The NBA Life With Matt Bonner: Better way to enforce flopping
Matt Bonner's first 3-pointer of the season was a buzzer beater at the end of the first half, and the San Antonio Spurs opened the year with impressive road wins at New Orleans and Oklahoma City. The Concord native averaged 6.8 points per game during a nine-year career with the Raptors and Spurs.
Bonner, under contract with the Spurs through the 2013-14 season, re-upped for another season of "The NBA Life" to give fans an inside look at his career.
Sunday News: We've been conducting these interviews every week for nine seasons. Why do you agree to do this every year?
Matt Bonner: I'm not trying to be egotistical, but I always run into people from New Hampshire or people who used to live in New Hampshire, and they're following my career. This show is for everyone along the way who has helped out and shown support: coaches, teachers, people in the stands.
SN: When you visit New Orleans, what places to do you like to check out?
MB: The House of Blues is a couple blocks from our hotel. You can catch a good show now and then. Last year, I saw a really good Led Zeppelin cover band. It was more of a humor thing than good music. If you walk down Bourbon Street, there's jazz music everywhere. On the street, you find dancers and old-time music. It's like a subculture. Sometimes you get marching band-type music. They just blast up and down the street with people dancing.
SN: What was your take on Oklahoma City trading James Harden to the Rockets? The Thunder beat the Spurs in the playoffs last year but now they're not as good. You have to like that.
MB: It remains to be seen. I don't want to write off the trade as something that's great for us. That trade does shake up their second unit. When they came in, it was James Harden time, and they had a lot of success. I do like the move. (The Thunder) realized they couldn't keep Harden, and they went out and got value. They got Kevin Martin and young talent in Jeremy Lamb and three future draft picks.
SN: What do you think of the NBA's new anti-flopping rule?
MB: I think fining guys and taking money out of their pockets is too extreme. If you look at how they regulate it in Europe, they use technicals and put more pressure on the referee in the heat of the moment. The NBA wants to review (flops) and fine guys after games. As players, we're against flopping, too, but I think there can be a more reasonable way to enforce it.
SN: Thoughts on David Stern announcing his retirement?
MB: You can't deny the great job he has done taking the league to new heights. He's taken basketball and made it a global sport and capitalizing on business opportunities that come with that.
SN: Are you still wearing New Balance sneakers?
MB: I'm down to my last few pairs. Right now I'm wearing Adidas. Nothing formal. I haven't signed a deal or anything. I'm running out of New Balances. Last week, it was like the Dead Sea Scrolls when we found three pairs tucked away in a random locker.
SN: You need your own line of sneakers.
MB: Sadly, that hasn't happened. I lobbied hard to have my own shoe right up there with LeBron and Kobe. For some reason, they wouldn't take the bait.
SN: We need to give a shout out to your fellow Concord High alum Brian Sabean, who put together another World Series champion in San Francisco. The Giants GM has a knack for finding role players like Cody Ross and Marco Scutaro who've been postseason heroes.
MB: That's what impresses me the most. The Giants aren't the Red Sox or Yankees. They aren't a big-market team that goes out and buys the best players. Since they first won the World Series (in 2010), they've gone out and replaced a lot of players. I was impressed with the overall team, the synergy, the teamwork. They cheer each other on.
SN: Do you think the Patriots are finally putting everything together?
MB: They were dominant from start to finish (against the Rams). I'd still like to see them do something like that against a better quality club, but hopefully that's the game that gets the ball rolling. I still get a feeling the Patriots can't stop the other team from scoring when they need to in the fourth quarter. I need to see a few more games when I have the opposite feeling.
SN: People want to know if you still have your Pontiac Grand Prix.
MB: It's not a lie. I've had it since 2006. I just got a tuneup. It's good for another 60-90 ,000 miles.
The NBA Life will appear each week in the New Hampshire Sunday News during the season. Information from Spurs.com was used in this report.