bibby: I'm playing for my kids to eat, for my family, for my friend that passed away.
10. If you weren't a professional basketball player, what line of work would you be in?
Bibby: I don't know what I'd be doing, to tell you the truth. I told my agent I might have to try some acting.
Who would play you in "The Mike Bibby Story"?
Bibby: Everybody thinks I look like Vin Diesel, so maybe him.
Bibby: You have to grow up quick.
You came out as a sophomore. Did you have a lot of growing up to do?
Bibby: No, because I had a son when I was 19. I feel I was already grown up.
Having a kid'll change you, to be sure. Do your kids play?
Bibby: Yeah, my son, I got him a full-court Nerf set up in the house. He's got a jump shot. He can play.
Well, you know, it's only a matter of time until he comes after you.
Bibby: I know. I let him beat me sometimes now, but I know it won't last.