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CAGE:Can't Cage former pro's words

Q&A WITH MICHAEL

June 07, 2007|By Soraya Nadia McDonald

The Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw situation, where they left the bench, I have a big problem with that. Because, now, you're saying the guys are supposed to stay in their bench area. They never touched the floor, never got involved with the fight.

But they looked at the tape the next day and saw that they left the bench. I thought that destroyed that whole series because now, you've taken two starters away from a team that was playing extremely well. I really think that was just too much thinking from our league office. Way too much thinking. The rule book says this, but what's the spirit of the law? Were they actually involved in the on-court confrontation? Did they even bother anybody that was involved in that big melee on the floor?

No, they didn't. I have a big problem with that.

I think the league is trying to keep borders and garnish players' attitudes, and I'm OK with that. But let it fall within the spirit of the game.

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Q: What did you think about John Amaechi choosing to come out?

A: John's a good friend of mine. I played with John for a year in Cleveland. I had no idea that he was gay. Wouldn't have had a problem with it anyway. It's something I think it's something more of the gay community is making a really big issue of it than the non-gay community. He's a big ex-NBA player.

Hey, this is America. You can do, be, worship, have any preference for whatever religion, sexuality that you want to. So that's what makes America, America. So for a guy like John Amaechi to say hey, "I'm gay, I was playing basketball, but I'm coming out of the closet now," I really have no opinion on it, because hey, this is America. You can do what you want to do.

Q: Would he have been able to come out while he was playing basketball?

A: I'm not gay, so I don't know what his thinking is. Obviously, in a sport where there are no gay athletes that I know of, that played or said they played and were gay, it's more of a decision that they chose. He chose to say, "Hey, I'm going to stay in the closet, and now that my pro career is over, I'm going to say what I want to say."

I just wish that they don't try to use it for political gain. That's what I have a problem with. Hey, if that's your preference, that's fine. But don't try to use the system for political gains. If that's your motive, then yeah, I have a problem with it.

People are people, and if they don't say that they're gay, is that our fault? No, it's not. Is it his fault? Yes it is. I don't have a problem with him being gay. I like John. I mentored John when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers.


SORAYA NADIA McDONALD may be reached at (714) 966-4613 or at soraya.mcdonald@latimes.com.

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