Garrett Temple on Pelicans Media Day

Off the Court 2021-22: Pelicans guard/forward Garrett Temple

In the two-decade history of New Orleans’ NBA franchise, perhaps no Pelicans player has had more local ties than Garrett Temple. Both he and his father played college basketball at LSU, which is why Garrett is a Baton Rouge native. He’s also an avid New Orleans Saints fan whose debut in the NBA coincided on the calendar with the NFL franchise’s greatest moment. The 35-year-old discussed his background with, including the fact that one of his favorite athletes as a youngster was a certain LSU Tigers center and all-time great:

Best moment as an athlete: “Probably getting a call for my first 10-day contract in the NBA, in February 2010. My New Orleans Saints were in the Super Bowl as I was headed to the airport to my first NBA game. So getting that call for the first 10-day call-up back in 2010 was probably my best moment.” (Note: Temple’s official NBA debut with the Houston Rockets came Feb. 9, 2010, just two days after the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV).

How he chose his current uniform number of 41: “My dad wore 41 at LSU. He integrated the basketball program in 1970. I wore it in high school, and my older brother wore it in college as well. I was No. 17 a lot of my years in the NBA, but I’m going back to 41 this year.”

One thing fans might be surprised to know about him: “I’ve traveled to Africa three times, to see the slave castles in Ghana, and I’ve seen the pyramids in Egypt as well.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “The food and the people. I’m from right down the road, but the food and the people, you can’t get much better.”

Pregame ritual: “I listen to music. I might listen to a certain album two or three games in a row, then move on to the next album. I just make sure I get into my zone. I also have to take my gameday naps always.”

First job: “Does first job involve getting paid? Because I worked for my dad, but I wasn’t getting paid. I had to help out with a lot of the rent houses and construction stuff. But my first one was a desk job as my dad’s assistant, which was tough, because he’s very unorganized.”

Favorite athlete as a kid: “Michael Jordan. Shaquille O’Neal was a close second, because I grew up right down the street (from LSU) watching him.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “I’d probably be practicing law right now or trying to be a prosecutor or assistant district attorney.”

Closest friends currently playing on other NBA teams: “I’ve been in the league for a while, so I’ve got a few. Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, George Hill, those guys are probably my three closest friends. Justin Jackson, Langston Galloway.”

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