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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 8 months ago

Nancy Lieberman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining me in the Huddle this week is an amazing woman, mother, player and coach. Playing hoops on the rough-and-tumble Harlem courts, Brooklyn-bred Nancy Lieberman learned to play a physical, aggressive style of basketball unlike other women of her time. As a 5'10" point guard, Lieberman was taller than many of the guards of her era, and her ability to drive to the hoop, dish out assists, and grab hard-fought rebounds served her well during her stellar career. Lieberman led Old Dominion University to back-to-back AIAW national championships in 1979 and 1980. She was twice named as the Wade Trophy winner - a basketball first. As the nation's top female athlete during those two seasons, Lieberman was the two-time winner of the Broderick Cup as well. Lieberman played professionally in the Women's Professional Basketball League, Women's American Basketball Association, United States Basketball League, Women's National Basketball Association, and with the Washington Generals. Earning WBL MVP honors with the Dallas Diamonds in 1981, she led the team to the 1984 WABA championship.

I want to thank Nancy for her honest conversation and all of the incredible stories she shared with us. Her stories about Muhammed Ali, Kobe Bryant, Ice Cube and many others were incredible. It was a hard day for her because it was the anniversary of Kobe's death. They were very close. Thank you Nancy for sharing your special relationship with me and all of our listeners.

Please visit http://nancyliebermancharities.org to donate!

...welcome everyone to huddle up with Gus.I'm your host. 15 year NFL quarterback Gus, for, uh, we're here in the new 1631 digital news studio. If you wanna learn Mawr or listen to previous shows,you can check us out on our website. Huddle up with gus dot com or whereveryou listen to your favorite podcasts. While in the huddle, our guestsdescribe how sports shaped their life. Now let's join the huddle. Hey, everyone, welcome to anotherepisode of Huddle Up With Gusts. I'm your host guest Ferrat um, 15 year NFLquarterback. You're here in the new 16 31 digital news studio. I am so excitedfor day. Actually, I am a little nervous. I've interviewed a lot ofpeople. We've done over 100 shows, but today is somebody that you know. Wetalk about breaking the glass ceiling. She's done it all. She's in all thehall of fames. She's won Olympic medals. She's won gold medals in the PanAmerican Games. Uh, she's coached in both leagues. The W NBA. She's, uh,coached professional's professional sports. She's done it all. She is, Um,I think, regarded as the highest of highest that that people look up to andwanna be like. And she she has just changed the game. And she comes from alittle place called Brooklyn, New York. So joining me today is none other than,uh, Nancy Lieberman. Nancy, how are you doing today? I'm doing great. On a sad day. I'mdoing great. But thank you for having me on your show. And I might add that Ienjoyed watching you play throughout your career. Yeah, you know, it's appreciate thatand thank you. And it is a sad day, Uh, you know, because those experiences onthings that happen, what happened and what you just told me before we came onthe air. Those were some things that you could never forget. And, you know,I see people that I played with and known have passed away. Just last week,Tony Jones passed away. He was an offensive lineman. He was 54 with theBroncos who I played with when I went out there. So I understand what you'regoing through on def. You want to express anything? Please do it. I'dlove to hear that story again about about Kobe. I was very fortunate to have 20 yearswith him. And even though we had known each other when I came back to play inthe W NBA in 2000 and eight at 50 I was doing TV for ESPN, and obviously Iplayed for Detroit against Houston, and then the next week I went back to myreal job and I was doing sideline and we had just finished interviewing PhilJackson with Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, and I was going down the hallof the practice facility and somebody goes, Hey, hey, come here, Nancy And itwas Kobe Bryant and I was like, High, He goes, Come on in here. I want totalk to you for a minute He says, You know Natalia, my daughter and Vanessa,We watched you play and e have so many questions for you, and it was almostlike I was in a think tank with him. See, he doesn't discriminate againstinformation and enduring this 15 minutes or so. I kept joking with himbecause I'm mildly sarcastic. I kept saying So let's see, you're the M V pof the MBA, just one another championship and you're interested inwhat a 50 year old white woman did on the court days ago. And he was he justwanted information how my body felt, how I trained. What was my mentalmindset? How was I received? What was it like with my son? You know, Was hesupportive where? People? It was a role beginning of an amazing friendship thatwe had And, you know, a matter of fact, uh, I talked to him two nights beforehe died. We were texting. I do the TV for the pelicans, Onda Thunder and Iwas in the studio and a couple of guys were sitting there, like in front of mebecause they were watching the Spurs game and another game. And they go Shebelieve Kobe told a reporter that women could play. You know, some some W NBAplayers could play in the NBA, and they were kind of giggling. And I wassitting behind a desk and I went, I'm still here, you know? Greg, Greg andBonner turned around. I go, Dude, it's not optimal, but it's doable. You know?I didn't have the w N b A in my prime. I had to play for Pat Riley and theLakers. I had to play for the Utah Jazz. I had to play to two years in theUnited States Basketball League men's league, which is equivalent to thejelly. I said, You know, I got tired of having my my behind beat, but it'sdoable. And so I joked, I go Well, let's just ask Kobe what he thinks andthey kind of looked at me and I said, Hey, you wanna talk about women playingagainst God's? But I still have the...

