FanPost

"Getting to know the Goodfellas (and the QueenBee)" By Sarge

 

"Thar be whales in that water!!"….if you have been around SSR for awhile or even passed by then you know the "white whale" of SSR. Mr. Tucker needs NO introduction…

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He is the Godfather’s Godfather…he is the man that will take you to school literally and figuratively. He is also the nicest guy around that is until you get under his collar. At said point if you chaff him the wrong way he will destroy you with words and make you feel like a feeble minded buffoon!

He really wanted to do this interview and bugged me incessantly till I did (hahaha).  But really Mr. Tucker is just an awesome dude and it was MY pleasure to do this. I could ramble on about him even more but I think he has done that well enough on his own….

Without further Ado 24 questions begins (kinda funny the man that had the Kobe website wanted to answer 24 fuggin questions! LOL)

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1. Is there any way we can do this with fairly short answers?

No. You don't come to me for short. Make yourself some hot chocolate, order some pizza, put on your PJs, and settle in for a longer read. See you at the bottom in a few hours.

 

2. What was is like to start this site up (for those of you that don’t know Mr. Tucker is the OG of SSR, he started this gangsta sh*t, and this the MF thanks he get? LOL) give us some details of the beginning and how it happened and who helped you to get launch it off the ground.

 

This is actually a pretty interesting story, and it's going to surprise a lot of you. I was contacted by SB Nation a couple weeks before the blog actually launched; it all happened quite quickly. They knew of me because of RespectKobe.com, which most of you probably don't know much about. Once upon a time, it was a thing I did. (It's currently a bit of a mess, not well maintained, some non-working links, and very difficult to navigate to previous articles. What can I say? I moved on to bigger and better things.)

 

SB Nation wanted me to start their Lakers blog. They did not have one at the time, which was, of course, a tremendous sin against all sportskind — however, they were strongly committed to quality, and preferred no Lakers blog to anything less than a truly excellent one. I was at the top of their short list, which was a bit of a surprise to me. You have to understand, I was hardly a blogger, at the time.

 

At the most frequent, I had been writing between one and four articles a month. It was not at all uncommon for me to go six to eight weeks without writing anything, and then write two or three pieces in a week. I didn't consider myself a blogger; I was a guy who occasionally wrote on a fairly specific topic, and my purpose for doing so was simply that there was a pretty huge ongoing conversation that was taking place across the internets, and I felt that many of the key points that should be made in that conversation were not being made at all. My website was simply the place where I posted what I occasionally wrote on that topic. You can read more about its purpose here.

 

SB Nation wanted me to start their Lakers blog, but they were understandably concerned with my ability to keep up with the blog. I honestly wasn't sure I wanted to do it, and here's where we come to the part of the story that will surprise many of you. One person contributed in a pretty huge way to the foundation of this site — several pretty huge ways, actually. In fact, were it not for that one person, Silver Screen and Roll would likely not exist. That person was Matt Moore. Yes, that Matt Moore. (No, not that Matt Moore. No, not that Matt Moore, either. C'mon, it's this Matt Moore.)

 

Matt had found me through RespectKobe.com. You can read what he had to say about it here. As he alludes to, we began talking basketball over gChat, and soon became friends. We would argue for hours and hours, about basketball, and beyond that, about politics and religion and whatever else. I like to think I'd often bring him back from the brink in those chats — you may have noticed his penchant for bitterness and his flare for the dramatic — and for his part, in a couple of those conversations he profoundly changed my perception of the other side of the discussion. There is one of those conversations in particular that I still wish I could share with you, to this very day. It would change your entire outlook on the NBA, and probably significantly affect how you interact with non-Lakers fans.

 

I mentioned SB Nation's offer to Matt, and he immediately told me to take it. I wasn't at all sold, but he immediately saw it as a huge opportunity, both for me as writer, and also for you, this blog's then-future patrons. He convinced me it was a good idea, and, always one of the biggest fans of my writing, he may have even begged me to do it (I can tell you he was pissed when I walked away). He gave me some advice as to how to approach SB Nation in terms of negotiating my contract with them, and as far as I know, the result was one of the most favorable contracts of all SB Nation bloggers (without knowing the details, I believe that continues with C.A.).

