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Ex-NBA Star Larry Johnson Speaks On HBO’s Runnin’ Rebel Documentary, Michigan’s Fab-Five, The Knicks, And More
By: // June 7, 2011

Larry: I love him now. Man, you got the inside scoop. You say it before I even say it. Like I said you’ve got all these inner city dudes at UNLV. And we were like Greg would sit at the front of the bus with the coaches, you know that type of stuff. We used to kill this dude. And he was a Young Republican in college too, c’mon. He’s born to do what he’s doing now.

He’s born to be a general manager. I mean even David Stern the commissioner needs to move aside. It wouldn’t surprise me. I definitely think he’s going to go back to Vegas and be mayor one day or governor, definitely.

Tam-Star: I have to ask you about Stacey Augmon. That magazine cover of you two together was iconic. Do you guys still keep in touch? How’s your relationship with Stacey now?

Larry: You just playing, right?

Tam-Star: I know, but some people may not know.

Larry: I just left him before I came up to New York, like three days ago. He’s going to be an assistant at UNLV.

Yeah, he signed this summer. He’s a president of a bike club. Now, you know he’s from L.A. County so he does bikes and low riders. He rode his Harley down from Pasadena. Can you imagine two 6’6″-6’7″ dudes on a Harley? He got me on the back of the Harley.

Tam-Star: I can imagine that. I know a few people who ride Harleys, but they’re definitely not 6’7″. Let me ask you about former NBA teammates such as Mugsy and John Starks. Do you keep in touch with them, how’s your relationship with those guys?

Larry: Well, you know, all my teammates I keep a relationship with. Me and John went out about a month ago. He thinks he’s big time, this is a Tulsa, OK country boy, and he’s got a membership at this prestigious all-man cigarette bar. I’m like I don’t want to walk in an all-man cigarette bar, I want some women around me. But I had a good time with him.

And Charles Oakley, I’m back in Vegas too, and everybody comes back to Vegas. We go and play golf. I love them all.

Tam-Star: What’s your fondest memory of being with Patrick Ewing, or playing with him.

Larry: He was totally different than Alonzo. Both come from the Georgetown area. When I did get to NY, Patrick had been in the league for 8-9 years, so he got out of that mentality. You know, those guys over at Georgetown have a certain mentality, man, and that was what me and Alonzo kind of bumped heads with. I’m from Vegas, [and] he’s from Georgetown. I’m like “Yo, man, we chillin’ around here.” It’s all about the swagger. But they’re all military, straight up.

Pat wasn’t like that. He’d been in the league so long. You know, he was relaxed, let his collar down, and I enjoyed playing with Pat, I really did. Pat wasn’t a typical leader. He very rarely gave speeches in the locker room, this and that. But he was a hard worker and knew his craft, and for younger guys that come in, he was definitely an inspiration to watch him practice. He practiced hard every day, played hard every day. I enjoyed Pat.

Tam-Star: What do you see in the NY Knicks future with additions of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire?

Larry: I think it’s on the way up; we need a point guard, that Chris Paul, Williams gotta come here and distribute that ball, but right now the moves they’re making I think it’s cool. I like Amar’e, I like Amar’e a lot. And I like Melo. Sometimes when guys make it to the NBA and they go back home to where they grew up it kinda hurts them. But I think being here is not gonna hurt Melo because he’ll be in a lot of trouble if he bombs here. But we definitely need one more piece. One more piece, we’re going to be in the running.

Tam-Star: What would people be surprised to know about Larry Johnson…LJ, Grandmama, superstar.

Larry: There you go with all that– that I’m not that, I definitely don’t carry myself like that. I’m a humble dude. I don’t know if you think that, but I know that, I’m definitely a humble dude. And I like to stay grounded, man.

Tam-Star: Thank you so much. This has been a pleasure. Occasionally when I talk about my UNLV days, one of the first questions that comes up is where’s Larry, what’s Larry doing. When I was presented with this opportunity I was like you know what, I’m not going to ask a bunch of silly questions, I have to get down to what I know I want to know and what a lot of other people want to know. So thank you for being super honest with your answers…

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