My Shot Hey, NBA: Playing 36 holes one day doesn't mean you can't score 36 points the next

May 30, 1999

Last month a bunch of reporters wanted to ask me about my
season, which I spent with the Golden State Warriors after eight
years with the New York Knicks. I wanted to play golf, so I
spoke with the writers on a cell phone as a teammate, Bimbo
Coles, and I got in a round at a nice public course in Salt Lake
City the day before we were to play the Jazz. Near the end of
the conference call I said, "Hold on, I've got to hit my tee
shot." I put the phone down and hit. "Right down the middle," I
said. The writers all laughed. They remembered how much I love
the game.

I've been playing golf for six years--my best score is a 78; my
favorite player is Tiger Woods--and the one thing that surprises
me is that some people think golf and basketball don't mix. They
say that golf is strenuous and that by playing during the
basketball season, you risk wearing yourself out. If I didn't
play well in New York, fans and some of my teammates thought it
was because of all the golf. Come on! That's just an excuse for
losing.

Herb Williams, my former teammate, and I played 18 holes on the
day before Game 5 of our series with the Miami Heat last year.
The next night I had a great game and scored 22 points, and we
won. We were in the locker room afterward, and Herb said, "Go
ahead, tell 'em." I told my teammates that we had played 18 the
day before. Everybody had a good laugh.

Golf is only strenuous if you walk, which I don't do. Michael
Jordan would play 36 holes during the playoffs and still get 40
points. What's important is where you're at mentally on game
day, as Dennis Rodman has often proved. My coach, P.J.
Carlesimo, understands. He's a member at Olympic Club, where
Bimbo, Muggsy Bogues and I sometimes play. Golf is a way to
relax, and I bet any coach would prefer that you do that by
chasing a little white ball rather than by hanging around some
bar.

John Starks, a 13 handicap, averaged 13.8 points for the Warriors.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BURGESS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)