 

It was Matt's idea that I should run this as a blog with multiple authors. The idea honestly hadn't occurred to me; I'm pretty sold on my own abilities in this area (you may have noticed?), and until he mentioned the idea, the plan was simply for it to be me and my blog. Matt made two key points. First, he told me that blogs with multiple authors are always the best blogs; he was absolutely right about that. Second, he made the point that it would make my work load easier, as I wouldn't be responsible for every single post. Again, absolutely true. C.A. can tell you that running a blog of such high quality as SS&R — which is the only option — is a lot to manage. The stipend was favorable, but nowhere near enough to live on. Running a blog as awesome as this one simply wouldn't have been possible for a person also working full time. The decision to bring on other authors was paramount, and it was made at Matt's urging.

 

And then there's the name. In most areas, I'm not a creative person; the exception to this, of course, is words. But I'm not creative in the funny sense; I'm not good at word play. Come up with a cool name for a blog? And it can't have "Lakers" in it (trademark reasons)? This was guaranteed to suck. I mentioned it to Matt, and one day, I came back to my gChat to find, in all caps and with lots of exclamation points, that Matt had stumbled upon the perfect name for my blog: Silver Screen and Roll. Yep, that was all him, and it's fucking brilliant.

 

With all of this encouragement and assistance from Matt, I signed the contract, jumped through the hoops, started writing, and the rest is history. On Matt's recommendation, I immediately started looking for writers from the community that began to form that I could promote — but more on that later.

 

3. In the beginning God created Adam, who did Josh Tucker create to get people coming to SSR?

 

I really don't know what this means. I didn't create anybody. What did I do to get people coming to SS&R? A couple things, though I can't say that much of it really was my doing. First, I know there were those who followed me from RespectKobe.com. It was a small group; not that many people knew of/read that website. But many of those who did came here. When I went to the Finals in 2009, I even met one of the old RK commenters, someone who'd been reading me more or less since Day 1.

 

But the community grew much faster than that; within a day or two, it was bigger than the total number of commenters in the history of RK. A lot of that, to be honest, has to do with SB Nation's greater community. Many of the initial members were folks who had been around SB Nation and were waiting, desperately longing, for them to launch a Lakers blog. I can't tell you how many people began their membership here by proclaiming how excited they were that SB Nation finally had a Lakers blog, and how long they'd been waiting.

 

Hardwood Paroxysm, as linked above, did their part, and I seem to remember getting a mention on TrueHoop at some point. SB Nation has a partnership with Y! Sports, which often translated to linkage from BDL, and that certainly helped people find us. It was more those things, than anything I did, that helped get people coming to SS&R. That, and of course, word of mouth. Combine that with the fact that we launched literally one week before the Playoffs started, and it was a time when most people are really gearing up for NBA reading, looking for additional NBA commentary, and people just found us. I really didn't do much to make that happen.

 

Who got people coming to SS&R? You guys did.

 

4. What made you decide to move on and bless us with an equally great Godfather in C.A. Clark? Tell us some inside info, give us the scoop…

 

C.A. was one of those early recruits from the community. Ironically, he had never been a blogger, and was not a big fan of blogs until he found this one. But for C.A., it wasn't just that this one was more awesome than all the others — it was that it was fresh, new, and when I put out the invite for those interested in being authors, he saw in that the opportunity to shape this community into one he could actually enjoy. You may remember him as the author formerly known as The Frying Dutchman; it wasn't until he began to take more of an ownership role in the blog, and it became clear that he would be my successor, that he realized he should probably start using his real name.

