Q & A With Dominique Wilkins

Q & A With Dominique Wilkins
by Micah Hart

Dominique Wilkins has had a busy couple of weeks. After the birth of his son last week (Jacob, 6 lbs, mother and son doing well), Nique hit the road towards the Hall of Fame - literally. Wilkins rented an RV for his entire family (along with various media types) for a drive through the countryside, making his way from his home in Atlanta to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The drive is all part of the experience for Dominique, who is trying to soak in as much of the moment as he can as he prepares to be inducted into the Hall on Friday as part of a six-member class that includes two of his peers, Charles Barkley and Joe Dumars.

We caught up to Wilkins on Thursday as he prepares for the icing on the cake of his career (coverage Friday at 7:30 ET on ESPN Classic and NBATV).

Hawks.com: You took an unconventional route to the Hall of Fame this week. How was the trip?

Dominique Wilkins: It was really fun. The people at RV Connections really hooked us up, I have to give them a shout out. We had a lot of people along for the ride, but everyone I think had a good time. The RV we rode in was really nice, and even though we had a lot of people, it was never too crowded.

Hawks.com: A day before your enshrinement, how are you feeling?

DW: Emotions are running high (laughs). I may be more nervous right now than I've ever been before in my life, trying to think of what I want to say when I get up there.

Hawks.com: It's been an emotional couple of weeks for you, with the birth of your son Jacob.

DW: It has been, for sure. My son came at the right time though. He was actually supposed to be born about a month later than he was, but he is healthy and that's all we can ask for. No long hospital stay either, so he and his mom were both able to make the trip with me.

Hawks.com: Have you had a chance to check out the Hall of Fame since you arrived?

DW: Yeah, we went and toured around it yesterday. It is amazing - it totally blew my mind. There are only 275 or so people who have been inducted, and of those, only 160 or so were inducted for being players. I mean, there are millions of people playing basketball all over the world, and this is representing all of them. It just made it really hit home just how special this honor is.

Hawks.com: You chose Dr. J to introduce you at the HOF ceremony. What made you choose him?

DW: Growing up, Dr. J was my idol. He accomplished so much. Every kid wanted to play like Julius Erving. I have been fortunate through my career to get to know him, to the point where I consider him a very good friend. He is like a big brother type to me, so it means a lot that he will be the one to introduce me.

Hawks.com: How special is it to you to be going in with two of your peers, Charles Barkley and Joe Dumars?

DW: It's tremendous. Barkley and I grew up together - we played ball against each other in college, and we've been through a lot of the same stuff. Joe Dumars was a little younger than us, but he was one of the greatest two-guards to play the game. We all played against each other in our primes, so it's great to get to share this time with them.

Hawks.com: Any last thoughts before you become an official Hall-of-Famer?

DW: I am just so excited for this weekend. I want to cherish every moment of it. When they announced the class back in April, I felt like this day would take forever to get to, but it has actually flown by. I am happy to have my family with me to celebrate with me, and I am looking forward to the ceremony.

Micah Hart is the Manager of Websites for the Atlanta Hawks.