Archive for Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scot Topic: Jayhawk and NBA star Scot Pollard sounds off on everything from Twitter to Tiger

Scot Pollard standing tall at The Yacht Club, 530 Wis.

Scot Pollard standing tall at The Yacht Club, 530 Wis.

January 7, 2010


He was one of Lawrence's most flamboyant fixtures in the four years he played record-breaking basketball for Kansas University in the mid-'90s, then had a successful decade or so in the NBA, mixing it up with the greatest players on earth, but Scot Pollard came back to his old college stomping grounds last year to tackle perhaps his most challenging gig: townie.

The man once known as "Samurai Scot" for his Wooly Willy array of facial hair, faux-hawks and ponytails retired from professional basketball two years ago and decided to chill with his wife and children in Lawrence. Can someone known for his larger-than-life persona really retreat quietly into domesticity or muzzle his notoriously opinionated mouth? Nope.

You can still find Pollard making his voice heard as a color commentator for Jayhawk and NBA basketball on TV and radio, waxing philosophic on his blog and constantly tweeting. Scot Pollard joined us for lunch to discuss moving back to Lawrence, a possible political career and his sympathy for Tiger Woods.

Q: Why come back to Lawrence? You were a successful NBA player and could've had your pick of the litter so far as where to live - why choose your old college town?

A: There's a very diverse answer to that question. The reasons were financial, personal and familial. We kind of settled in Indiana for about six years and had a big house out there, but also had a house here in Lawrence. After I retired from basketball, I realized if one of those houses were in Miami or San Diego, then it would make sense to keep both of them. But since they're both in the Midwest, it doesn't make a lot of sense to have your wintertime in Indiana and your summertime in Kansas. We decided to cut loose the giant house in Indiana, which is beautiful. ... It's a mansion, but it just wasn't our style. ... For now, Lawrence is a better fit. There are more opportunities for me financially here, and it's cheaper to live here than in pretty much anywhere else in America that I'd want to live. I'm sure it's probably cheaper to live in South Dakota or Alaska, but I don't have any ties in those places. It's like Raef LaFrentz buying up most of Iowa. I'm pretty sure they're going to rename it LaFrentz-owa. ... We're still trying to sell that house in Indiana, and if the Jayhawks make it to the Final Four and it's still not sold, you're all invited to a big party in Indianapolis. We're going to destroy that house. Hopefully my insurance company doesn't see this interview.

Pollard checking Twitter on his phone.

Pollard checking Twitter on his phone.

Q: What's been the biggest change in Lawrence that you've noticed since being away for all these years?

A: It's just growing up. When I was in college, there was that McDonald's out on Sixth and Wakarusa. We'd all ask our friends, "What ... is that McDonald's doing out there? There's nothing out there!"... Now there's all this building going on out there. We've got dos Wal-Marts. You can't beat that.

Q: Do you ever feel like you're living in Topeka East out in West Lawrence?

A: The only thing I don't like about living in West Lawrence is that K-10 isn't finished because of the white people who blocked the sale the Native Americans already agreed to. If that road was done, then my life would be a lot easier and I could get places faster. ... It's a shame that deal was done. My conspiracy theory is that people got together on 23rd Street and signed something to block it because they were concerned about losing revenue ... but that's just my conspiracy theory.

Q: You're still plugged in to the rest of the world thanks to social media. What compels you to be an active blogger and tweeter and keep your face out there?

A: I do that really because I would like to get into movies. Have you heard of Keith Loneker? He's a former KU football player who has a relationship with George Clooney and acts in Hollywood films. And he lives in Lawrence. I want to do that. I want to do a few weeks of filming here and there and still live in Lawrence, because I hate Los Angeles. I'd love to do small character roles in films. I know I'm way too big and ugly to be a mainstream actor. I've met a lot of actors and actresses, and they all fit in my pocket. They're not even normal-sized. They're tiny little people. Dustin Hoffman is a lollipop. He's a dwarf with the biggest head in the world. It's unreal how big his head is, and I know about big heads. It's almost a third of his body.