...text messages on my phone and he saysYes when And I said Now he goes, Yeah, and I mean, if I read you two thingsthat he said and keep out some of the cursing But he was such a proponent ofwomen, so he asked me or we're done. He's had asked me before. You know,Thio train Jonah's team with him for a day and I said, Yeah, I said, You stillwant me to come out and put the team through practice? He said Yes. I said,When you practice, he says every night and I went, of course, you dio eso Isaid, Okay, I'll text you Monday and, well, I'll come out next week. I haveTV. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. So in the next day, I'm doing anappearance in Indian Wells, California and he calls me and he goes, Let's getthis thing set up. So I was gonna come out on Wednesday, put the kids throughpractice, come out to the house, get on the helicopter and go to the academy.And I shared this with my son, T. J. Who plays professionally over in Europe.He's with Maccabi Tel Aviv, and I never really told T J the plans because theyweren't firm. But that Sunday morning I was at a conference and my phone rangand I ran out the back door of the conference hall and I go T J T J wasnot. He was mother. Mother, I go. What? He goes bomb? You didn't hear? I saidhere What? Kobe Bryant helicopter crashed and you died because, Mom, Ithought you were on the helicopter. And I mean, I just about hit the floor.A secret Service guy grabbed me. It took me in a room. I was devastated,devastated, still in. Well, I couldn't imagine that you along with so manyother people that were mama fans and, you know, that cherished his friendship.You know, when you hear about somebody that excelled like Kobe did but thenstill had wanted to be, I think he strived to be normal in a way, you know,and want to give back so much to the community and everybody else. And, umand I think he knew that what you were doing, who you were. You could help himbreak barriers for his girls, for everyone else around the world. And,you know, I'm really sorry for your loss, and this is probably a tough day,and I thank you for being on the show with me. Um, but if we could changesubjects for a little bit back to your mamba mentality growing up, you know,that's what our show is really about is about how sports shapes your life. AndI mean, I watched your induction speech. I listen to you talk about your mom.Andi, tell me about growing up. And really, when you fell in love, what wasthat first time you just saw? You know, sports is this is what I want to dowith my life. Well, for me, everybody has their storyin their journey For me, I was a poor kid from New York and, you know, and nofather and I kind of felt hopeless and helpless. You know, I'm a girl from thesixties. There was no gender equity. There was no title nine, but there wasno W N b a. There was no celebrating being celebrated. It was beingtolerated because people, you know, you don't know what you don't know and Iwas different. And I hated being maligned and bullied and judged bypeople because I needed sports more than sports, needed me and gave me somerelief to get out of the house and to go play sports. And and honestly, myfirst sport was football, and I played in the Tackle Football League and youknow. Then the guy started getting bigger and stronger, and I went tobaseball and then ultimately found my way to basketball. But it was 10 yearsold where I was standing in the kitchen. E I was just so tired of people beingso negative because, you know, I wasn't Carjacking anybody. I wasn't stealing.I wasn't you know in a gang all were optional growing up in New York, But Iuse sports, and it made it made me happy. Um, internally. Wherever Iwasn't happy, it changed my life. And then I heard this guy on the TV. Hesaid I'm the greatest of all times Be Joe Frazier. Like a B to a foreman Likea beat. Sonny Liston back in 1964. I'm too pretty not to be the champion ofthe world. I am the greatest of all times. I was mesmerized by Mohammed Ali.I fell in love with him and anything that I could read about the champ. Idid. I remember standing in the kitchen looking at my mom, and I just said, Youbetter get used to it. I'm gonna be the greatest of all times. You know, uh,and she was like, What is wrong with...

...you? I said, you gonna want myautograph one day because I'm gonna be famous. I'm gonna be great. And I ranto my room and cry. 10 years old, I end up, you know, making the Olympicteam as a high schooler and still the youngest Olympic basketball player ever.male or female. We win the Pan Am games in 75 in the silver. In 76 I get ascholarship to go to Old Dominion University. We ended up winning back toback national championships and through all this, if I be transparent, I wasfraudulent. You know, I lived behind Nancy Lieberman or being that greatathlete or a champion, but I was still broken, you know, from my childhood,right before my senior year, I was asked to do an appearance at the stockexchange. So the Olympic Committee, it was a fundraiser. We're I'm back homewith my bestie Barbara and my mom and we're going up the escalator and I go,Who's the other athlete with? Okay, I think I just gotta looks at me. And youwere going to the Green Room. Who's the other athletes? Oh, yeah, it's MohammedAli. I'm like Mohammed Ali is here because yeah, he's in the room. I mean,I couldn't breathe and the door opens and it's like that. Oprah, huh? Thereis the man who changed my life, and we had to the day he died. We hadthis amazing friendship and relationship, and he just never took itHis wing off of me. I mean, he mentored me, and he taught me how to be achampion in, you know, on the court, off the court, and especially withphilanthropy and helping others, you talked about how you were still broken.Even though you were a champion, you were still broken. So how did Mohammed all the help you fix yourself, rightWhen you say he mentored you, he helped you fix yourself. I mean, I thinkthat's the most important thing, because I deal with that with my wife,right? She's just this amazing person. She's a nurse, She's a therapist. AndI'm like, Honey, you're just amazing. You have to believe in yourself and shestill doesn't like. Even when people give her great accolades, she still hasthat little bit of self doubt. How did Mohammed Ali help you fix those littlebroken parts in you? Well, first thing was nobody wouldreally tell me the truth, because everybody, you know is kind of kissingmy behind like that. I'm sure they did to you in your career. Nobody wanted toupset us, right, because they needed us. And I think in talking that night. Um,December of 79 with Ali. We went back to the Plaza Hotel and I spent, like,three hours with him, and he started telling me stories. And, you know, hegave me little things. Like I'm gonna ask you. There's two people in theworld. There's givers, and there's takers. Nancy, I want you to respecteverybody, but I want you to fear nobody. I mean, little things. And look,I was young and I was probably immature. And he said I remember him saying, Yougot made you special. And I was so stupid. I'm and I talk like this. Howyou doing? I was straight in New York. I go. Do you know God to you know,everybody How that is great. And he just looked at me like, Oh, I gotta behere for this girl. What he taught me is this, uh he taught me to love me,and, you know, your wife has to learn to love her. So you know, this, uh, Idecided long ago never walk in anyone's shadow If I fail. If I succeed, atleast I live as I believe. No matter what they take from me They can't takeaway my dignity But it's the greatest love of all is inside of me Taught meto love me I didn't love me because I was just damaged. Um, you know, nothaving certain things in my childhood. And when I could reconcile that I was agood person that, you know, I'm not I'm a victor. You're not a victim. It justreally It helped me. And but just toe have, you know, reinforce who you are.You know, you kind of have to see it. Say it to be it. I had to see myselfbeing a good person, actually would say, You know, I'm a good person besidesbeing Nancy Lieberman, the basketball player. So you know, it's reinforcedthree ways. You see it, you say, and that's you, be it. That's who you are.And every time I would talk to him, he would just always, you know, empathy isa good thing. And even though you had this great career I played, Ali was youknow, this champion everybody needs...

