Posted: Thursday September 22, 2005 3:00PM; Updated: Thursday September 22, 2005 3:00PM
Chris Rock makes several courtside appearances each season at Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Last week, SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed comedian Chris Rock for the magazine's Q&A. Everybody Hates Chris, inspired by the childhood of the comedian and die-hard Knicks fan, debuts on Sept. 22 on UPN. Here are additional excerpts from the interview:
SI: Everybody Hates Chris will be opposite Survivor: Guatemala, Joey, Alias, The O.C. and Smallville. Here's your chance to trash-talk those shows. Rock: We might lose. We might come in last. But we are well coached. And we have great prospects so in the future look for us.
SI: How much of comedy is like boxing: stalking the stage, jabbing, throwing a big punch? Rock: There's a lot of parallels between the comedian and the boxer. Boxing is the hardest job in sports and stand-up comedy is the hardest job in show business. In both, you are up there alone. The most devastating thing that can happen to you in sports is getting knocked out. The worse thing that can happen to you in show business is bombing on stage. I don't care how many bad movies an actor has been in. It ain't nowhere near as bad as being up there with a mic by yourself and getting no laughs. It's not even close.
SI: You once interviewed Michael Jordan for Vibe, getting him to answer whether or not he used condoms. If Sports Illustrated gave you the space, what athlete would you like to interview? Rock: You guys once had an article on white players in the NBA. I'd love to get those guys in a room. All seven of them. They kind of fascinate me. So does a guy like Milton Bradley. Baseball is so white. And I don't mean white players. Aesthetically, it's very white. Basketball, football, aesthetically, they seem to have adopted a hip-hop culture. Even hockey has a swagger to it that's more rock and roll than baseball. So I'd interview any black baseball player with flavor .You would also want to know about Kobe because he's one of those players with controversy around him. A.I. is fascinating. That's one of the problems with the NBA right now. Everybody always says the league misses Michael Jordan. No, the league misses Charles Barkley. They miss guys with really great personalities.
SI: Anybody else? Rock: Jeff Kent. That would be the guy to interview because he's a reputed ass---- which I respect (laughs). And he's probably the best hitting second baseman of his generation. As a Mets fan, the Kent for Carlos Baerga trade was the worst trade in the history of sports. Jeff Kent for Carlos Baerga? What the ----?
SI: What teams should be contracted? Rock: You probably don't need two baseball teams in Florida. I think attendance tells us that. I would say the Devil Rays have to go. At least the Marlins have won championships. But baseball needs to contract. All those highlights of empty seats? It's starting to look like a USFL game. And I love the city of Atlanta but there is something up with the Atlanta Hawks. They can't win for whatever reason.
SI: Which athletes are the easiest to make fun of? Rock: Boxers, because they have these long press conferences and they end up saying really weird s---.