Q: You're a prolific Twitter user. Are you just trying to compete with Ashton and Shaq on Twitter?

A: No, because they're really famous people, and they have famous people problems. I don't want to be famous. I'm a minor celebrity in a small town. I don't want to be super famous unless I can use it like Arnold Schwarzenegger and get into politics. I'm pretty sure that was his plan all along because he was never a good actor.

Q: Are you considering a run for Kansas governor? The Democratic field is wide open.

A: I don't want to belong to a party. If anything, I want to be a libertarian. I believe in legalizing a lot of things. You could keep real criminals in jail and raise taxes off of non-violent offenders. When it comes to prostitution and drugs, we need to get off our moral high horse and realize those things are going to happen anyway.

Q: I think you just announced your political platform. Going back to your blog, you actually allow comments and occasionally respond to them. How do you deal with trolls and haters?

A: I'm well aware that, throughout my career playing basketball, I developed a lot of enemies. There are a lot of people out there who think they can do what I did. They didn't see any particular skill in my play other than being tall. There's no use in arguing with those people. They think the guy at the end of the bench in the NBA sucks. What they don't realize is that he's one of the best 450 players in the world. I did it for 11 years and it wasn't a fluke. ... I won a lot of (expletive) games. ... So I don't let those people bother me. I try to be polite and post all the negative comments.

Scot Pollard standing tall at The Yacht Club, 530 Wis.

Scot Pollard standing tall at The Yacht Club, 530 Wis.

Q: Responding to controversy through your Web site, do you feel like Tiger Woods?

A: Tiger's getting a lot of flack. That guy got the crap kicked out of him by his wife, the media and now his sponsors. ... I feel bad for Tiger, really. He could have been a little smarter about what he did, but the guy is the best golfer in the world. Are we really going to be that hypocritical and say, "Oh, now he can't play golf"? Really? That's where we're going with this, America? Other countries are going, "What's the big deal?" ... America is a bit behind the times on this. We came here to escape religious persecution, and yet we have these weird morals placed on celebrities saying they have to behave a certain way. Tiger is a man of power. Has there ever been a moment in the history of the human race where men of power didn't have multiple wives, mistresses or concubines? The guy is one of the greatest people to ever walk the planet. It's just sports, I get that. But in a world that demands celebrities, why are we holding him to this moral standard? He had access to thousands of women on a daily basis - let's see what you do with that pressure.

Q: Predictions for the Jayhawks this year?

A: We're really good. ... I don't like to make predictions, but I really like where we are right now. We're making progress and getting better every night. Nationwide, there's never going to be the respect for Kansas that a North Carolina or a Duke receives because of the East Coast bias - there are more media outlets out there. ... It's just the way it is. Again, I don't like to make predictions, but I like where we are and think we've got a good chance.


TopJayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Great interview. I knew I liked Scott for more than just his basketball. He sure couldn't do any worse than the yahoos we have in the Capital now. "Great Scott for governer."

keith manies 8 years, 3 months ago

I'd vote for Pollard for Governor...anyone would be than Brownback!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I instantly thought of boozo when I read that statement - (regarding the SLT). I guess he thought of himself, too. Sure made him defensive, to the point of removal. Nobody missed anything in the post, just the regular ugliness.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

"The only thing I don't like about living in West Lawrence is that K-10 isn't finished because of the white people who blocked the sale the Native Americans already agreed to."

Let me rephrase--

Scot, is that a joke, or are you always this condescending towards Native Americans (and ignorant of the facts) when it comes to whining about your need for a few minutes of convenience?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes Scot the Jayhawk teams you were a party to were some of the most fun to watch..... soooooo smooth most all the time.

Scot libertarian is a party as is independent,democrat or repub. I say let us be registered citizens and to hell with party affiliations. I think that is what is you meant in which case I'm with you.