...just a little love and a little empathy.And he gave that to me in big doses, and you know. I guess it's funny howlife issue could never predict it. But, you know, fast forward, whatever. 30years, I'm sitting in the house with him in Phoenix, where he lived withLonnie. I'm holding his hand. I'm feeding him food, you know, because hishands were shaking from Parkinson's and Lonnie would say he's been waiting foryou all day and we would just sit and tell him how much I loved him andappreciated him and what he's done for me, right? Humility. The strength,arrogance it's not, you know, is not strength into weakness. But he gave meso much, and all I'm trying to do is repurpose it and give it back. I want Iwant to be a great friends of people. I want to be amazing, Mom, wanna be? Iwanna be the giver And he asked me to be, Yeah, you know, And I love that storybecause for me, a lot of that took hold when we started having Children, right,because all of a sudden you're this player and everybody looked up to youand then all of a sudden you have kids, and there's just this whole differentworld that you never knew that all of a sudden you got to take care of. Andwhen I we had our three kids and then all these responsibilities, sports wasbecame a job, and still people looked up to you. But it kind of all went awayand that empathy grew in me because of my kids. And I wanted to do better. Iwanted to be better. I wanted to make sure that they saw the world, um, in agreat way, and I hope we we've done that. But I think that's kind of if Ihear your story right, maybe that's what all he was kind of seeing with youwrite that he took you in under his wing and he said that You know, youhave those God given abilities, but there's something else that he couldgive to you, and I love that story. But I heard he also met your mom, and shehad a quite a great comment to him. Well, it's, you know, she went overwhen when we went in the room and she saw Holly. She, you know, my mom's alittle 5 ft four At the time she was a heavy little New York Jewish mother andshe goes over him. She and she puts her arms around his neck and goes MrMohammed Pahlawan. Yeah. My name is Vinnie Lieberman from Queens, and I wasso embarrassed, and I swore to my son I would never be like that. I probably amexactly like her. And she goes my daughter, my daughter is the greatestof all times. And he goes, Listen, lady, there's only one greatest of all timesand it's me. And she was No, Mr Mohammed, I know you're good, but mydaughter I mean, you can't make this stuff up and he has this. I mean, Ihave a picture right here in my office, and he's just smiling because my motheris saying this to him. So he calls me over, and I you know, sheep, yoursleeve. I have my head down and he goes, Your mom says You're great and I go, No,Mr Mohammed, you know, I'm not. I'm the greatest of all times because there'stwo of us. I said, Yeah, and you know, I hit people to he goes, I'm gonna haveto ask you to stop hitting people. I said You hit people, he goes, I getpaid to hit people who cannot hit people on dso it just this lovingrelationship, this kindness this I'm really You know, all I wanted ever dois make him proud of of how I am. You know, Lonnie Ali is is my lifelongsister, and I appreciate she gave me access and proximity to him. Always,always, Um, I have so many memories, but it's helped me be a better personand be the woman that I am today. Now, if we get on the court, you know, waywe were playing basketball and Larry Fitzgerald South Larry is like mylittle brother. And it was me and T. J. I was probably 30 to 53 Larry and hiscousin were Plan and t j. We lose by two points, and TJ looks at me and hegoes, you're a liability on Larry. Did you just call your mother a liability?And he goes, she's out here playing ball with us. So, you know, I want todo those things. I wanna be that parent to t. J. Maybe things that I did nothave in my childhood And, you know, uh, I want Thio. I want I want to shake up the world. Iwanna help. I'm not afraid because I'm not afraid to play. I'm not afraid tocompete. I'm not afraid to coach men. I'm not afraid to win. I'm not afraidto give the best of who I am And I'm...

