HEAT Insider: Shawn Marion
On February 6, the HEAT acquired four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion and guard Marcus Banks in a three-player trade with Phoenix in which they sent center Shaquille ONeal to the Suns. Marion, a 67, 228-pound forward, has averaged 18.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.89 steals, 1.35 blocked shots and 37.8 minutes in 660 games during his nine-year NBA career played entirely with Phoenix. HEAT Insider sat down with the newest member of the HEAT for this exclusive interview.
HEAT Insider: Welcome to Miami. Tell HEAT fans how you got the nickname The Matrix.
Shawn Marion: I got the nickname in the preseason of my rookie season. I was playing for the Suns at the (Great Western) Forum. I got a block or a steal or a dunk and (TNT broadcaster) Kenny Smith went crazy. He called me The Matrix. Who wouldnt like it? Players go through their whole career without having a nickname.
HI: Are you excited about your move to Miami?
SM: Im definitely excited. Miami was one of my favorite cities to come to as a visiting player. Now, I get to stay longer. I love Miami.
HI: What was your first reaction when you got traded to Miami?
SM: It kind of caught me off guard. Everybody was calling me that Tuesday. They were like, Have you been watching TV? Its all over ESPN. Youre going to Miami. I said, What? What are you talking about? I didnt know what was going on. It kind of came out of the blue, but it was time to go.
HI: You are leaving a championship contender in Phoenix for a team that may miss the playoffs. Are you up for the challenge and what can you bring to the HEAT?
SM: Im definitely up for the challenge. Im excited to help this team go in the right direction. Im going to bring my whole game. After talking to Coach Riley he told me to do what I do. Were going to spend the rest of the season making good things happen. We have a lot of talent on our team, but sometimes you dont have that extra little bit to get you through at the end of games. Im here to help contribute to this team the best way I can.
HI: Pat Riley has compared your game to Scottie Pippens. Is that scary or an accurate comparison?
SM: Ive been compared to Scottie Pippen my whole career especially early in my career when I was doing a lot more perimeter ball handling. The last few years, my role changed and I played a little more small forward and power forward. Its just part of it. Ive been compared to him since I was in college.
HI: Has playing a variety of positions helped your game?
SM: Definitely. You should never want to be a one position player. If youre a real basketball player, you should be able to play any position. Thats the difference between really good players and average players.
HI: Why did you pick No. 7 as your jersey number?
SM: My birthday is May 7. Thats the day I was born, so why not? I have no other number thats significant to me. I really wanted No. 31 but (Ricky Davis already has it). But its a fresh start with the HEAT, so why not start with No. 7.
HI: Youre known for your fashion sense. Who are some of your favorite dressers in the NBA?
SM: Fashion is what you feel comfortable in and being a little adventurous with it. My former Suns teammate Raja Bell could dress. I like some of the stuff he wears. I like Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mournings style. Fashion is something Im interested in. I really try to do my thing when it comes to fashion.
HI: Do you feel like you have to step up your fashion game now that youre in Miami?
SM: The weather is kind of different here. You have to dress according to the weather. In winter weather, thats how you can really show off how you dress. You can throw some stuff together and see how you look like with scarves and jackets. Being out here, you dont have to wear a bunch of layers. You have to pick and choose. Im cool with a nice polo, some nice jeans and some nice shoes. I like wearing blazers, but Im not sure if I can wear them in Miami Its like 80 degrees here everyday.