Meanwhile we will need to agree to disagree on the bypass project. Why? There is more than one way to get to France.

In 1971 the State Highway Commission recommended a bypass for Lawrence not a trafficway to be built south of the Wakarusa river. The bypass is far more practical for future highway demands. Douglas County does need a bypass not a trafficway.

As a matter of practicality KDOT could consider two different proposals?

Number One: Scrap all other plans.

The 32nd street plan will continue to be opposed that is a given. The 42nd street plan will come with stiff opposition from the original proponents of the 32nd street plan. This also is a given as Bob Johnson has stated publicly.

KDOT could then proceed to add two more lanes to the existing western leg thus safer travel for all users. Four lanes would likely draw more new traffic to I-70 which would be good. Proceeding forward with the western leg could accomplish several things: • A George Williams Way(15th Street) interchange • Removing the traffic light thus a design that makes this intersection safe for YSI athletic fields patrons • Ultimately much safer travel between Iowa and I-70

Number two: Spend tax dollars on a more practical application for this point in time. Introduce appropriate plans designed to meet the future needs of four counties.

Bring Johnson,Douglas,Jefferson and Leavenworth county leaders together and suggest all assist in funding bridges across the Kansas River. Residents and business of all four counties would benefit from the project. Also makes more use of I-70 again is a good thing.

This route could join County Road 1057/1900rd @ Kansas Highway 10 existing interchange. This concept accomplishes many things. It services: • Johnson ,Douglas, Jefferson, Leavenworth and Shawnee County drivers going to and from southern JOCO. • the Eudora Business Park east of 1057. • East Hills Business Park and the southeast Lawrence industrial park. • the Lawrence airport. And it: • diverts traffic around the city of Lawrence. • reduces congestion for morning and afternoon commuters. • might save Douglas County taxpayers millions of dollars on the long term • is prudent use of tax dollars. • eliminates the need for an eastern bypass. • eliminates much large truck traffic on 23rd Street.

Linda and Bill Houghton 8 years, 3 months ago

Just a note in passing on a remark by Scott. I imagine the cost of living is probably not too high in South Dakota, but it's always been pretty high in Alaska compared to the South 48. A big reason is that so much stuff has to be shipped up there, and it's not a short trip.

Stebbins 8 years, 3 months ago

God bless free speech. And libertarians. I'd vote for Pollard just to stir the pot. Pot.

Larry 8 years, 3 months ago

"When it comes to prostitution and drugs, we need to get off our moral high horse and realize those things are going to happen anyway."

Well heck, let's legalize drunk driving, murder, tax evasion, stealing, yada, yada, yada. Why don't we all just get off our high horse and realize that those things are going to happy anyway.

yankeevet 8 years, 3 months ago

Where is Custer when u need him.............

greenworld 8 years, 3 months ago

I love Pollard. He's the only guy I know that has a picture on his wall of him blocking SHAQ. Great pic to put on your wall and something to always remember. ALso Scott, dont ever let your kids get ahold of your cologne again and drink it. HAHA.....Law Fire and Medical that will probably be the story of a lifetime for them that ran the call. The good news is , good outcome.

Mike Ford 8 years, 3 months ago

gee scot, I'm one of those NATIVE peoples who are blocking your expressway to excess. Oh yeah, you're from the Beehive, you know about Brigham, and you probably know about Mountain Meadows. A bunch of propoganda, huh. I was a fan of yours until you spoke, go figure.

Ace_Ventura 8 years, 3 months ago

I met him awhile back at Chipotle. I am glad to see that he moved back for good. Don't think he will be able to hide out. But the good thing is around here. You see someone famous and you just keep doing what you do.

See ya around!!

rgh 8 years, 3 months ago

Scot's a free thinker and it's refreshing. Too many stinking conservative closed minded people in Kansas for us to progress.

Thanks for coming back to Lawrence. I don't know Scot, but have met him a couple of times and he's absolutely a riot to be around and talk to.

