SI: As a man who still works Las Vegas a lot, why is the city a good place for the NBA All-Star Game?
Mandel: You should always be able to step from the basketball court into the sports book without entering a vehicle.
SI: Did you enjoy lending your voice to the NHL's Stanley Cup ad campaign last year?
Mandel: One of the perks was that the Stanley Cup came to my house. What are the chances of a goofy, suburban Canadian boy holding the Stanley Cup in his home? That was the thrill of a lifetime.
January 29, 2007
SI: The Cup keeper always wears white gloves when handling the trophy. As a famous germaphobe, that must have pleased you.
Mandel: Anyone who comes to visit me has to wear white gloves [laughs]. So this was like a family member being invited into my home.
SI: What is your greatest athletic achievement?
Mandel: An athletic achievement for me is going an entire day without falling down and hurting myself. I wanted to play sports for the same reason I pick up the SI Swimsuit Issue: I like girls. But in high school I was 4'10" and 89 pounds. I joined the wrestling team. They needed somebody for the under-90 weight class. I figured if I had a uniform, I would meet the ladies. Wrong. The uniform looked like a lady's bathing suit. I met even fewer girls.
SI: Were you any good?
Mandel: No. I had a tendency to pass out a lot.
SI: If you could trade places with an athlete for a day, who would it be?
Mandel: I'm such a germaphobe, I don't want to be in anyone's shoes besides my own.
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