 

C.A.'s first piece with SS&R, and perhaps his greatest achievement to date, was our community rules & guidelines. When I put out the word the "now hiring" announcement, he approached me with the desire to write the rules for participation. He seemed almost hesitant about greater overall participation, but he was adamant about the community guidelines. Not that I minded — the guidelines he came up with were all things I agreed wholeheartedly with... with one exception. I'm a Troll Slayer; you all know this. There's nothing I enjoy better, at times, than to take it to a persistent troll. The dude doesn't know how many assholes a human body can have until I'm done with him. It's always been this way. I believe wholeheartedly in treating people with absolute respect — but I can destroy your argument and leave you wounded and dragging yourself from the scene without ever attacking you personally.

 

C.A. encouraged me not to feed the trolls. He made it part of our policy. Oh, sometimes I'd go ahead and have some fun with one of them, but we tried to keep that to a minimum, and that was all C.A. I quickly discovered that he was right about that. As fun as it is to go 'round and 'round with them, it's better for the community atmosphere to try and prevent that kind of back and forth. Seriously — don't feed the trolls.

 

Anyhow, C.A.'s efforts to form a certain type of community, with a much higher standard than anywhere else on the internet, were hugely successful, as you all know. He soon became more committed as a regular author. I can't recall, exactly, how it moved past that — I do remember that, in a fairly forward move, he simply emailed me one day and said that if I ever did end up moving on, he wanted to put it out there that he'd like to take over. I just can't remember if I had dropped hints about that possibility to the authors, or if he just put that out there on his own, out of the blue. Regardless, I began to reach a point where it was becoming clear that I had to make a decision. C.A. and I began talking more about what would happen if that decision led me to walking away. He was quite good about always letting it be known that he was glad for us to continue with the status quo, but that if I should choose to move on, he was ready to step in.

 

For me, it came down to a personal life decision. One day, we were down here, in Texas, visiting my parents, and my dad asked me what my career plans were. I was 27 years old (30 on the horizon, coming up quick), would surely be starting a family soon (yep), and as of yet, had no viable career. After a long discussion with him, and a follow-up with my wife, I knew that this wasn't something I could continue to pursue. Could this eventually lead to a full time gig as a sports writer? Sure — but that eventuality was likely still quite a ways down the line, and I no longer had years to waste. I needed to find a career, and I decided on teaching. It soon became clear that that would demand far too much of my time to continue to manage SS&R. So I made the call. I let C.A. know I was moving on, and I endorsed him to the SB Nation folks. They were well aware of his writing and thought he would do a great job, and so the transition was made.

 

I'd say it was a pretty good choice. Obviously, he knew how this community should be run — a lot of those ideas were his, to start with. As writers, he and I are eerily alike, both very analytical in our approach. While I know that I'm missed personally, around here, I haven't once felt that this blog has missed my leadership, and to me, that's a very positive thing. I should also mention that Dex is also a huge piece of this leadership puzzle, as well. I always ran things as somewhat of a parliamentary system around here — I retained the right to make the final call, but most of our decisions were made as a group, with input from anyone who cared to weigh in. I loved how that worked. In the final months before I handed over the reigns, it had become me, C.A., and Dex as the three people most involved in every aspect of the blog's leadership and decision making, and I can't emphasize enough how much Dex does behind the scenes. It's not just the legwork he does, crunching numbers and such. He's was very much involved in how we ran the blog, as was C.A. before I bowed out, and I assume that continues today. With Dex and C.A., I left without even the smallest doubt that you guys were in good hands.

 

5. How many times have you had the opportunity to go to a Lakers game or event sponsored by the Lakers?

 

When I started this blog, I lived in Kansas. After I moved on, I moved to San Antonio, Texas, where I currently reside. As such, that limits my opportunities to attend games and Lakers events. I covered the 2009 Finals with press credentials, writing for NBA.com (I believe the next year, C.A. actually got to attend the Finals as a representative of SS&R), and I went to the parade. That's pretty much it. It was a crazy experience, very intimidating at times, and I only got two games, since the series never returned to L.A.

 

6. Has having this job afforded you the opportunity to be within touching distance of a Laker or anybody associated with the Lakers past or present in person or via technology?

