Sunday, August 23, 2009

Consider Danny Granger

Somehow this has escaped my notice: Danny Granger, small forward for the Indiana Pacers, NBA All-Star and reigning Most Improved Player, is kind of a nerd. Currently he's encountered problems constructing his new home, because Batcaves don't actually meet a lot of building codes:
I wanted an underground tunnel entrance. I had to take that out. I found out there's so many state codes and laws against that (laughing) so we had to take that one out. But we still have the underground thing going on and I mean I've got cars and things that turn my cars and I even got sort of like a moat thing going on so it will be interesting to see.

People have apparently been bothering Danny Granger for details about the Batcave ever since he tossed out this idea in a very revealing interview where he let his nerd flag fly. Not only does he reveal some slightly nerdy hobbies and interests, but he also shows off what a smart and nice guy he is. He may now be one of my favorite players. The interview is worth reading in it's entirety, but here are some highlights:

On Lord of the Rings:
I'm really into Lord of the Rings right now. I've bought each movie at least twice because every time I'm in the store I pick it out because I couldn't find my other one so I get it again. I'm actually watching the second one right now but I've watched them over and over again. As the video games, I play online. The multiplayer games where you play with other people around the world and stuff. I'm really into the whole storyline of that.

On the ever-popular-in-the-NBA Superman:
I've just always been into mythical stuff. Stuff that wasn't really real – fantasy, which is why I was always into Superman and superheroes, stuff that kind of takes you out of this world. I really was into it. I have a robe with the Superman emblem on it. There's about a 6-foot or 7-foot figure of Superman I've always wanted to get. But it would just look really weird in my house. I was thinking of having one of those statues made with me in the suit. I don't know how much it would cost but I really want to do it with me in the suit. That would be pretty cool. I'm going to have to work on that.

There's also a really neat section where he talks about his college experience and his time spent studying engineering, and his apparently really sincere interest and love of engineering.

An excerpt:
My focus changed. My whole approach to college was to use my basketball ability to get my degree. That's what I really wanted to do. I loved engineering. But I when got good at basketball – I kind of got good out of nowhere. I wasn't really expecting that. But I was winning awards and I was just a freshman and a sophomore. Then I was like, "I can probably go to the NBA." Then my focus switched.

Then there is this bizarre series of questions where the interviewer seems to be really pressing Danny Granger on being a nerd. He asks those borderline-asshole questions that just make him seem like he really looks down on the fact that Danny is smart and interested in lots of things other than basketball. Danny answers the question pretty perfectly though and really makes the interviewer seem like a bit of a dick.

Q. On a scale of one to 10 how nerdy are you do you think?
A. I can't be that nerdy. I'm in the NBA. I know what you mean, though. I don't think there's anything wrong with being nerdy. I'm not a genius that's going to hack a computer and all kinds but when it comes to knowing things I've always prided myself in educating myself. So I would say seven.

Q. A lot of kids are into the science stuff and have to wear the glasses. What would you say to them?
A. Go for it. That's what it's all about, if that's what interests you. It interested me and I don't care what people call me. Build stuff, put something together electronically. If you want to design a building that's what you do. You don't worry about what other people say about you. Go for it. You do what you go to do.

Couple that with Danny Granger throwing in a really cute interlude about how and his fiance love to play Rock Band together, and you get the portrait of a really nice, smart dude who happens to be a great baller. Again, the interview is worth checking out in it's entirety.

Danny Granger is a nerd, but he's totally cool, and I salute him. I now dream that somehow he and Marvin Williams (Love in the Time of Lebron designated supernerd) will find themselves on the same team or at least in the same guild.

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