Once you make it to the NBA, you’ve got to figure out how to stay there. Depending on the situation you’re drafted into, the coach you’re playing for and teammates you’re playing with, some guys have it harder than others. Usually, though, if the talent is there, an opportunity will come. Former Tar Heel Rashad McCants didn’t quite get the opportunity he was hoping for, but he’s not holding his breath. That is, he’s not holding his breath unless Kobe Bryant plans to come knocking on his door.

That’s right. Over the weekend, McCants caught up with Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe to talk about how he’s been living since his days in the NBA have passed. Unlike current NBAers who are wondering when the lockout will end and if they’ll be feeling a strain on their wallets, McCants says he is developing his own company and is getting to be creative, not having to think in “a one-dimensional box” like he did when he was in the league.

McCants also said he was happy with where he is today, and it sounds like he is at peace with how things shook out with respect to his career as a professional athlete. His take was an interesting one, especially when he said what it would take to get him back to playing pro basketball. Here’s more from Washburn’s conversation with McCants:

“I’m not bitter about anything. My NBA lifestyle was amazing. I don’t take anything back. I am grateful for the NBA for putting me in the position I am in now.’’

The NBA may have seen the last of Rashad McCants, unless he is allowed to return under one condition.

“The only way I would come back to the league is if I get to play with Kobe Bryant,’’ he said. “There’s nobody who thinks like me but Kobe Bryant. I just get criticized for what he used to get criticized for because I tried to establish myself the same way he did.

“I was just on a bad team.’’

McCants’ stance on only returning to the NBA if he’s playing alongside Bryant makes me wonder just how many players and/or free agents are in touch with the five-time NBA champ during the offseason. It worked for Matt Barnes and Ron Artest. Who will be the next guy to go to L.A. to work with Kobe? I’d like it to be Raja Bell. Who gets your vote?

As for McCants, whether we ever see him in an NBA uniform or not, it’s nice to know that former pro athletes can find happiness in other endeavors even when their hoop dreams didn’t turn out as they might have expected or hoped.

Comments (9)

  1. Stephen Jackson, mayhaps? Fits into the Artest/Barnes mold…

    And I’d love to see Dwight Howard, obviously.

  2. To which Kobe responded, “Who the fuck is Rashard McCants?”

  3. You know you need to adjust your monitor’s brightness when you look at that picture and say “Holy fuck his left arm is missing!”

  4. Well if you play for “bad teams” but you aren’t chosen to be a starter for any of those teams, it may be a bad sign.

    Shane Battier is the guy that needs to be on the Lakers, as long as they can get him a ring. They probably have too many guys that fill that same role, but it’s Shane Fucking Battier. He’s literally the only the player in the NBA that could make me root for the Lakers, and the Lakers have Metta World Peace!

  5. I couldn’t agree more. I mean every time I think about McCants, I think he’s a pretty solid shooting guard. He has a very similar playing style to Kobe, he’s often selfish, takes over games, shoots too much, except he’s no where near the talent level of Kobe. Great teammate McCant’s must have been, “I was just on a bad team.’’ He’s more like Larry Hughes if anything, except Hughes stuck around a little longer. I’d say good riddance.

  6. “I was just on bad teamS.”, Rashad. You played for two different organisations.

  7. Maybe he wants to be with the Lakers so he could be buddies with Lamar Odom And steal back Khloe Kardashian

  8. Ah…I remembered the few memories I have about Mr. McCants, nearly all of which consist of me drilling the turnaround in his face. Best of luck for him.

    Oh, there was also one time when he fouled me on a layup attempt for an and-one.

  9. Sorry who is this guy ??

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