 

Sarge, this may be the vaguest, most equivocating question I've ever been asked! But yes, I have attended the press conferences of guys like Kobe, Pau, and Lamar, and I have stood body odor-to-body odor with a throng of reporters squeezing around guys like Shannon Brown, Trevor Ariza, etc. Did I ever ask a question? Hell no. Those were taken by guys with much more seniority than me, and to be honest, I was still getting my bearings when the thing switched to Orlando, and then it was over. It was a whirlwind, and a hell of an experience.

 

7. What are your feelings about this season and do you really believe that Kobe can drag us through the ringer again for another championship?

 

For me, this is the first year that it actually doesn't hang on Kobe. Yeah, the team has always been good, but it's also always felt like Kobe had to be superhuman. Of course, there was never any doubt that he would be, at least not in my mind. This year, the Lakers are better than ever — and I mean, they're that much better than they ever have been — and it has to do with not just Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and Ron Artest. Not to mention the Killa Bees. And let's not take Mr. Intangibles' intangibles for granted (right, Dex?). To answer your question, I honestly can't see anyone else winning this championship, barring serious injury. Could Kobe drag the Lakers to another championship? Yes, he absolutely still has that in him; remember, in 2010's first round he was old — except, he wasn't really. But I feel quite certain that the Lakers will win it again this year, and this time more than ever, it will be as an entire team, riding strong performances by Odom, Artest, and especially Bynum. And yes, Kobe and Pau will, of course, deliver as always.

 

8. What do you think of Kobe Bryant in his later years, and how many does he have left in the tank at his excellent standards?

 

Go back and watch games from the 35-point season — the 81-point game, the 62-in-three game — and you'll notice the difference. In fact, nothing can be more obvious. Athletically, he has absolutely declined quite a bit. As a player, however, it's remarkable how very little he has lost. As has been well documented, he has adjusted his game to compensate, and has been extremely successful in that regard. I still think he's the best player in the NBA — and understand what I mean, here. The most talented? No. The most athletic? No. The most individually and statistically dominant? Not usually, no. But there's more than all that, isn't there? This question is easy to answer if we look at Derek Fisher. As any NBA observer about Derek Fisher, and even Kobe Bryant's most vocal detractors will rave about all the things that Fish brings to the Lakers that don't show up in the box score. Ask them if Fisher's stats, his raw production, are anything close to a reflection of his value as a player, and you'll get an emphatic and near-unanimous "No!" Many simply have a harder time admitting this same fact when it comes to Bryant, but the fact remains that when we refer to someone being "the best," the obvious implication is that he is the best at something. At what? "At basketball" is too general. Skill is worthless if it can't be translated into winning — just ask Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady. After all, they don't play to show their skills. They play to win. Who is the best at accomplishing the goal of winning basketball games? It's still Kobe Bryant. He may not be the most athletic or most talented player, and he may not be the most efficient, but he is the most well-rounded, complete, and effective player.

 

How many more years does he have left in the tank? I honestly haven't the slightest idea, because we've never seen anything like this. We're talking about a guy who's hand has been permanently messed up in more ways than I can count, and every year he has adjusted his shot on the fly — and he's so good at it, we essentially don't even notice that he's done it. He's already playing far above his age in both years and "mileage," and as mentioned, much of that has to do with his ability to adjust his game as he ages. How much longer can he do this? I have no idea. How many injuries to his shooting hand will it take before it's one too many? One day we may find out. I could see the guy going another 6 years, with noticeable and yet very minor drop-off. We've simply never seen anything like this, and so it's virtually impossible to say how much longer he might go.

 

9. What has life been like teaching? What grade and class do you teach? Do you have any students that have rewarded you with hard work and have made you all the better for it? Give us some insight into your teaching world.

