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March 21, 2023 17 mins

Malik Rose takes us inside his journey to the NBA which started in Philadelphia. Malik shares what it was like growing up in Philadelphia and then he explains why playing in the NBA wasn't a realistic goal until his junior year in college. Later, Malik shares how he wound up in San Antonio and what he remembers about the Lakers-Spurs series in 2003. Malik also talks about Steve Kerr's memorable game with the Spurs, his dunk over Dikembe Mutombo in the finals, and the legacy of the Spurs.

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Speaker 1 (00:06):
Welcome back to another edition of Sundo Spurs Podcast, the
fiftieth Pound of Virtue of the Spurs. So we're bringing
in some famous Spurs and some guys that are a
big part of the Spurs history. And normally I must
confess that I have a big script in front of
me when I bring a guest in, even if I
know the guests very well, I don't need a script
with this guy. He's a homie. Malik Rose, two time

(00:27):
NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs, big part of
this organization. Great to have you here, man, it's great
to be back. Thanks. Thanks for that warm introduction, and
I couldn't be happier. I'm so proud of you because
not of only what you did as a player, but
you have really had success in your postseason playing career,
your post playing career obviously as a broadcaster with the

(00:47):
Sixers and now in the front office with the NBA.
You worked with the G League, and I want to
get to all of that. But any journey we have
to start in the beginning. I know the beginning, but
I want you to share a part of it with us,
because if you grew up in the Philadelphia, especially where
we grew I grew up three miles from where Malik
went to high school. Out there's something about basketball that

(01:08):
is kind of just given you right in the beginning
of your birth. Just it's just part of the fabric
of the city, isn't it. It really is. I mean, Philadelphia,
like San Antonio, is a blue collar city, and they
really you know, hard work and perseverance and grit and toughness,
all those things are synonymous with what goes on goes
on in Philadelphia. And you know, it's no surprise that

(01:28):
you know, you're finding success here with roots in Philadelphia,
and I'm finding success here. I think it's just we
were blessed to, uh, you know, grow up in that city,
get shaped by that city, and it's helped us, you know,
carve out, you know, futures and homes and new cities.
As you know, Malik, people around the country don't quite
get Philadelphia fans, they don't quite get it because, I mean,
let's be honest, it's it's a tough taste to tell you,

(01:50):
but when you're part of it, it's a little bit different.
And we can almost justify our behavior sometimes because we're
from Philadelphia. We're tough, but it's part of the brick
of growing up and playing basketball in the city because
so many good players have come from the city that
had that toughness. And we had Mario Eli, who's from
New York. He was the last guest we had on

(02:10):
and he certainly knows about the toughness. But that's just
part of it, isn't it really is? I mean, I
guess you know the fans, you say the people don't
like Philadelphia fans. I mean, booll in Santa Claus will
put you in a you know, a unique crowd. But um,
you know, I wouldn't trade it in for the world.
You know, I cut my teeth and doing a lot
of things in Philadelphia and it's helped me in life.

(02:30):
And uh, you know, the same goes here for San Antonio.
I grew up a lot here as a young adult
in San Antonio with the help of you know, some
great people, and you know, the lessons I learned, the
experiences I've had, I wouldn't trade them in for the world.
You played at a high school to produced a lot
of great NBA players. I fell by the name of
Will Chamberlain might qualify as great. But now Walt Hazzard,

(02:50):
Wally Jones. The list goes on and on of great players.
I remember Andrea McCarter, who was an excellent point guard
at UCLA, in fact, the last championship point guard under
John Wooden. So a great lineage there, it really is.
I mean, the list goes on and on, on and
off the court. But uh, I just remember growing up
as a kid, you know, getting you know, baptized into
that you know, Philadelphia basketball. Um, you know, just legend

(03:12):
I guess you can say. And I remember, you know,
when I was growing up. You know Gene Banks. We've
honored him here during the fifth year anniversary anniversary. And
he went to my my high school's rival high school,
West Philadelphia. So Overbrook had a guy by the name
former NBA player lou Lloyd, spent some time in Houston,
bounced around a little bit, but the battles lou Lloyd
and and and and Gene Banks had in Philadelphia were

