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Monday, April 23, 2018

Larry Johnson on Duke, HBO’s UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Documentary

Larry Johnson talks with Larry Brown Sports on behalf of Grand Ma Ma’s Southern Sweet Tea. (Page two of the interview)

LBS: Miami just got their big three and New York made their trade, what were your thoughts on it?

LJ: When I was traded to New York, Allan Houston and I went to New York with Patrick Ewing, so we had a similar thing going. When Charles Barkley started ripping on LeBron James, I thought it was hypocritical. Barkley did the same thing when he went over to Houston, how could he criticize LeBron? And if Charles Barkley had these things to say, he should have said it to him one-on-one.

LBS: Did you get a chance to see any of the HBO documentary that aired on Saturday?

LJ: I saw part of it and everybody gave me rave reviews on it.

LBS: The Fab 5 had a similar documentary and they went after Duke pretty hard. When you were in school did you care about anyone else or just worry about yourself?

LJ: No, we didn’t worry about anyone else when we were in school — we just worried about ourselves. As much as I hate losing that game, I try to give Duke as much credit as possible. I even hear people suggest we were shaving points and I say that’s taking all the credit away from Coach K and his team.

LBS: In the documentary, they talked about how Coach Tark said before the title game you lost to Duke, that he thought you guys weren’t ready for the game. Did you feel the same way?

LJ: You know what, he’s a great coach, but in that instance it was an example of him crying wolf. We heard that probably 15 times throughout the season and we probably got immune to it.

LBS: So do you think it was true, or do you think you were ready for the game?

LJ: Oh it was absolutely true. Especially in my case, it took at least a year and a half for me to watch that game. I can’t even watch it. I was just too cool out there, thinking about the NBA and just not focused enough.

LBS: And it still wound up being a very close game anyway.

LJ: Well yeah because we had all that talent. As well coached as they were, with the players they had, you can’t go in there lollygagging and expect to win. After they got beat by 30 the year before, they were ready for us. The hardest tests we had were in our league because those teams didn’t care about us. When we played non-conference games like Temple or Arkansas, they were afraid of us, but Duke wasn’t — they were chomping at the bit for us.

LBS: In the documentary, Coach K said Grant Hill was the best player on the floor, did you agree with that?

LJ: He was a freshman and a heck of a player, and of course they had Christian [Laettner] and Bobby [Hurley], but he wasn’t more talented than me or Stacey.

Go back to Page One of the interview

Remember to try some Grand Ma Ma’s Southern Sweet Tea