Recently, Clippers.com sat down with the Clippers' journeyman, Brian Skinner. Originally drafted by the Clippers in first round of the 1998 NBA Draft, Brian Skinner has played for seven different NBA teams. What was his journey to the NBA like? What is his favorite goatee color? Read all about these questions and more on this edition of Clippers.com Q&A!
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posted by Clippers.com | February 24, 2009 @ 12:00 pm
Clippers.com: What players and teams did you like to watch while growing up?
Brian Skinner : Honestly, I always loved watching the Celtics and Lakers rivalry. There was nothing like seeing Magic and Bird competing on the court.
Who is your favorite NBA player in history? Magic? Bird?
Skinner: No. I would have to say Brian Skinner. Me! I'm my favorite player!
Seeing as you are your own favorite player, do you model your game after any player in particular, or do you do your own thing?
Skinner: I donít really model my game after anyone. I guess Iíve always just gone on the court doing my own thing, and playing my own brand of basketball. [Laughs] I really canít think of anyone who plays like me.
As you grew and learned more about the game, is there any one person who you feel most affected your development as a basketball player?
Skinner: Definitely my high school and college coach. I had the same coach both in high school and in college, seven years total. He had a great knowledge of the game, and his influence really helped to grow my desire to continue to play basketball.
As a 4-year college student, was your journey to the NBA a difficult one?
Skinner: It was a pretty interesting journey. I really didnít think that I was going to head to the NBA until teams started talking about me during my junior year at Baylor. I could have entered the draft at that point, but I wanted to finish school and get my degree. I remember wanting to see my time at Baylor all the way through. I didnít think about possible injuries or anything, I just wanted to enjoy my college experience and enjoy being a kid.
After your graduation from Baylor, does the feeling of being drafted still stand out for you?
Skinner: Yeah, it does. I was sitting at my parentsí house with the media waiting outside. It was a surreal feeling for me. I still look back at being drafted into the NBA as one of the biggest transitions in my life.
After 11 pro years with seven different teams, how would you define your role as a player?
Skinner: As I get older, my role is summed up in being a smart player. I have to do the little things: slow the game down in my head, play good defense, understand where I need to be on the court at all times. With my experiences around the league, Iím also able to provide some veteran leadership to some of the younger players on the team.
Who would be on a ďBrian Skinner Dream TeamĒ Ė a team filled with past or present teammates?
Skinner: Iíve played with a lot of players, so thatís a pretty tough question. From Allen Iverson to Vince Carter, Michael Redd to Mo Williams Ė Iíve played with so many guys. Honestly, I would pick my team from my high school years at Temple High School. We probably had about 13 guys, and itís one of the best memories I have of playing basketball. If I can remember, our starting lineup was, 5í10Ē, 6í3Ē, 6í6Ē, 6í7Ē, and 6í9Ē. That has to be one of the top five high school teams to have come out of the state of Texas, and I had a great time playing with those guys.
How is it being back on the team that originally drafted you? Does it seem like a whole new experience?
Skinner: Some things have definitely changed, but others are familiar. The upgrades with the brand new Practice Facility are fantastic, and the coaching staff is brand new since my first run with the Clippers. At the same time, there are some familiar faces from 1998-2001 in the organization: the teamís Head Trainer, Jasen Powell, Equipment Manager, Pete Serrano, Assistant Director of Media Services, TaíNisha Cooper, and a few others. Itís definitely been an adjustment, but itís a good adjustment with a lot of great new people.
If you could meet anyone in history, who would you meet and what would you do?
Skinner: I would sit down with Jesus Christ with a tight-knit circle of my closest friends.
DeAndre Jordan speaks very high of your eating abilities. Is your appetite a source of pride for you?
Skinner: My eating abilities? Man, is that kid making me sound bad again? [Laughs] You canít listen to the things DJ tells you about me, but I bet we can get a whole team consensus on how many Snackwells cookies and Egg McMuffins DJ eats! Honestly though, I consider myself to be a herbivore! I actually donít really eat that much: a lot of salads and light fruits. Usually my eating habits revolve around my workout schedules, so I am constantly eating well.
[Skinner then yells to DJ across the gym, ďDonít you get on my bad side DJ! Thatís the last time I take you to dinner!Ē]
DJ actually mentions you quite a bit in his journals; do you ever read the journals?
Skinner: [Again, across the gym to DJ, "I havenít read any Journals. I didnít even know he was doing them until right now.]
[Quietly] Yeah, I've actually read them and he's pretty funny...I just don't want DJ getting that satisfaction right now.
Using DJís words, how long have you had your ďradioactive goatee?Ē
Skinner: [Laughs] Iíve had my goatee for a while, but I didnít start changing the color around until about two years ago.
In all seriousness though, what are some thoughts that come to mind when you think about DJís on-court abilities?
Skinner: In terms of his potential, DJ is limitless. Heís still very young, so he needs to learn and continue to grow into an offensive minded player, but heís quick and he is a gifted athlete. If he continues to have the same work ethic, and he continues to grow and learn everyday, heís going to be a phenomenal player in the years to come.
You mentioned your role as a mentor earlier, do you feel like youíre in a mentoring role for DJ?
Skinner: Yeah, I try to stay in his ear as much as I can. I tell him things he should be doing, and some things he shouldnít be doing. I know it can be tough and frustrating for a 19 year old guy to come to the NBA and play with a group of guys who have been doing this for years, so I try to give advice and help out DJ whenever I can.
Does he take your advice?
Skinner: Yeah, DJ is a good listener.
Favorite TV show?
Skinner: Man vs Wild. I enjoy watching anything that has to do with the outdoors.
What is your favorite movie?
Skinner: I have a lot actually. I would have to say that my original favorite movie is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steve Martin. Iím definitely a comedy fan.
Favorite goatee color?
Skinner: [Laughs] Iíve never really thought about. I guess my favorite is whatever color I feel like dying it.
After 11 pro seasons, do you still get excited to get on the court and play ball?
Skinner: I do; I definitely do. Most players try to get to at least five years in the NBA. Some people try to get to 10. Iíve gotten 10, now Iím on 11, but I still have the same love and passion for the game. I cherish the time I have because I know that once Iím done professionally, Iíll never have an opportunity to perform in front of an arena of 20,000 fans. As a professional athlete, itís a good feeling to know that by doing your job youíre able to create an experience for fans that can last in their memories forever.
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