(03:35):
just legendary. So it made me fall in love with
that rivalry, which is one of the reasons I went
to Overbrook. And at the same time, I was at
West Catholic when Jane was at West Philly, and we
had a guy named Michael Brooks who was a great
player play to Lasale. Yeah, exactly. So the high school
basketball back then was cool. So you were just a
little kid back then, but you kind of were engrossed
by all this basketball. Yeah, man, I mean you've been
to the Palestra, so you go down there, and we

(03:57):
were back then you could get excuse me, get quite
drupele headers and stuff. So you can see a lot
of basketball. And you know, with all the guys that
went to the Big five schools, you know, Temple of
southon Ova, Saint jos and penn And and Drexel, it
was just, you know, just a great time. And you know,
I learned a lot watching those guys. I learned even
more playing against some of them. And uh, you know,

(04:17):
here we are. You ended up a Drexel university, which
is right next to one of my favorite schools, the
University of pennsylvani you're speaking of the Polestra, and you
had a good, solid career there, a second round pick
of the Charlotte Hornets. Take us through what was going
on back then. I really was trying to figure it out.
You know, if I told you I wasn't, you probably
wouldn't believe me. But I wasn't really thinking about, you know,
realistically going to the NBA. You know, I fell in

(04:39):
love with the game when Doctor Jay won the championship
in eighty three. I was eight years old and never
looked back. You know, I love basketball, I love the sixers,
but I never really thought I had a chance to
make it to the pros until my junior year at Drexel.
I was fortunate enough to, you know, get recruited there.
You know, my my, the coach that recruited me want
full of rest is soul. You know, he saw something

(05:01):
in me that I didn't see him myself. They offered
me a full scholarship. It was the only way I
could go to school. So I took it. And then
three years later I finished second in the nation in rebounding,
and uh, you know, scouts started to come out to
the little Drexel gym, and I said, Hey, maybe I
have a chance here and started to go after it. Yeah,
to be second in the nation rebounding at your size,
but you were listed at six seven? Is it? Are you? Legit?

(05:22):
Six six? Thing on my tippy toes maybe about six six.
I remember Greg Popitch telling me one time. If you
were six nine, you would not have been available in
the second round. I don't think maybe maybe not. But
then you come to the Spurs and like life changes
for you. How did that whole thing happen? As far
as that transition, it was crazy because I had done
well my rookie year for the Charlotte Hornets and Dave

(05:44):
Cowens was a coach. He and I had a great
relationship and he loved me. You know, he had Anthony
Mason rested soul. He was like him and Glenn Rice
were number one and two in the league in minutes,
So there weren't many minutes for me, but coach Cowens
found a way for me to get in, you know,
five ten minutes a game because he loved the way
I played and they had to cut me. So when
he told me they had to cut me to sign
a couple other players that were on their radar, it

(06:07):
was late in the summer, so after Summer League. I
remember I was sitting on the couch watching an Eagles
game on Sunday and my agent called and said, Hey,
can you be in San Antonio on Monday. They're starting
training camp on Tuesday. They need a guy, and I'm like, hell, yeah,
I can't be there. So I was a late ad
to training camp. I think somebody got injured and they
needed a body to fill it. And you know, twenty

(06:27):
five years later, here I am. I didn't realize it
was that close to the season, so you didn't have
any prospects at all for that year coming up. I
had some overseas prospects and I didn't really want to go.
So I got cut really late. So it maybe had
been two three weeks at home, so I was working
out at John Harnett's and everything, you know Harnett in Philly.
So I'm working out trying to stay ready. And I
tell you it was Sunday the Eagles were playing, and

(06:50):
my agent called, and Monday I flew out. Tuesday training
camp started. And no way to dream possibly that you
would be here so long and be part of two
championship teams and get some of your best friends on
the planet Earth, because you a number twenty one, are
still pretty close, aren't you. Yeah, man, I was. We
were supposed to link up for dinner. He has to
you know, he had to cancel so as to you know,

(07:11):
he's a Bears fan and the Bears had to number
one pick today. They made the big trade, and I
was like, you, dude, that's a great trade. You know,
you guys got a great receiver, had picks. So when
he canceled dinner on me, I was like, that was
a lousy trade. You know, it blows up in your face.
And Antonio Daniels became a very close friend as well. Yeah,
I mean all of us. I mean, Antonio Daniels and
Tim were probably my closest friends because we were all
around the same age and we spent the most time together.

