Q&A: Dominique Wilkins

Posted by Unknown on Sunday, October 12, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Michael Rand

Q You formed the Diabetes Dream Team to help adults who are living with type-2 diabetes. What are your strategies for managing the disease?
A It’s very simple: the strategy is make sure you have the proper diet change, medication and exercise — those three things working together. You have to create a plan for yourself and have a weekly focus. You have to be willing to accept diabetes, and then you can try to prevent it from getting worse.

Q Was it a challenge for you initially, or did you adapt pretty quickly?
A The only reason it was a challenge is that I went through a depression over having diabetes. But it’s one of those things. If you play a game and get beat, you have to live to fight another day.

Q How do we fix the NBA Slam Dunk contest — and can it ever be like it was when you and Michael Jordan were going head to head?
A Well, it’s never going to be like me and MJ [laughs]. But I think it can get back to that excitement if all the best athletes get in it. For whatever reason, they don’t. I think [players] are afraid of losing. Guys feel now that their brand is more important so they’re afraid to do it, for whatever reason.
Q You made a substantial living playing in the NBA, but salaries now are five to 10 times what you made during your career — and this new TV contract figures to drive them even higher. Can you fathom the money that’s now involved in the league?
A I told my mother, “I’m very upset with you. You could have waited 10 or 15 years before you had me.” For real. It’s nuts. But hey, it shows you how the league has prospered not just nationally but internationally. It’s a wonderful thing.

Q Timberwolves rookie Andrew Wiggins has been compared to you. How much have you seen of his game, and do you agree with the comparisons?
A I’ve seen him play, and he’s an athletic young man. He’s not quite as big as I am, but he has the potential to be a great player in this league if he continues to grow and get better. The thing I tell young guys all the time is they need to work on the things they’re most uncomfortable with because that’s going to make you a better player. Most people see highlights of me and see high-wire slam dunks. But it’s very hard to score over 26,000 points on dunks. I was a creative scorer, and I learned to score in many different ways.

Q Are the Cavaliers the team to beat this year?
A They’ll be in the top two or three, that’s for sure. The thing is if they can coexist with those superstars they have on that team now, and how quickly they build chemistry is going to be the difference.