JustNoticed 8 years, 3 months ago

"The only thing I don't like about living in West Lawrence is that K-10 isn't finished because of the white people who blocked the sale the Native Americans already agreed to."

Well, I used to love the guy. But I didn't know he was such an ignorant A$$. Too bad, another one bites the dust.

Scott Drummond 8 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Pollard sinks two notches, in my opinion. First, as noted, for the SLT selfishness. Second, for applauding "dos" Walmarts.

And you have to wonder what Mrs. Pollard thinks of the "men of power" & their women comment.

T_Time 8 years, 3 months ago

tusch... read again. he said white people , not native americans blocked. Love em till their opinions are different than yours. SP is fun to listen to. read what he says, not what you think he says. They ask him questions, he answers. Admit it, getting through Lawrence sucks. Build it.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 3 months ago

Gotta love a guy who says what he thinks.

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 3 months ago

Merril, independent is not a party. That's the whole point of being independent.

slowplay 8 years, 3 months ago

His opinions are interesting. Not very well thought out, but he gets some humor in there. Sounds like a great guy to have a beer with.

Bassetlover 8 years, 3 months ago

"The guy is one of the greatest people to ever walk the planet."........really?!?!?! Wow. Tiger Woods is morally bankrupt but one of the greatest people to ever walk the planet, in your humble opinion? Disappointing to see you don't have higher standards for character, Scotty.

Larry 8 years, 3 months ago

SP for governor????? Good grief, are you people serious? In Scott's world, eminent domain would take on a whole new meaning. In addition, citizens would have to walk through a cloud of pot smoke just to get into Free State Brewery or WalMart and prostitutes would be at hanging out at every corner down Mass. and Iowa St. Wonderful.....

4getabouit 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry Scot........You've had your time in the sun. You're just like the rest of us now, a nobody. Relax, enjoy it.

Mike Ford 8 years, 3 months ago

As a person who's driven 1200 miles a month on my job in lawrence for twelve years in all kinds of weather including the last 24 hours, I find that the justifications for this road are without merit. We have nothing on Wanamaker in Topeka or Metcalf in Overland Park. Almost every person I've encountered in the last 12 years of fighting the SLT fails to respect the federally protected rights of the okla api homma who were here for thousands of years. They don't realize that the wetlands contain burial sites. The instead refer to a rigged EIS put out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They ignored the comments of thousands of indigenous peoples from across this country to get their pre-determined outcome. We've been legally obstructing this wrongful outcome for almost two decades now and will continue to do so. Perseverence will overcome legal injustices.

Mike Ford 8 years, 3 months ago

Oh yeah this is the chucklehead who sat on the bench with the Cavaliers and said "Hey Kids, Do Drugs!" and forced them to apologize for his "Humor?" a couple of years ago. NICE!

Matt Schwartz 8 years, 3 months ago

if i never heard about how big his house is/was, i'd be o.k....and if you've ever met or seen him out in lawrence, you'd know he's more of a richard than he is a scott.

SofaKing 8 years, 3 months ago

From a female perspective, I see him as a low A.C.T. scorin', has-been who came back to Lawrence because that's where he thinks he's a celebrity. Wants to be in the public eye. He had a mansion. He wants to do films. He wants to be a politician. But what he's realllllly good at is throwing a round ball through a hole. Not much going on in that noggin. If he kept his piehole shut for a while, I could tolerate him. And if I ever see him in a movie or see his name on a ballot, well, never mind, because I know I won't.

anon1958 8 years, 3 months ago

Ignoring the filter between brain and mouth, local former basketball star opined. . . . .

"The only thing I don't like about living in West Lawrence is that K-10 isn't finished because of the white people who blocked the sale the Native Americans already agreed to."