(07:33):
But I'm still super close with David obviously. Sean Elliott
is like, you know, my brother from another mother. I
love him to death. So all these guys still Bruce Bowen,
I saw him last week at at a birthday party
and in Texas here and it was just, you know,
a great time. And like you said, all of those
memories and experiences still ring true today because we're still

(07:54):
all very close. And you were a big part of
two championship teams ninety nine and oh three, two completely
different teams, not completely different, but of course Tim had
become the man Bio three, and then you had this
wild rookie from Argentina coming and Tony had already played
a year. So take us through, first of all, the
ninety nine championship team. Just your thoughts and memories to
fond ones of going through that entire season, because I

(08:16):
know there's some ups and downs very early in the season. Yeah, man,
you know, I just remember we were six and eight
and it was a short strike shortened with a lockout
short and season. Excuse me, we're six and eight at
Houston and uh, you know, usually the guy that got
us in was Avery. Avery Johnson got us in the huddle.
Hey guys, come on, let's get ready to play and
be ready to this. By the way, you're the third

(08:37):
or fourth person who stunt Avery impersonation. They're legendary. But
that night, David got us in the huddle. And David
really didn't save much before the game. So I bring
that up because we were rumor has it, No one
knows for sure, but a rumor has a coaching chains
could have been made had we lost at Houston and
we won that game. David got us, got us right.
When when Dave spoke speaks, you know you listen, So

(08:59):
we got right. We won that game. We went thirty
one and five down a stretch from there, finished with
the number one seed, and the legend of Tim Duncan
was born in those playoffs, and we won the first championship,
and then in oh three we had a really good team,
and you know, that's when the Lakers were finishing up
their three pete and you know, for those years it
was either the Lakers or US coming out of the West,
so we had some battles and then you know, Tim

(09:21):
had it in his mind, Dave, you know, had in
his mind that we were going to beat those guys.
We were going to get over the hump. And that
was a special year because we you know, ruled the
entire season, finished with the number one seed, dethroned the
Lakers in LA which was like probably just as high
as the championship, and then went on to win the championship.
One ten eighty two is the final score of that game.
Six I remember very well because I was yelling on

(09:43):
the radio and it was quiet in there except for
you guys, and Jack Nicholson didn't like me yelling too much,
I don't think. But that was such a special time
because it was a big purple hump that you guys
had to get over. They were the champions three times
that game. That series I really kind of defined that season.
But what do you remember most about that series? Because
Tim was he was really unbelievable. That's when you know

(10:03):
people forget like Shaq is this big, lovable teddy bear.
Now you know, big guy, but he was smaller than
and he could move and he was very, very tough
to guard. And you know, they he had gotten better
at guarding Tim over those three years. You know, Tim,
he could never really guard Tim, but Phil Jackson did
a good job of switching it up on Tim. Every

(10:23):
once in a while he would throw Shack on him
where he'd have Oria on him or somebody. But Shack started,
you know, closing the games on him that year. And
I wouldn't say he didn't locked him up, but he
had success against him in the regular season, and it
was like in that playoff series, Tim was saying like, yeah, right,
I'm done with this, Like this guy can't guard me,
and I'm about to go out here and prove it.
And he did the entire series and it wasn't close.

(10:44):
So I think once Tim decided to be that Tim,
we took off after that was like, you know, that
was a I think second round in the West, and
yeah we had to get through Dallas and then go
to Jersey, so that was a second round and Tim,
I think right there grew into the Tim duncan we
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(11:27):
Selfdate and Sunrise Banks and a members, FDIC and Equal
Housing Lenders results very details itself inc. The thing I'm
remost about the Dallas Sers to follow Steve Kerr's night
when he had those four threes are on. He hadn't
been playing at all, remember that. Yeah, Steve had a
night for the ages. There were Potter goal we're starting

(11:49):
street kurup for the first part. How about Steve hit
it Pury, Yes, Steve Kerr, I'm hush na traffic trip
ten tiny with the bush, got a kick, had a guy.
But let's fuss, let's come off the back page. Put

(12:12):
Cabris tied, I shot, They wag Yes, damn step there.
It's no surprise, you know that Steve would do something
like that because he's a consummate professional. He you know,
never really played, you know, that year, but he was
always first in the gym, last to leave. But the