 

This thing is already going to be 15 pages long. I don't know that I can give you insight into teaching without doubling that. I do still plan to do a FanPost on that topic, at some point. It may or may not show up before summer time. For now, let me say this: Teaching is both extremely frustrating and tremendously rewarding. Working with kids is incredible. My kids are very, very difficult kids, but I've learned to connect with most of them, and doing so is an extremely gratifying thing. In particular, I have 8 students that I mentor, which for me means that I work with them on a near-daily basis, and that's my favorite part of all. The frustrating part is administration. They talk out of both sides of their mouths, give us no support while at the same time taking no responsibility, never have anything positive to say, and tie our hands in so many ways. They say it's all about the kids, but the reality is that it's never about the kids. Oh, for the teachers it's about the kids — at least, those that I work with. That's been a blessing. But for the administrators, it's about school performance, jumping through hoops, test scores, and money. Money, money, money. At every juncture along the way, when presented with one or more choices, not once has administration chosen the one that would most benefit the kids. For us as teachers, doing what's in the kids' best interest often means acting in spite of, or even in contradiction to, what administration wants us to do. That's extremely difficult, and at times it feels like I'm selling my soul. What keeps me doing this? Two things. One, if people like me, who actually do care about the kids, walk away because it's so hard to actually do what's best for the kids... whose left? I don't like that idea. Hard as it may be, that's exactly why I have to stay. And two, the vacations are freaking awesome. But don't be fooled — there is no such thing as a teacher who has it easy, no matter how long their vacations are. Teaching is the hardest thing I've ever done, and in my opinion, one of the hardest jobs in the world. Without those long breaks, I can absolutely guarantee you this: 90% of us simply couldn't handle teaching. You need every single minute of those long breaks just to be able to survive the job.

 

That said, they said the first year is the hardest, and that after that first year, things become not just a little easier, but much easier. I'm banking on that, because I can't handle 25 years of this.

 

10. In all your great wisdom what do you think of Andrew Bynum and can he really CARRY the work load as Kobe gets older (this senario has Drew healthy for a long time) or will we have to turn to another superstar to drive the ship?

 

I think Jeff Van Gundy was right on when he talked about the sacrifice that Bynum has made for this team. Put him on the Timberwolves, and tell me he wouldn't also be chasing double-double records. You want to talk about sacrifice? Forget Miami; those guys didn't sacrifice jack squat (okay, Wade did a little bit, but Bosh and James sure didn't). Bynum has sacrificed a lot, and I absolutely think he could be a franchise player on a lesser team.

 

The key for Bynum, right now, and the reason that his current stretch of dominance seems more reasonably sustainable than it ever has in the past, is that it doesn't have anything to do with health. It has to do with a mental adjustment, as Kevin Ding has detailed. This was always there; it was always something he could do. He just had to realize the importance of it, and choose to do it. I believe we have enough reason to believe that he's not just on a little defensive spree, he has actually made a fundamental shift in his mindset. From that perspective, I think extremely highly of Bynum right now, and I think he's going to be huge for the Lakers in these playoffs and going forward.

 

Beyond that, I do think he has what it takes to take over from Kobe as The Mamba gets older. But remember, it's not just Bynum. There's Pau, too, and Lamar. Actually, this team is very well suited to continue to be a tremendous powerhouse even as Kobe ages and, potentially, takes fewer shots. As long as The Mamba can take and make those shots at his current rate, even if it is in a less dominant fashion, he will — and I have no problem with that. But if he eventually sees fit to take 16 shots, instead of 22, I think the Lakers have more than enough to absorb those shots, especially with their big men, and be every bit as dominant. And yes, Bynum is a large piece of that puzzle.

 

It's hard to say what Bynum's ceiling is. But I think there's every possibility that one day, when even 16 shots is a lot to ask of Kobe, Bynum has the potential to be the franchise player that the Lakers build around, rather than going out and finding a #1 guy to stick with Bynum's #2. But only time will tell whether Bynum fulfills all of that potential.

 

11. Did you ever watch Firefly and if so do you consider yourself a browncoat? If not do you know what the hell i'm talking about? If so did you follow Nathan Fillion to Castle?