Bigot or just broadcasting the first thing that pops into his brain, or both? Time will tell because there is no chance of him keeping his mouth shut. He said a lot of crazy and entertaining stuff when he was a kid playing basketball and I would like to think he is not a bigot. One would expect that he has many close friends that are African Americans because of his long career in basketball, and expect that he is not a racist.

For now I am going with the "insensitive idiot theory". It would not hurt for him to apologize for this remark and develop a more informed opinion about important issues.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 8 years, 3 months ago

Uh, I believe that it's Tiger's wife that is holding him to that outdated moral standard there Scotty and it would appear that he's learning who and what to kiss and when.

This would not be a comforting interview if I were his wife reading this. SofaKing has the right idea here, Pollard is yesterday's news and his 15 minutes of fame expired when he quit sitting at the end of the bench in the NBA.

georgiahawk 8 years, 3 months ago

You guys are amazing, "I liked him until I found out we disagreed about something, now I don't like him at all!" Do you all only have friends that agree with you on everything? If so, that would explain the myopic-I-can-never-be-wrong attitudes and opinions expressed on these blog's. Grow up! Scot has always been a breath of fresh air in this world of packaged stars and marketed politics!

MattressMan 8 years, 3 months ago

"K-10 isn't finished because of the white people who blocked the sale the Native Americans already agreed to."

Anybody care to explain where the racist biggot section is in this sentence? bozo, tuschkahouma, anon, anybody at all.

Seamus (Anonymous) says… “journalists” seek his opinion on important matters.

Exactly which of the questions in the interview were "important matters"?

Did you all really expect to read an interview in the Pulse section of the paper and expect serious answers? Let alone an interview with Pollard to be serious. It was exactly as I figured it would be full of humor and sarcasm, but then again I'm commenting with LJW online readers and with most of them their sarcasm comprehension is nill and if your opinion differs from theirs you're an idiot who knows nothing.

devobrun 8 years, 3 months ago

I found Pollard's opinion regarding Tiger and America to be ridiculous.

Scott, the man married a woman. He made a commitment to her. If the commitment didn't include sexual fidelity, then why is she so angry?

She's angry because he broke his commitment. That is wrong. Libertarianism does not promote lies or broken commitments. Indeed, government intervention into people's lives occurs because of actions like Tiger's.

So Scott, Tiger's behavior is what causes society to act. While Tiger might not need government to take over the care of his wife and kids, a whole lot of less rich people who try this do end up on the government dole.

Should individuals behave responsibly? Yes. Should we not be subject to outside control of our behavior? Yes, Scott. But if you can't pay the fine, don't do the crime. If you are doing what Tiger did, you had better be able to pay for all the babies and women who are damaged by the behavior.

So, Scott, does your behavior cause issues in your marriage? Will you be pulled over under the influence?

Are people ever disappointed in your behavior?

It is none of my business, unless you cause trouble for me. Will your behavior ever cause me to pay for your errors?

Think about that and comment on responsible libertarian attitudes.

johnwoods 8 years, 3 months ago

Most comments by Pollard are not humorous nor prophetic. He really doesn't have much important to say, so it is surprising the Journal-World thinks so. But, KLWN did allow him to be on the radio here, continuing to give him a platform to say what he thinks and remain a celebrity. I am glad he returned to Lawrence, we can use his property tax.

But I don't understand how people equate his comment on the legalization of drugs and prostitution to driving under the influence and infidelity. These are not the same things. You can do drugs and not drive, you can visit a prostitute and not cheat. These are victimless crimes that cost the taxpayer a lot of money to enforce. Its when you begin to affect other citizens with your drug-taking (like dui) and prostitution that it becomes a problem.

Tiger's infidelity doesn't affect me. Its a shame, but that is the burden he and his family must live with now. People need to quit placing athletes on a pedestal, both college and professional athletes.

Tim Quest 8 years, 3 months ago

As the Gin Blossoms once sang...

"Heyyy Jealousy...."

There are a lot of bitter nobodies in this city; it's unfortunate that so many of them figured out how to get to the internet.

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