(12:35):
one thing, you know, I think everybody I know, everybody
to a man, one through fifteen on the team, we
were just super happy for Steve because it could not
have happened to a better person, a nicer person. And
you know, I'm just happy for him and happy at
the success he's had since then. But you know, if
anybody was to have a night like that, it had
to be Steve Kerr. The finals were awesome too, But

(12:56):
and my fondest memory of the finals, I tell people
this all the time, was when you dunked on the
Kenny Mutumbo overtumbo. Why why is key? I don't know

(13:16):
that m half and you gave him a little finger
away right, So, and that was a key moment in
that game because that was a road game. I remember
it really was, and Jersey was tough. Man. That's back
when you could beat people up in the playoffs. And uh,
they had some goons that that uh you know, had
just you know, contracts out on tims. So they were
beating up everybody in the front court, and um, they

(13:38):
had split with us here. They won game too, and
then we had to go back to Jersey and get
home court advantage. And I think we were down at
the moment, or they had control of the game. You know,
Pop calls us time out and gives us one of
his legendary Serbian timeouts where he's he's ripping up. Yeah,
and uh, you know, I I just remember coming out
of the huddle and I was upsetting, you know, through

(13:59):
the town. I was at guys, and you know, I
got an opportunity and just climbed Mount Matumbo and there.
It is maybe the best defensive team I've ever seen
the league that that team in the OH three Finals.
Of course the O five finals later, but the O
three Finals, the defense that that team played your team playing,
I think Tim block thirty two shots in that series. Yeah,

(14:19):
I think it was two blocks short shy of a
quadruple double in a deciding Game six. But yeah, that
was a special team. We well, I loved that team,
you know, probably because you know, I had the biggest
role of my career that year, you know, playing on
that team. So that's why it was mostly special to me.
But that team was really special because we were really versatile.
Like Pop could you know, play offense, He'll play defense.

(14:40):
We had shooting, we had athletic ability, we had playmaking,
we had guys that created doubles, and you know, we
just Pop had a team and you know, O five
you can probably say the same thing, but we're talking
about three. He could just do a lot of different
things with that team. It was a very versatile team
and just against special time. Yeah, and you're a big,

(15:01):
big part of that. Of course. You know, this is
the fiftieth anniversary for the franchise. I ask all the
guys that come through here, you're gonna get honored tonight,
which is awesome. I can't wait to be part of that. But, um,
the legacy of this franchise, we're starting back way in
the in the ABA, way back when uh fifty years now.
When you think of the Spurs, even though you were
a big part of it. I know it's hard to
kind of step back, but what do you think of

(15:22):
as far as the legacy of the Spurs in the NBA. UM.
That's a good one, Billy. Um. I mean, there's so
many things to think about, but I think, I guess
some of the things that popped in my mind when
I think about the Spurs um over the years, over
the decades, just class personified, um, special, just love, commitment,

(15:44):
just all kinds of you know, just community, community for sure,
those words ring ring, you know, pop into my head.
And I just when I think of San Antonio over
the years I played here, lived here and before think
of those things, just like just real good character, morals, values, family, love,

(16:05):
things like that. Before we let you go, I wanted
to give it an update or get an update from
you on what you're doing now, because you're very involved
with the NBA basketball operations, right. Yeah, man, my life
is kind of like, you know, the microcosm, or I guess,
the epitome of just being in the right place at
the right time. You said, you know, a big part
of you know, thank you, You're very kind being a
big part of any team, but uh, you know, the championships,

(16:27):
getting drafted, my college career, meeting my wife, my family, leagues,
Philly's famous, Philly's famous. It's just like being in the
right place at the right time. Man. So I really
truly thank God for you know, him putting me here
for as long as he did, allowing me to be,
you know, just mentored by such great people, coached by
great people, and you know, create the lifelong friendships that

(16:50):
I have with, you know, certain people. Like I said,
I wasn't trade it for the world. I'm really going
to enjoy it tonight because my part of it is
a small part of the fifty years celebration and then
just being it and you know, Tom James, you know,
telling me, Malik, you gotta do it, Like I didn't
want to do it at first, He's like, you gotta
do it. Your part of it. Yeah, it's just special.
And I'm really really thinking it wouldn't be a ceremony

(17:11):
or the fiftieth anniversary with that you being included. And
I mean that sincerely. Thanks. That's Malik Rose, our special
guest this evening on Sound Up Spurs Podcast. I'm presented
by s WBC. Thanks so much for joining us. We'll
see you next week.
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