Good evening! We're here at the new Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, to play the wildly popular game show Who Wants to Be a Virgin?
Look around. Is it a) sex kitten Pamela Anderson Lee, who's bouncing to her courtside seat in a shrink-wrapped T-shirt just a little too small for a sixth-grader?; b) the Laker Girls, who are doing things at center court to make men bite through their wedding rings?; c) any of the hundreds of starlets, harlots and Charlottes in attendance who are up to their chins in cleavage and come-on?
Sorry, the answer is a and c, as in A.C. Green, the Lakers' starting power forward, who says that, despite 15 seasons in the NBA, he's still as pure as a baby's sneeze. Somehow Green has outrun the groupies and the marry-mes. He has lugged his morals in and out of every Hyatt from Sodom to Gomorrah. He has fended off more women than Rock Hudson and is, without doubt, the under-heated champion.
Can you imagine? Not only is Green perhaps the only adult virgin in the Los Angeles Basin, but he's kept his virginity while working in the NBA—the world's oldest permanent floating orgy! I mean, if you were trying to lose weight, would you spend 15 years working at H�agen-Dazs? If you were Amish, would you move to the Silicon Valley? If you were an alcoholic, would you marry a Seagram's heir?
In his life Green has had just two girlfriends, one in high school and one five years ago. Now, if Green looked like Jughead or picked his teeth with his toenails or smelled like the state fair, you could maybe believe that. But Green is achingly handsome, drippingly rich and gallantly polite. Yet, at 36, he swears he has never, not once, gotten busy. "I promised God this, and I'm not going to break it," he says. "I love myself and my future wife too much to just waste it. I look at it as a gift for one heckuva woman."
Last week Green broke the professional basketball record for games played without a miss—1,041 by Ron Boone of the ABA and NBA. You think that took guts and willpower? Try playing 1,259 games in all without once letting some luscious show you her etchings. He's an NBA star in an era when NBA stars have knocked up more women than Zeus. He's a single American hunk when single American hunks order condoms by the forklift. He's stayed true to his ideals in an era when ideals are slightly less cool than a 1981 Chrysler K-Car.
"It's not hard," he says. "It's a commitment. I just tell them up front, right away, 'Look, I really want to get to know you better, but I'm not interested in going to bed with you.' " To gum-snapping NBA groupies everywhere, this makes him Fort Knox, Annapurna and Fermat's Last Theorem rolled into one. They all want to go where no woman has gone before. "A lot of them want to be the first," Green says, "so I get those long looks, those bats of the eyelashes, the flips of the hair. I get a lot of late-night calls from women. I'm like, You have to call me at midnight? Can't you call me at eight? Hey, I'm not saying I don't get tempted. I'm human. I get weak. But I have my tricks."
He says one is to call his closest Christian friends and have them talk him down, as it were.
Friend: O.K., let's go over it again.
A.C.: In the predawn hours of June 23, 1993, Lorena Bobbin took a kitchen knife and....