The other day, our friends at Converse held an event in NYC to showcase their two new basketball sneakers – the Converse DEFCON and Converse Pro Leather 2K11. Hosted by Bobbito Garcia, Converse athletes Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Lou Williams and Kyle Korver were there to represent. After about a 30-minute Q&A with Bobbito, the athletes had the opportunity to interact with the media, and I got the chance to catch up with Birdman and Sweet Lou.
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Dime: What do you like most about being a part of the Converse family?
Chris Andersen: The family is more than humble. They’ve been good to me the whole time I’ve been with them. Anything I ever needed they were there to help me with. When my high school coach came to me for help, I asked Converse to sponsor his team with gear and they were all for it. Now Converse embraces his team, and they’re able to represent Converse. I really just love how humble they are, man.
Dime: You put a lot of wear and tear on your shoes with the way you play. Does the Pro Leather 2K11 provide enough stability for you on the court?
CA: I’ve been going through a lot of training with them. I’ve been doing a lot of basketball drills on the court, but I’ve also been doing some cross-training. I’m taking them off the court – which they were built for – and taking them out and putting them in the dirt, running railroad ties, running bleachers, running stairs. I’m putting a lot of endurance into them, and I ain’t had no problems yet. They still feel great. I’ve still got the same pair I’ve done that with, and I’m still running with them. I’m still putting them through hell. The shoes are really durable.
Dime: Have you ever met the other Birdman?
CA: You mean the rapper? I never got the opportunity to meet him. Even when I was playing down there in New Orleans, I never really got the opportunity to meet him face to face. I’m a huge fan of his stuff, though. I’ve definitely got a lot of his old stuff and still listen to it – especially because I grew up in Texas, man. They did a lot of stuff with DJ Screw and a few artists from Houston, so I definitely listened to a lot of Cash Money growing up. I still got a lot of all that stuff.
Dime: Who do you think has more tattoos: you or him?
CA: He does for sure.
Dime: Do you get all your tattoos from the same guy?
CA: I get all my tats pretty much from the same guy. John Slaughter from Tribe Tattoo out in Denver. I mess with Oliver Martinez and Chris Nunez down at Miami Ink, so I mess with those guys a little bit here and there, but John is my main guy.
Dime: In your opinion who in the league has the best ink?
CA: J.R. Swish!
Dime: Have you put him on to your tattoo artist?
CA: Yeah he’s gotten tatted up by my guy. I haven’t gotten any from his guy yet, though.
Dime: How do you think J.R. will do out in China this year? He guaranteed nightly triple-doubles. Do you think he can back that up?
CA: He’s gonna do what he does. He’s gonna be himself, you know, he’s gonna go out and shoot it. I’m definitely guaranteeing he’s gonna tear up the league over there – especially with his style of scoring.
Dime: The Nuggets drafted Kenneth Faried with their first-round pick this year. How do you think he can help the team win more games?
CA: He’s gonna help us out a lot eventually. He’s a young player, he definitely dominated in college a little bit, so I know he has the ability to dominate a little bit in the League too. He’s a monster on the glass, but we’ve got about seven bigs on the roster right now. Unless we’re gonna be putting bigs on the small forward or two guard, something’s gonna have to get done about that.
Dime: What have you been doing during the lockout?
CA: Training with my high school basketball coach down in Texas right outside of Houston. Aside from the basketball training, I’ve been running the incline and magnitude springs, running the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, pushing weights around, eating right and just trying to make sure I keep track of my weight for now.