 

I absolutely did, and the movie as well, and it's one of my favorite shows, ever. I'm not a total junkie — like the Firefly version of a Trekkie. But I do love the show, and sure, you could call me a browncoat. Did I follow Nathan Fillion to Castle? Kind of. I didn't start watching it because of him, but I do watch it, and it is one of my absolute favorite shows. ...Wow, short answer.

 

12. Can you explain to me how in the blue hell SoCalGal and bluexfalcon can spend so much time on the internet and not have some sort of mental disorder? Do they have a magic hour glass that stops the space time continuum or something so they have more hours in the day than the rest of us? I mean shit…one of them WORKS and the other has SCHOOL and they are both still here (SSR) round the clock!

 

If I knew their secret, you might also find me on here more often. I mean, Blue is fairly easy to understand. He's in college — no wife or family that occupy his personal time. It's not that I don't have some free time, it's just that the amount that I have, I spend most of it with my wife. There are some other folks on here who do have families, though, and yet are constantly on this site, and they're the ones that I marvel at. How do they do it? I don't know. I just assume that they're better at life than I am. But it may also be that they're certifiably insane. I know that Blue is an avid PC guy, so there may be something to that latter possibility...

 

13. What pray tell is your favorite movie? And why? (the longer the explanation the more we will believe you...haha)

 

Braveheart and Good Will Hunting have always been at the top of my list, but without a doubt, my all time favorite is Gladiator. But you have to get the director's cut. I like epic movies about characters who stand for something bigger than themselves — movies about honor, sacrifice, valor, in the face of enormous odds and at tremendous personal cost — and Gladiator is a classic, in that regard. Watching that film causes me to aspire to be such a person as Maximus is, in that movie. His leadership, his heart, his conviction, and his willingness to give of himself for that conviction — it's overwhelming. I weep uncontrollably in the final scenes, every time. I try and watch the movie at least twice a year.

 

14. What are your hobbies? And what are some things about you that people around here probably don't know?

 

My hobbies include writing, music, motorcycles, volleyball, philosophy, religion, and history. Aside from sports, in my free time I write some about philosophy and (more so) religion/faith (not nearly as much as I'd like). I play the guitar, bass, drums, and some rudimentary piano (by ear), and when I have the time, I write my own songs and lyrics — it's really the only form of writing I do that is not analytical in nature, and it's the only area where I am at all creative. It's also something I haven't done much lately, because of a general lack of free time to spare. I ride a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 with custom aftermarket pipes; it's my primary form of transportation, and occasionally I take a couple hours to go on a short trip down a winding road somewhere out of town. In high school, I played volleyball — I'm a great basketball observer, but it was never in the cards for me to be much good at playing it. I was Mr. Volleyball at my school, played 4 years varsity, and I still play in a beach volleyball rec league in town. I also usually coach volleyball. When I have spare time (hopefully especially this summer), I love to study philosophy and history, and to read classic literature. A few years ago, I started from the beginning — the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers. Sir Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy provides the overall framework, and I delve deeper by reading the primary source documents. I try to supplement that by studying the history and literature of the time period. Yes, this is what I do in my personal time, when I'm not spending time with my wife. One day, I want to get the hell away from math and be a history or literature teacher.

 

15. How many Ron Artest mix-tapes do you own, and if so are they in constant rotation in your hooptie? Do you think Ron Artest would have stolen your lunch money in high skool? Oh and one more question…can you get me Ron’s autograph? lol

 

I have none, and I have never been a big fan of the hippity hop. However, I was quite fond of "Champion." I thought that was a legitimately good song, and it sure felt good to listen to it and relive my favorite 2010 Championship moments.

 

Would Ron Artest have stolen my lunch money? Well, he certainly could have. But I don't think he would have. I never ran with the crowd that took lunch money, but I also was never the guy who had his lunch money taken. Mostly, I think I'd be irrelevant to Ron Artest.

 

Sorry, I no longer have any connections via which I could get a Ron Artest signature. And unfortunately, even if I did still have connections in a media function, it is EXTREMELY bad form for credentialed media to ask for an autograph. It's a good way to never get invited back.

