SI Vault
 
Marcus Camby
As told to Chris Mannix
December 10, 2007
NUGGETS CENTER
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 10, 2007

Marcus Camby

View CoverRead All Articles

NUGGETS CENTER

The NBA's 2006--07 Defensive Player of the Year leads the league in rebounding

On playing defense
? I put my hard hat on every night. When a player comes down the lane, I have to block his shot or get in a position to alter it. Defense is an instinct, but I watch film too. I want to see where guys like to go with the ball.

On the toughest guy to defend
? People say he's lost a step, but I still say Shaq. He's so powerful in the post, and he takes up so much space. I try to use my quickness to keep him from catching the ball.

On his signature backhanded high five
? It started in high school [ Hartford Public] between me and my teammates. By now I have people coming up to me on the street raising the back of their hands to give me five.

On feeling the urgency to win, at 33
? It's there for me and [teammate] Allen Iverson. We've been to the Finals and didn't win. We have to do it with this team—we're over the cap. I don't think there's a better starting five in the league, but we have to win now.

On meeting Nelson Mandela
? It was two years ago when I was in South Africa with the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program. His house was guarded by the army, and we got patted down before going in. I shook his hand and took pictures with him. I keep one on my mantel. It was one of the most monumental moments of my life.

On his postbasketball aspirations
? To be an elementary school principal. I was an education major at UMass, and part of my curriculum was to substitute teach at schools. I'd be a hands-on, friendly principal interacting daily with the students. I can't see myself as a disciplinarian.

1