...you know, we're all flawed, But no, Iwanna I wanna leave this place better, you know, than when I got here. Yeah. Iwas wonder if he ever gave you that surprise call after a game. You know,like my dad would call me, and I'll be like, Oh, no, my dad's calling. Sosomething didn't go right? Right? So did he ever give you that surprise callhe did when I was in college after we had met. And, you know, I wouldn't saywe were besties, but we stayed in touch with each other the old fashioned way,like landline and somebody up in my apartment. My friend West, he comesrunning downstairs. I was doing laundry and he was Nancy. Nancy, Mohammed Ali'son the phone. I'm like Mohammed Ali's on the phone and I run up to myapartment and I go Hello And he goes, Hey, Nancy, its's Mohammed. I'm like,Oh, my gosh, I can't believe you called me. He goes, I know you guys one lastnight. I'm really proud of you. I want to come to one of your games. So wewere trying to set it up for him to come to a game where we played in SanFrancisco. But at that time, they couldn't figure out you know, enoughsecurity measures for him. But about 34 months later, of Sports IllustratedCurry Kirkpatrick did a feature story on me like a 13 page feature, and hesaid he read that, and it it just hit his heart. And he just appreciated, youknow, our friendship. Um, I will tell you this in 2015. Now, he had beentelling me for a long time after I started coaching in the N B. A. G. Lee,you know, with the Texas Legends, the Madison affiliate became their headcoach In 2010 11, he was like, You're gonna be you're gonna coach in the NBA.And I said, How do you normally coach in the NBA and Lonnie's like you'regonna be coaching in the N B A. Well, fast forward to 2015. I'm in the gym atPlano West, about a mile from where I live, and my son was working out withcoach myself and Coach Del Harris on my phone rings and it's blocked a Devens.And he's like, Hey, you know, we'd like to hire to you is in this but, you know,with the Kings and I'm just blown away. The next call I made was to Mohammedand Teleni, and I was like Lonnie, Lonnie and I was trying to be, like,super cool. I was like Lonnie, Lonnie, Where's Mohammed? Is He's there, youknow, can put him on speaker. She was baby, What's wrong? And she goes, He'shere and I go, Lonnie, I just got hired by the Sacramento Kings as one of theirassistant coaches, and she says, Mohammed is acting, you know, like he'sshooting the basketball. Then I go. You can't shoot. We know this and you know,she says to me, we're going to come to your game when you play Phoenix becausehe lives in Scottsdale. I'm telling you, this is the truth. Weplay our first game there in November. Season of sweet, um, lower level, rightbehind our bench. And I'm trying to be, you know, professional because, youknow, I got DeMarcus Cousins. Rudy Gay. You know, there's on Rondo, all ourplayers and somebody says, What's you know, what's the Champ doing here? AndI don't remember who it was. It might have been Rondo who goes, Oh, that'sthat's coach's friend. So they gave me street cred right off the bat, and Iturned around and I looked up in in the box and he was waving and I was blowinghim kisses. And after the game, he took pictures, you know, with, you know,people with with Sacramento. He was so gracious. I just I never forget thosemoments, Um, no. Of how he treated me And you know, those very memorablemoments. And I knew I knew that there will be a time that he wasn't gonna bein my life. I just I just feel actually very grateful, um, to have had so many,so many incredible experiences with him. Well, I think it goes back to, you know,great people like yourself. They meet other great people and they cometogether and they figure out how they can. Like you talked about philanthropy,other things, how they can change the world. And I think that's he recognizedin that in you because we know that Mohammed Ali didn't do that witheveryone. And so you definitely, um, touched him in a way probably otherpeople really, you know, never had the chance to. So I think that's incredible.Um, a couple of things that I wanted to...

...get back Thio. I mean, so you're earlyexperience through high school in a a you and go to the Olympics andeverything. Um, And then you go to college like you have all this, youknow, credibility before you even get to college. You know, a lot of peoplego to college and nobody even knows who they are on that team. Right? Becauseyou come from all over the place. You've had all this incredibleexperience. So you become an instant leader when you get to college. Whatwas that like for you? Did you take on that role, or did you kind of just havetoe, you know, fill it out for a few years first. Well, you really I don't ever predetermined what I was supposed to. We're not supposed to do. All I did was,you know, I felt like I had been in my mind professional athlete. I didn'tconsider myself like a collegiate athlete because of you know, myexperiences At 14, 15, 16, it was kind of almost like Luke advantage. You know,you might look at us as young people, but we probably have more experience oncourt than players who were seniors or, you know, players in the n b a. Who'vebeen there for 8, 19 years. So I think there's just a true confidence. Itwasn't a false confidence. Um, And when I, you know, my mindset was I wanted tobe the greatest. I wanted to be the best. So every day, every drill, everypractice, Honestly, I mean, I I don't know if this is a family show, but Ibeat the shit out of my teammates and practice every day. It's how it's justwhat I knew. That was my DNA. Um, I wanted to win that, you know, uh, youknow Mamba mentality. If you will battle with my teammates every day.First of all, like I wanted to show my supremacy of this team. And then if Icould get my teammates to lift their level and their responsibility andthey're accountability because I wanted to win and we had four short years, youknow, when I picked all Dominion or, you know, we were, like, six and 25.And so to to rebuild or create a program, you just have toe have acertain mentality. And we made a remember being in the locker room withthe seven freshmen. And, you know, we're all still good friends today, andwe kind of did a little pinky swear each one of us freshman was going totake one of the upper class Mons jobs. So eventually we wanted, you know, fivefreshmen starting almost like Michigan with the Fab Five. Um, but again, thatwas the mindset like, No, it starts now. I'm taking Debbie Richards job. You'retaking, you know, Wendy Larry's job and this is what we're gonna do. And ifthey're not good enough to play on this team, that's not our problem. So itmight sound a little cold and callous, but you know when When you get beat upat Rucker Park, you know, for years it teaches you have you have to be better.And nobody's gonna feel sorry for you because it's that next man up reality.And so our practices in many cases were harder than our games. They were verycombative. But, you know, we ended up going, I think 125 and 18, my fouryears in Old Dominion, you had an incredible You had an incredible recordat Old Dominion. I mean, the stats are amazing on. Then you go Thio playprofessionally, right? And I know when you get to the professional level, Ithink everybody kind of has that mindset that I'm the best. I'm the onethat's gonna take over. I'm gonna take charge. So when you had that levelcompetition raise right, because you're playing against different level. I mean,the NFL's that way. You see great players in college, you go to the NFL,they don't make it. How did that change for you? Is thatthe same mentality? You go to your teammates, you say this is how it'sgonna be every day, and we're gonna go in this thing. It's really all I knew. I was prettysimplistic at that point in my life. I knew one thing, uh, to play hard, uh,in practice and prepared to win. And it was almost that same mentality. If ifyou're not at this level, then you shouldn't be here. You have to at leastgive the best of who you are. But laziness is s o. I always thought aboutthis. Um, you know, no excuses. No explanation is that if you'reexplaining, you're excuse, you don't want accountability. And I wantteammates that have accountability because there were days that I stunk itup in the gym. But I had to come back and had to keep my confidence and justkeep working on my game. So when you have a teammate like that, that canlift people. You've been around that in the NFL. You've seen looking Tom Brady.I mean, look at Patrick Mahomes or even...

