Insider Interview with Smush Parker

On July 27, the Miami HEAT signed free-agent point guard William “Smush” Parker. During his four-year NBA career with Cleveland, Detroit, Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers, Parker has averaged 9.4 ppg, 2.9 apg and 1.27 spg. HEAT Insider sat down with the newest addition to the HEAT for this exclusive interview:

HEAT Insider: We can't start this interview without asking how you got the nickname “Smush”.

Smush Parker: “I don't know how it came about, but it was a nickname given to me by my mom when I was a baby, so I don't really consider it a nickname. I consider it my given name. I love it. That's why I kept it and that's why I still use it. That's why most people know me as ‘Smush' Parker. Growing up, I got teased some, but it was cool – very unique.”

HI: But you also have several other nicknames including “NBA Live”. How did you get that nickname?

SP : “‘NBA Live' is a video game, but I don't play video games. When I was playing in a basketball tournament in New York City , some of my moves looked like moves from NBA Live. That's how I got that name.”

HI: Growing up in New York , you must have had a basketball idol. Who did you pattern your game after?

SP: “Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland. Growing up, I was a big Rod Strickland fan. He was underrated, but he always got the job done.”

HI: While you were in high school, you modeled for Nautica apparel. How was that experience?

SP: “That was a great experience. I actually want to do a little bit of modeling. You think I got the look (laughs)? D.Wade can definitely help me with my career in modeling. He's in ‘GQ' every other week (laughs).”

HI: You also made a guest appearance on Comedy Central's “Mind of Mencia”. Is acting in your future as well?

SP: “ That was a fun experience. I'm definitely open to venturing outside of basketball. I want to do things such as modeling, commercials and acting. It's great that they allowed me to come out and do something like that.”

HI: What did you know about the city of Miami before coming out?

SP: “Not too much. I knew what a lot of other people know about it – South Beach , the beaches, the weather, the Miami HEAT and the championship two years ago. Miami 's my new home now. I'm planning to be here for a while, so I have plenty of time to get to know the city.”

HI: On the court, what should HEAT fans expect from you? Why should they be excited about your arrival?

SP: “Pat Riley is a ‘let you play' kind of coach, and that's what I'm all about. That's what I'm good at – just playing basketball. I'm a playmaker, that's what I do. I like to create. I'm going to have fun in this offense and fun in this system. I'm going to go out there and give the fans a show.”

HI: What intrigued you so much about the HEAT to come here?

SP: “The players are just as excited about having me here as I am coming here. I'm really looking forward to playing with D.Wade and Shaq. I can't wait. I wish we were playing tomorrow.”