Known for his perpetual inquisition for intellectual stimulation and his unwavering locker room oratory grandeur, Chris Copeland stands alone atop NBA journalists’ bucket list for interviews. I’ve heard myriad variations of a common, distinguished narrative of the radiating charm Copeland envelops his guest in, for the utter ubiety of Copeland’s conversation will spawn a longing of elaborate eloquence that will remain unsettled until your next encounter with the dreadlocked romantic. I packed my bags for Denver to witness the Nuggets hosting Copeland’s Indiana Pacers, all so I could parley with the man I’ve waited far too long to speak with. I had an article to write and his backstory would provide the flesh of the story.
After the Pacers succombed to the Denver Nuggets in a good old fashioned 76-73 shootout, I retreated to the visitors locker room for a chance at an interview with the mythical orator. I instead stumbled onto a post-game speech by the dreadlocked NBA vet.
Sam Metivier: Chris, may I call you Christopher? You got your start at a little school in Colorado known as Colorado. The thought of Colorado this time of year brings me shivers just imagining non-stop snow for three days straight only to have it all melt on the fourth day. What was it like living in that climate for four years?
Chris Copeland: Luckily enough for me, I spend the winters inside a gym, working on my jumper nonstop. Literally nonstop.
SM: Did you get any sleep?
CC: That’s a great question, Samuel. I decided I’d get my sleep when I was finally in the NBA. I’d get drafted first overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. I was unaware there would be a foreigner in the draft and that the only foreign team in the NBA would want him.
SM: So you ventured through Europe instead. Still no sleep? And can you please me Sam.
CC: You see, Sammy, I had to seek out what makes a number one overall pick a number one overall pick. I had to play where these number one overall picks were from. I started out in Spain, where Andrea Bargnani is from. Then I went to Yao Ming’s home country of Germany. Next was Tim Duncan’s homeland of Belgium. Now that I think of it, I actually learned the most in my brief stay in Canada. I cannot tell you how much I learned.
SM: What did you learn?
CC: I cannot tell you.
SM: So what did you do after Belgium with all your newly acquired knowledge?
CC: I went first overall, of course. Who would’ve thought a 28-year-old would go number one in a draft with players like Marquis Teague, Festus Ezeli and Kyle O’Quinn?
SM: Yeah because the Knicks totally had the first pick and Anthony Davis was an awful prospect.
CC: You, me and Robert seem to be the only ones who get it.
SM: Who’s this Robert you speak of?