Aaron Rodgers to freeze, uh, LamarJackson. They just change. They changed the dynamic in the locker room becausethere's an expectation of what you need to do to win winnings hard. It's reallyhard if if winning was easy. Everybody would do it, you know? And then theteams, even later on in life that I've coached, you know, my MBA players, youknow, the Marcus you've never even been. You know, you can't even talk about aGame seven. You've never been in a Game seven and I'm not trying to bedisparaging. But how are we going to get you to the playoffs So you canunderstand what that is like? Or, you know, coaching in the Big Three for IceCube and having korma Getty and continue Mobley, the Big Baby Davis,Quentin Richardson, Birdman. Only two guys in my locker room had ever won.And that was, you know, Birdman with the Heat, baby with Celtics in 2009.These are multi millionaires. The winning is hard. You have to teach. Youhave to master the things that take no talent. You can master those details.It will give you a stepping stone to consistency. And you know that mindsetto be a champion. Well, that's why you look at Tom Brady and LeBron James. Andwhat LeBron has done in the MBA has been amazing. Just to go from team toteam build that structure and everything you were talking about aboutthe mentality of going in and I beat my teammates up. I have that feeling thatLeBron just does that Everywhere he goes, you know, and winning inbasketball. To me. I mean, my sons and I watch it almost every night. And, youknow, we love and watching all these young kids play and do they have thementality to take it over in the fourth quarter? And and you watch the guys whodo and watch the guys you don't? And then every time you watch LeBron, hejust has that mentality and it's amazing. And that that when you weretalking about yourself, that's just what it reminds me of today. Like, if Isee you know that picture of you today, Um, that's that's what I That's what Ienvision, that you you just take control and you bring that mentalityeverywhere you go. But we are influencers and we have achance. Uh, hopefully influence influence in the correct manner. Butyou know LeBron James, you know we're splitting hairs. You know, him orMichael Jordan. It depends on what generation I was actually happy to seethe last dance because it gave one or two generations a chance to see MichaelJordan's greatness in his will to win. And Michael and I, you know, have beenfriends, you know, since his first year in the league. So you he had that Aliin him. He had that LeBron James mentality and Kobe mentality. So LeBronJames is absolutely unbelievable what he's doing. I mean, you have 46 points.Last night I was doing the Clipper. Excuse me, the Thunder Trail Blazersgame. But, you know, I'm checking to see what LeBron's doing. I mean, he'sbeen in the league 17 years and he's been in, what, 10 Finals? He he haswear and tear on his body, but he is so good at taking care of himself mentally,physically, emotionally. He's a great guy, works his tail off, and he's gonnarewrite the record books. If he could play three more years, he might evenget to play with his son. Brawny. Would that be unbelievable? That would beunbelievable. Has that ever happened in the MBA before? Uh, not that I know. You know, I thinkbaseball didn't to Griffey's play together in Cincinnati Can senior andjunior. I don't know if that's actually happened in the MBA. Uh, you know, lastyear before Cove, it hit. Uh, I was hoping that my son t j would be able toplay for me in the big three, and obviously that got derailed. But anytime you get to do something with, you know, with your kid Oh, I mean, it justdoesn't happen. Actually, your kid actually has to be good or great to beable to get to that next level. So, you know, a lot of times it nevermaterializes. So I think the big three is coming back. This you're right. Yes. Um, you know, I always take pridein telling me telling people you know, my boss is Ice Cube. He's one of themost amazing. Yes, he's intelligent. He's funny. He's a great husband. He'samazing, Father, he's a non entrepreneur. And he's given all of usan opportunity to continue doing what we love to do. And just think of it tobe, like on the road for 10 Weeks with Michael Cooper and Rick Perry and Dr J.And Rick Mahorn. And you know, so many of these iconic people on get, you know,like I've known Dr Jason. So I was 14.