 

16. What other sports do you like and who are your favorite teams?

 

I love watching and playing football and soccer, and I love playing hockey and baseball — but not watching either. As such, I don't really have favorite teams in the latter two sports. My favorite football team is the 49ers, and Jerry Rice is my other favorite athlete of all time. I don't get to see as many '9ers games as I like, and when I do, they usually lose. Soccer is really the only sport that I'm really a fan of in which I truly am just a fan of the sport. I don't have a favorite team, though I clearly root American when international competition rolls around. I grew up watching European league soccer, and with my high school friends, we used to always put some money on the Champions League. But I honestly just love international soccer, and don't have a favorite team. Oh, and when I play soccer, it's barefoot. Not that I can't play in shoes, but I grew up playing without. It's the only way to do it.

 

17. Besides the Lakers players, name some other players you happen to like and root for and why?

 

Ironically, I tend to root for players that are humble and unassuming. I'm sure you get the irony there (*cough* Kobe *cough*). I'm pretty high on guys like Dwight Howard (extremely talented and physically gifted, but down to earth (*cough* LeBron *cough*), not to mention freakin' hilarious), Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, and pretty much all the Spurs. I also tend to have respect for guys that don't expect anything to be given to them, don't complain and cry like little girls when things are tough (rough, physical play, hard fouls that little girly men refer to as "dirty," foul/FT differential, etc.). Basically, the anti-Portland.

 

18. Besides the obvious Magic and Kobe, what second tier players have you always loved past present and future (Laker-wise)?

 

I'm about as high on Derek fisher and Lamar Odom as a person can be. It's not just that they're great role players, or all their intangibles, or the leadership they provide — though it is that. It's also that the more you see of these guys, the clearer it seems to become that these are genuinely two of the best people you could know. Of course, the list could be pretty long, but I'll just drop a couple more names and move on: Robert Horry, Trevor Ariza, Ron Artest, Eddie Jones, A.C. Green, and Freaking' Kurt Rambis. Also, I think The Captain is hugely underrated. That Skyhook was the greatest and most unstoppable shot in the history of sports.

 

19. Who was your favorite action Star growing up and why? We as males always want to grow up to be like them (And in our own brain may have even accomplished this too) give me some insight to if this has happened yet...and if not, how long will it take you to become as badass as said action star?

 

That would have to be Superman. I was never much of a comic book reader, but I was a big fan of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (a huge crush on Teri Hatcher may have played a part in that). How am I like Superman? In very few ways, I imagine. I try to use my strengths for good, and I am/have been a writer/journalist of sorts. That's about it. Unfortunately, I don't see that there's much I can do to increase my natural abilities in the areas of bullet resistance, x-ray vision, super speed, flight, or super strength. Hell, at this point, I'd settle for moderate strength and a bit less of a beer gut.

 

20. How did you go about getting all the writters and staff for the site and how did you find the awesome Aussie (OYE OYE OYE!) writter?! lol

 

I basically posted a "Help Wanted," more or less on Day 1. I let people know I wanted to have several authors, and that I had no qualms with saying, "Sorry, no, I'm looking for better writers," but that if they thought they were up to it (and could handle being turned down without taking it personally), they should let me know they're interested in writing. A couple did, and I recruited a couple others based on the kinds of comments they were posting. As time went by, one or two faded because of changes in their personal contexts, and we discovered others that we asked to come on board. "The Aussie," I believe, was one of the latter. He was doing good work in the comments and with FanPosts, and we realized that we should bring him on as a regular writer. So we did. It's a pretty informal process, and one that continues today — do good work in the comments and FanPosts, and you'll get noticed. If it's good enough, and you're willing, odds are you'll be brought on as an author. That's how I did it on the first day, and it's always worked well for us.

 

21. What do you think of the SSR faithful? Are there any that you read their comments and really LOL alot? Are there any that make you constantly get ready to smash the Ban-button? Are their any that you just cant wait to read their opinions on said articles you write? I know alot of these folks are curious and maybe a name or 2 for validation, Maybe you could just write a long ass paragraph on certain fun times and conversations on SSR.

