Center Scot Pollard showed up for the Pacers' Oct. 2 media day
with a shaved head and a bushy goatee that could have doubled as
a small rodent. It was, by his standards, a subdued look. As a
Kings reserve for five seasons Pollard was renowned for, among
other things, painting his fingernails, sporting everything from
a John Belushi triple ponytail to blond surfer locks to a
multicolored buzz cut, cultivating sideburns the way some do
shrubbery, and uttering sound bites that seemed straight out of
Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Surely, the move to the Midwest--where he was sent as part of a
three-team trade in July--hasn't cramped the big man's style? No,
as the Indiana media quickly found out. Asked by a male reporter
if he expects to clean the glass, the 6'11" Pollard replied, "I
don't do windows, sweetie, but I do toilets." One cameraman came
away saying, "He's one straaaaange dude."
As for the new 'do, that didn't come about by design. Pollard had
been growing out his blonde-tipped locks this summer until his
wife, Mindy (whom he calls President Pollard because "she signs
all the checks"), launched a sneak attack with the clippers while
he was in the bathroom. "She came up and--neeeeent!--nailed me,"
he says. "She didn't like the look, obviously."
Some have compared the colorful Pollard with Dennis Rodman, but
he takes exception to that. Pollard may dye his hair and wear
outlandish outfits--including, once, samurai pants--but, he says,
"I'm not into partying." He spends most of his time with Mindy
and their two daughters, watching movies. "I do weird things that
attract attention," says Pollard, "but I don't do them for
Pollard has always gone his own way. He grew up in a Mormon
family headed by 7-foot Pearl (Poison) Pollard, a University of
Utah star--Scot has a SON OF POISON tattoo on his back--but he
alone among five sons never took to the religion. And it wasn't
until he was in his teens that he embraced the sport in which his
father had excelled.
So how does a player maintain his individuality in the NBA? "You
just be what comes into your head," says Pollard, who adds that
there's room for the team concept in his philosophy. "You can't
be a complete free spirit. You've got to be coachable, or you're
not going to last. But other than that, do what you want to do."
Finally, Pollard points out that his words of wisdom matter only
if you're already a free spirit. "If that's not who you naturally
are," he says, "nobody can tell you how to do it." Which is to
say, his advice is useful only to those who don't need it. In
Pollard's world, that makes perfect sense. --C.B.