But, you know, sometimes we're blowingand going, and we really don't get a chance to sit down. Now we're with eachother in in cities, and you can have a cup of coffee. Or you could go tochapel or whatever it is, and you just get to reconnect on a higher levelpeople who is deeply, you know, admired throughout your career. Yeah, you talk about your boss and youknow the one thing I was gonna ask. Candy Hoop, right? He's starting awhole new hoop league. So canny hoop. Hey, can you know, he messed around andhad a triple double? Oh, that was it was a good day. You know his song Hey,loves thio, Play basketball? Um, O'Shea Jackson. Okay, I see Cube is just asiconic a person as you see his talents. And like I said, he gave so many peoplea chance to continue doing what they love. And it's it's funny to walk intoan arena and see, you know, like l l cool j Hey. Hey, Nancy. I'm like I l lHow you doing it, z? You know, I'm still a fan. Like I said, I'm a fan ofsports and, you know, like I said, it was true. I mean, I'm a fan of what youdid. I just like watching accomplished people, seeing what they did, how theydid it. You know, I think you know, Kobe used to call me the Mama Mama areafter I play, you know, like I said 50 because it's that mindset. And I dowant to know why people are great. I deeply admire people were willing tomake that sacrifice. Yeah, it is a sacrifice. You have totake a lot into account. I mean, you know, people want to talk about TomBrady or guys that have been 40 to play in the NFL. It's not easy. You have totake care of yourself physically. Mentally. Um, you know, there was anamazing picture that came out not too long ago. It was a picture of GeorgeBlanda who played like he was the same age as Tom and George retired. Andthere was a picture of George Bland beside Tom Brady. You know, Georgelooked like he was 65. Tom looked like he was 35. You know, just thedifference in, like the eras and how you take care of yourself in thementality that that that we all have about our bodies is so different now. Imean, Sonny Jorgenson used to tell me stories about halftime, of games, goingout, walking through the bus is getting two beers and a smoke and having twobeers and a smoke at halftime and then go back out and playing like, to me islike, what? That it really happened. He goes, Oh, yeah, all the time. You know?And there's pictures of Len Dawson smoking at halftime Mean the way ourmentality has changed his leg. You play a lot longer and for you to play it 50.Tell me about that. What that was like for you, right? You're going into thelocker room. You're getting dressed. Um, you know, being back in that lockerroom at that at that time in your life, had to be, ah, mental challenge. Morethan a physical one. Probably think for you. Yeah, it was because you hope your bodycan hang in there from all the hard work. Um, but, you know, in 1997 thefirst year of the W N B A. I was 39 So I was the oldest player in the league,and I trained really hard to come back. But my again, my mindset was I wantedto be the athlete that the W N b a pick to do their fitness P s A is because,you know, we live in a very visual society. So instead of going well,she's 39 years old. It would be like, Damn, I can't believe what she lookslike because you and I wanted to win that that battle. She had to do X toelook like that physically. So then coming back at 39. Excuse me? 50. Ijust wanted to make sure that I had the proper respect for for the game. AndI'm very grateful to build lamb beer, you know, for asking me. Hey, you know,you know what? I was running through the skills challenge in Washington, D.C. For the All Star game that we were doing on ESPN on. I didn't Lamb beerhad come out early, and it was just sitting in the corner and I took myheels off and I just ran through the skills challenge. And when I came back,he goes, You still play? I play a little bit. He says When you turn 50and I said July 1st He says, Do you want to make history? And I go, What doyou thinking? He says, Do you wanna play? I said I would love to play. So Iknew almost a year before. So, you know, I was, you know, training, working,making sure that I was physically able to do it. And then, um when that day,you know, happened, I I was throat. But, you know, I don't know if I I did it,did it more because I wanted my son t j...

...to see what his mother did. I wantedhim to see that anything is possible. You have to have, you know, a lot ofluck. You have to be healthy. But I wanted him thio just to see that theseare obtainable balls. Get the opportunity. But you have to be readyfor that moment. Yeah, no, that's amazing. And I think Imean, even if you didn't do I think you've taught your your son amazingthings. And you've given them unbelievable gifts that that you know,he'll he'll take with him for the rest of his life. So when you when you getthrough this whole time, You know what I mean? Like, you've just had anamazing career and you get to the point where you talk about philanthropy.Where was that first moment for you? I mean, you're still you're still callinggames. You're probably still going to coach three and three. I know you'reyou're not gonna quit, but where is that most? What was that first momentfor? You said I really have to give back and look at philanthropy on how todo that. That is a great question. So in, um, in1974 it was an article in the Long Island Press, the little newspaper inmy area, and it said tryouts for us. A team. Uh, it's a three game seriously,USA women against Russia. So we went and there was a try out of the Queen'scollege. Now I was, you know, 14 at the time. And after, like, 67 hours of atryout, it was like America's got talent. They put a number on you. I wasone of 10 people to be selected to go to this pre camp in Albuquerque, NewMexico. So they had four areas of the country. So 40 of me, we're gonna go tocompete. They wanted to find out, you know, they were trying to unearthtalent for the future. So I go home and I said, Mom, Mom, I can't believe this.I just made this tryout. I've been a Queens college, and I'm going toAlbuquerque, New Mexico. So you're gonna have to buy an airline ticket.She goes, Nancy, I can't keep it on or put food on the table. How am I goingto get you? Airline ticket? So my high school assistant principal, BarbaraSakowicz, she took a can of corn, opened it, cleaned it and then typed ona letter on an envelope. We're endeavoring to raise $300 to send Nancyto tryouts. Scots taped it. This can thus went all through my neighborhood.And they not only raised the $300 but they raised enough from my high schoolcoach, Larry Morris, to go with me in Albuquerque. random people. Blind faith,kindness, right, Random acts of kindness. And I still have that canthat amazing? I have the can with the envelope that's Scots taped on andpeople I don't even know who put money five or ones or changed into that can.So I as a professional athlete and I started making money, I knew that Ihave wanted to help people, and it za stayed with me. So that's what wedo with the charity we've We've given almost $7 million. Uh, you know, in thelast 10 years, um, it is amazing. It's not a, you know, at a girl moment, it'sI can't believe that people have entrusted me. We've sent 70 high schoolseniors to college at $700,000 and we've done and I say this with humility,not with arrogance. We have 94 dream courts open in a dream court. It was mydream to be on the court as a kid because you could no longer profile me.Bully me, make fun of me. Call me Tom Boy. It was kind of a safe place for me.Probably like the football field was for you and on these courts. We haveprogramming we have stem. Uh, we have civic engagement. We do financialliteracy. We wanna make it educational. And you know what? I was stand beforethey were stand. I'm a critical thinker because of sports. I understand inertia.I understand the engineering of a basketball court. And more importantly,I understand math. If if I have more points than you, I win on E. Somebodyasked me one day. Well, you know, how do you have stem on your court? It'slike doing stem before stem was a thing. That's what we want. You know, peopleare hiring athletes, you know, 80% of Fortune 500 companies right now orhiring former athletes like you and me. You can yell at me. You can scream atme. I can win, I can lose. I'm wired for strategy. I'm wired to be a goodteammate to make people around me...