 

I love this community. I loved it shortly after we launched, I loved it even more when the time came to walk away, and I think I love it now more than ever (even though I don't get the chance to come around very much). The bar is so high here, and I love that. The discourse is at an entirely different level from anywhere else on the internet. The way this community balances high expectations for behavior and treatment of others with a good sense of humor and an easy-going nature (as opposed to the restrictiveness of FB&G or the fascist banhammerism of Celtics Blog) is simply impossible to find anywhere else. The way people here interact, as though they genuinely know and like each other, as with friends, is truly enjoyable. I love that people seem to genuinely care about each other, and that so many of you have expressed genuine caring of me, even without knowing me. The bottom line is that there is so very little that myself or any of the other writers or blog managers have done that truly makes this place as great as it is. It's you guys, the community, and everything that happens after we click "Submit" on our posts that make this place the greatest sports blog on the planet.

 

As for specific shout-outs, I'll refer you back to what I said in the body and comments of this FanPost — but I'll also say that I surely overlooked some people, even as I mentioned others, who should also be on that list. But beyond that, there are so, so many people here who have the potential to crack me up at any point in time, and so many also who delight me with consistently insightful comments. I couldn't possibly list them all.

 

Any who make me want to smash the Ban button? Nope. Here at SS&R, it has always been that you only get banned if you truly deserve it — and when you do, you get banned. So it is that all those who deserve to be banned already have been, and I don't have those impulses towards any that remain. It takes more than a difference of opinion, or even a heated argument, to make me wish you were banned.

 

That said, I'm gonna go ban bluexfalcon, Vmuse, and JevonO...

 

22. Family….how does your wife love the Lakers? Does she roll with you or does she give you crap for your love affair with them? Will you force your kid (congrats again man!) to be a Laker lover or just let her love spawn for whichever team? What if she happens to become a Celts fan…then what? Lol

 

My wife is a fan. I didn't require that of her, but she picked it up from me, and she is honestly a fan in her own right, now.

 

My daughter will be a Lakers fan. She will not be a Celtics can. That is all.

 

What kind of question is, this anyways?!?!

 

23. If you had a million dollars to start a charity and ONE famous person that you could pick for a frontman (or woman) what would the charity be and who would be the star?

 

Oy... this is an entirely different conversation, and a pretty huge one, but I'm not a huge fan of charities. I come from a pretty different background, and my experience has consistently been that those with their hearts in the right place give to the poor in the world, and though they may intend well, they do more harm than good. You can argue the point all you want, but you'll never convince me otherwise. I lived that, and I've seen it a million times.

 

I suppose if I was going to give to a charity, it would be a disaster relief organization. Those are the few times that I actually think that the charitable work is undeniably necessary and unquestionably beneficial. And until the day comes that I find the time to put my thoughts on this issue to "paper" (probably in a medium outside of SS&R), I'll just leave it at that.

 

Actually, I take it back. The one other thing I might do is support education — but even then, how that is done needs to be completely rethought. If I was going to start my own organization, it would focus on mentoring. As I've said, I currently mentor 8 students, and for me, that's a very, very involved process. My experience has been that the mentoring has been the single biggest, most important, most beneficial thing we can do for these students. So if I was going to create my own organization, it might be that.

 

Oh, and who would be my frontman? I think Derek Fisher. I think he's a great leader, has already shown that he has what it takes to lead an organization. I resonate with his personal values, and I think he's far too intelligent or thoughtful to be swept along with the typical, cliché, Hollywood group think that so frequently characterizes the Angelina Jolie/Alec Baldwin crowd. If I had to trust my donations to a famous person, I can't think of any famous person who would be more likely to challenge current popular assumptions, ask the question, "Is this REALLY helping?" and think for himself.

 

24. Do you ever plan on writing about sports again?

 

Stay tuned.

 

And in the meantime, follow me on Twitter:  @J0shTucker

 

And seriously... stay tuned.

 

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