Would You Rather: Steve Blake
We all know how to play a game of “Would You Rather,” right?
Here’s a quick refresher of some typical questions you’d answer: Would you rather be invisible, or be able to read minds? Have Usain Bolt’s speed or Peyton Manning’s arm? Win the lottery or meet the love of your life? And so on.
A few games into the 2010-11 season, we used the “Would You Rather” premise to get to know one of the newest Lakers, Steve Blake, who answered 10 WYR questions, adding some extra thoughts where applicable.
MT: OK Steve, with your life on the line, would you rather have to play 1-on-1 with Kobe Bryant, or try to surf a 100-foot wave in Tahiti like surfing legend Laird Hamilton?
Blake: Wow. That’s tough. I think the 100-foot wave would probably kill me, right? I have no idea how to surf. If I fall can I still live?
MT: That’s the risk you take, Steve, I can’t promise life.
Blake: Yeah if I could have a life vest I’d take the wave, but otherwise I’d just pray I get hot against Kobe. I’m a competitor, and I know I can play basketball so I’d take my chances with Kobe even though I know he’s the greatest player there is.
MT: Would you rather try to hit a Roy Halladay fastball, or try to tackle Adrian Peterson?
Blake: Those are tough, but I think I’d rather go against Halladay, just because I know he has the control not to hit me and it’d be fun to see if I could hit it. The harder they throw it, the farther it goes, so I’d have a chance to hit it far if I made contact, right? But Peterson, you could just get hurt. I’d try to go at him hard, but he’d probably hurt me, so let’s stick with baseball.
MT: Would you rather have your three little boys grow into bullies or be socially uncomfortable at all times?
Blake: I’d rather them be socially awkward, because I don’t want my kids growing up picking on kids or making other people feel bad. If they’re a little awkward, it’s OK. But my boys are great. All we do is play. They have more energy than I do, so we always wrestle, do puzzles, arts and crafts stuff.
Editor’s note: Blake’s wife, Kristen, tweeted this from her @kristenblake2 account regarding their four-year old son just before we did the interview with Steve: My 4 yr old just busts out with the most random stuff. We're eatin lunch and he goes "mom did you know iron workers have very good balance?"
MT: Staying on the kids, would you rather be limited to watching a cartoon show like “Dora The Explorer” exclusively for a full calendar year, or have to get a duplicate of each Matt Barnes tattoo?
Blake: Well, the fact that I just like watching cartoons with my kids means I’ll take “Dora.” That’s an easy one for me. I do have one tattoo, but it’s not visible to the public eye.
MT: So you’re keeping it on the DL? (pause) … OK, fair enough.
MT: Would you rather be a guest star on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” alongside Lamar Odom, or play dodge ball with Ron Artest throughout the summer?
Blake: I had no idea Ron does that, but either one of those would be great. I think it’d be fun to play dodge ball though, to see if I could get Ron out. I think I’d be good at dodge ball. I could dodge, dip, dodge, duck, or whatever it is.
MT: Be honest, you were pretty good at every sport growing up…
Blake: Yeah, I was pretty athletic. I played every sport: soccer, baseball, tennis, golf, roller hockey, whatever. I was really good at everything.
MT: Predictable. Back to Lamar: what would make you want to be on the show?
Blake: He’s just one of those people you like to be around, the cool friend that everybody likes. He always has something funny to say. Overall, he’s just a cool guy to be around, and a really good teammate as well.
MT: Moving on, would you rather be stuck in an elevator with Phil Jackson after a freakish eight-turnover, two-assist game in which you also missed all your shots and played matador defense, or be stuck in an elevator with Kobe after not feeding him the ball when he was wide-open for a game winner, instead opting for a Steve Blake baseline hook shot and air-balling to lose the game?
Blake: I think I’d rather be in the elevator with Phil. He might make some snide comments about how I played, but for the most part he won’t hold it against you too bad. With Kobe, we’d probably go to blows or something. But the fact is, if Kobe is open, I’m going to get him the ball. So I’m not worried about that.
MT: Makes sense. By the way, what was it like being on the other end of that prior to your game-winning three against Houston?
Blake: It was a big moment for the future to let Kobe know he can trust me to knock down shots. I think it definitely gave us some momentum, and that’s always a big thing when you’re a new guy trying to build the trust of your teammates.
MT: Gross one. Would you rather eat a full plate full of worms (spaghetti style) or try to go to sleep in a room you knew was populated with 17 creeping spiders?
Blake: Ugh. I’d rather eat the worms, I think. Even though I’d probably throw them up, I can’t imagine being asleep and finding a spider on my face or on my back. Any little thing you feel on you, you think it’s a spider … yuck. I couldn’t deal with that.
MT: Agree. What’s the nastiest thing you’ve had to eat?
Blake: To be honest, I’ve never eaten anything strange. I’m a very particular eater. Very simple, basic foods like steak, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, a cheeseburger with ketchup only. I keep it very plain … sorry if people don’t like that.
MT: OK, this is the Charles Barkley vs. Robert Horry type question. Would you rather be a 10-year All-Star on generally .500 teams that never won, or be a role player on a championship team?
Blake: I’d definitely rather be a role player on a championship team. Competition is what drives me, and there is nothing better than winning. I’ve been on losing teams, and it’s just taxing on your mind and your body. Being “the guy” has never been something that mattered to me too much. I’ve played with really good players since when I grew up in the game, and I’ve enjoyed being the point guard that gets them the ball and creates for guys to have success. I also like to think I do other things to make guys want to play with me like work hard on defense, and knock down shots for them when they get trapped. I guess in the back of your mind it’d be kind of cool to be the man, but at the same time it’s cool to be a winner, not just individually a great player.
MT: Changing tunes here, would you rather talk international politics with Pau Gasol throughout a team flight or talk hip-hop with rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter?
Blake: Probably politics. I’m someone that will sit there and watch CNN for a while just to kind of catch up on events going on around the world, so that would mesh with Pau. He’s very smart, knows a couple of languages, is a cultured guy. But with music, I’m pretty diverse. I don’t have one favorite, but I like to listen to rap, as well as some alternative music and I’ll even listen to some Christian music sometimes. I’m just not into the real heavy metal, that’s the only thing I don’t listen to.
MT: OK final one. Would you rather be a “Top Gun” pilot or…
Blake: Oh yes, that. I’ll already tell you, I want to be that, I don’t even have to hear the other thing. I loved the movie growing up, and love watching the military channel and stuff like that to see what new stuff is out there. Just the power, the speed, the firepower and the effect planes have on wars. The agility, imagining being up in the air and doing all those turns, spins and things like that is amazing.
MT: Fair enough. I was going to compare it to being a chart-topping music artist with a massive crowd in the palm of your hand, but we already have your answer.
Blake: No doubt, I’d rather be in the air.