...better. And that's what the futurelooks like. The business is competitive and they want competitive people inthose positions. Yeah, I think one of the great thingsabout the Dream Court is that we see today that kids are not leaving thehouse right. I talked to so many guests about when we were kids. We wentoutside, You talked about it, you went outside and you played right. That wasyour way to get away. We all did that right now. No matter what ball you had,no matter what was going on, you just wouldn't played and nobody cared.Everybody wanted to be involved. And I see today that's changing a lot, rightwith our kids inside computers and video games and everything. And I thinkthat what you're doing is adding those things to it so that they can come outand grow not just playing sport. But we have to do those different things toget the kids out of the house today, I believe. What do you think about that? I agree. You're spot on. I think thatthere are amazing friendships that you have when you're a kid, you know, weplay sports because it's fun, enjoyable, and we're doing it with our friends.And sometimes when you're just in the house with a control unit and you'reeither aiming or you're playing Xbox, I think you lose that ability on somelevel to have these deeper friendships. And I might sound like I'm told, youknow, you know, with the Tory impact man and, you know, pinball machine. Iwas a pinball wizard on, and I get it. I'm not saying that these games are bad.I know that they're fun and you can compete against people. But I thinkthere's there's balance, you know, everything is balance. If you're olderand you don't like computers, you should learn how to use computers orunderstand that today's, uh you know, kid, uh, they talk in 280 characters or,you know, 32nd bites on Snapchat or, you know, Instagram. It's very visual.E. I just think there's a healthy balance. Uh, whatever your age, Uh,it's not a bad thing. What we're asking, we're not telling you to go back to therotary phone and Dial were just saying, This is a really good thing used to do,you know, exploring things, type of friendship, where you're doing andyou're interacting with them in a physical, healthy, competitiveenvironment, which is sports. Yeah, and sports brings us all together in a waythat I really believe that not much else can I interviewed Jeremy Dourouxnot too long ago. He's ah ah, lot of professor at the American Universityand he helped with the Rooney rule. He talks about quality and coaching, andhe said, Look, I grew up in Africa. I came here at age seven and the way Ihelped me was sports. I was a good soccer player. I got on the field,people didn't care where I was from or who I was. We just all bonded. We'reone team, and they loved winning. And I think just sports has given me so muchthat I love these stories for our listeners to hear because it's soimportant that we all come from different backgrounds. We all have astory to tell, and sports could be such a central part of all that, um, youknow, and I just think that what you're doing with your charities, um, you know,I was kind of looking at that. You've had several books that you wrote. Um,is there any that you're doing? Are you working on any now? Currently or just,um, kind of the ones that you've already had out? Well, right now, the ones that I've hadout But I am working on a couple of projects, uh, to have my playground andinterview athletes. No, I'm having kids there. I think we have to get throughco vid. Everybody has a story. Everybody had a playground, whetherit's talking to Kevin Hart or Blair Underwood or you or whoever the athletewe all started somewhere, you know, before we were, you know, so big andbad. Some people famous, uh, and it brings you back to such a nen credibletime, and I'll give you an example. Um, you know Billy Crystal were from he'sfrom Atlantic City. I'm from Far Rockaway. We're about 15 minutes fromeach other, and Billy and I, over the years through Mohammed Ali have becomevery, very good friends. So he's a huge clipper fan. So the other night I wasdoing the Thunder Clipper game, so I text Billy and I said, Hey, okay. Superfan. What do you got? You know, tell me a little bit about your clippers. Hegave me this elaborate, you know, well thought out scouting report on on howquiet and Paul George, a plan and and at the end of our thread of textingbecause I really miss being at the games. I miss, you know, kind of thesqueaky sneakers and the competition...

...because you're not gonna believe it.And I think Billy 75 looks great. He says I go out and shoot most every dayand he'll send me videos of him. I'm assuming in his backyard, just shootinghoop for all kids. I mean, it was such a joy. Play this game and I'm gonna askyou this question and then the cool in your experience,what's the locker room? The most sacred fun place, like people after the gamewould wait for us to come out. And we really didn't want to come out of thelocker room until we were ready because it was a safe place and we had such adeep connection to our teammates. How is it for you care? Well, I would saythe locker room is what you missed the most, because it's an instant family.No matter where you were from, we were all going towards the same goal. Welove the locker room, but you know, we only got to play once a week and only16 times a year and luckily, you know, if you got to go to the playoffs, youplay a little bit more after the games on Sunday, you kind of just There wasso much press and everything in the locker room right away. You neverwanted to stay in there. But during the week after practice, there are a lot oftimes I didn't wanna leave the locker room until the last guy left until thepeople that I knew I worked hard with in practice left even going into thetraining room. I mean to so many stories from being in the training room,the equipment room and meeting those people in being around them and andhearing their stories. That was my favorite thing on you. Talk abouthaving fun in the locker room. I was known as a prankster in the NFL. I loveto have little jokes because I thought that levity helped in situations rightthat you can laugh and have a good time. And, yeah, I usually only did it withpeople that I knew could handle those things that had thick skin. You neverwant to play a joke on somebody that's thin skin, but the locker room wassacred. It was a place that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout my wholecareer, and it was just so much fun. So thank you for asking about that, andI'm sure you feel the same way. Um, but I never got to be there as a coach.What is the difference between being a player and a coach in the locker room? Coaches prepare you for success playersdetermined probability and outcome. The greatest thing you can ever do is to bea player, because I could drop the best play. But it's on you to execute it andyou win the game. A coach has never won a game. We've never made a shot orthrown a touchdown pass. And I love that. No, I love the fact that we're inthe foxhole together, and you, I don't want to sound, um, anything other thanit is. It's like parenting. Want each of your kids to excel. You want them tohave their own personalities. You have to treat everybody differently. And youknow some people you can kind of be a little bit more forceful in your tone.Some need coddling. Some really aren't confident and there to build them up.And but most importantly, you want them to get the best out of their careerbecause their careers were so short by and large. And I think it, you know,for me I wanted to make my players, you know, better women, the W N B A andbetter men, no better fathers. Uh, but her husband's, you know, moreresponsibility. So it's It's a whole different mindset off of what you'relooking to take from this experience. But of course, you also you wanna wintogether because that's something you could talk about for the rest of yourlife. Instant before we lost Pat Summitt. I mean, it's hard to believethat she was my teammate in 75 76 on the U. S. A team. Then I played againsther for four years at Tennessee, and then I played for her internationally.I think I'm the only player that has been a teammate and played against andplayed for, but I learned so much about her, his person, and, you know, Ideeply, you know, admired her and look up to her. So you learn things aboutpeople, and I saw how she helped and what she did to make everybody aroundher better. You try to take that into what you do. Yeah. So I mean, so manypeople were affected by Pat Summitt and, uh, in a positive way. And she broughtso much to the game of basketball. One last thing I want to ask you, um, youhave broken so many barriers. You've You've crashed through that ceiling.Now, this year we have ah, female vice president and Kamala Harris. How didyou feel about that? Like the you know,...

...women are just becoming more empoweredand just taking new roles. And I think it's so important for our country. Andwho we are is America to show the world that it's okay and equality should beout there. And e mean, you were one of the first to do all these things, andnow you're seeing it. It broken it. Almost all kind of different levelsfrom CEOs toe now the vice president of the United States. How do you feelabout that? Well, it's it's exciting. Uh, there's agenerations of of little girls that are gonna look up and say, I can do thistoo, because you know what she's done is nothing short of remarkable. Andit's it's our job to make things normal. It'll be her job, and I'll end withthis for me. You know, when I when I was coaching in the G League, Uh, likeI said in 2010 11, I was invited to the White House by Barack Obama s. So Iwent up there with my son T J. When the president came over, you know, he wasso happy. He was just really, like, happy to be around us and because heloves basketball. And he looked at me. He goes, Nancy, I've been a black manin my entire life. I just happen to be the president of the United States. Youhave been a white woman playing against predominantly men and black men yourwhole life. And now you're coaching them. You know, this is normal to you.This is normal to me. It's our job. Make it normal to everybody else. It'sgonna be, um, Vice President Harris a job to make this normal. Everybody else. Wow, What an amazing story you have.And I appreciate you sharing it with us. Please let our listeners and all of ourfans know where they can follow you, where they can find you and how theycan connect with your charities. And hopefully they can donate. Thank you for saying that. That's verykind of you, but you can go toe, you know, Nancy Liebman, charities dot orGTA. See what we do if something hits your heart. We're always looking forgreat teammates to help us change kids lives. Um, and on Instagram and Twitter,it's at Nancy Lieberman. And thank you for allowing me to share. You know,some of my story with, you know, with your followers today. Yeah, thank youfor coming on and joining us in the huddle. We want to thank everyone forlistening to huddle up with us and joining us in the 16 31 digital newsstudio. We especially want to thank Nancy Lieberman for amazing story andall the incredible, um, people that she's influence. She is definitely oneof the top influencers in this world. And please follow her. Go to hercharities donate to her because she is making a difference for everyone.Especially little girls out there. So thank you. Nancy Really appreciate yourtime. Hi, This is former NFL quarterback GusFrerotte, 16 30 one. Digital advertising is your one stop shop topromote your business and get new customers for award winning Creative togetting as online in display video O T T. Connected TV and streaming audio Goto 16 31 digital advertising dot com EP The multi format network is here tohelp create, produce, distribute and sell your content from or information.Send a message to info at a m p dot TV. That's info at double a. M p dot tv.You lost a job recently, and now you can't afford your mortgage payment Ordo you have a rental property and your tenants aren't paying you quick cashoffer can come to the rescue and pay you cash for your home immediately. Yes,sell your home and get cash all over the phone without dealing with realestate agents and risking your safety by showing your home to lukewarm buyers.You don't need to lose your home to foreclosure. If you have any equity inyour home, we will buy it and give you cash within days, all in a simple overthe phone and virtual process called quick cash offer. Now, before theeconomy gets worse, sell a home you can't afford or just don't want to getthe cash you need today. 804 70711 3 800 47 07113 800 47 07113 That's 804 7071 13 This content was brought to you by allages. Media Programming Find more information about our MFN system at ampdot TV.

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