You were always a basketball player, even in college. Did you think you'd always play basketball?
Of course. I thought I would definitely have some kind of career in basketball. That's all I thought about.
Who did you emulate when you were growing up?
Oh, I was Shaquille O'Neal. I was a Shaquille fan. I used to love that guy. In my mind, I was Shaquille O'Neal. I had all kinds of posters of Shaq on my wall back home. They're still up there, in fact.
What was your biggest basketball memory?
It would probably be in my junior year of high school; we went to the second round of the state playoffs. I scored (about) 36 points, but we still lost that game. It made me realize that winning is more important than anything. No matter what kind of points you put up, it's the winning that you should value more than anything. It just made me want to go out and do whatever my team needed me to do, whether it was scoring points or something else.
I know you played center. Did you thrown down some dunks on people?
Oh, I had a few dunks in my time. I threw down a few.
What are you playing the most on your iPod these days?
(R&B singer) R. Kelly. I like a little bump and grind. I like to slow it down. I'm always walking around here singing. People get on me about my singing, but I don't care. I have no shame about it. Hey, I'm happy. That's just me.
My other weekly question is, what Web site do you think you visit the most?
Probably NBA.com. I'm always on there. I'm trying to keep up with what's going on. I'm on there looking at stats and who's winning and whatever. I like to keep up with the Celtics and the Lakers. I'm a big Shaq fan, so you know I'm watching what the Cavs are doing.
So, are the Lakers and Celtics your favorite teams?
Not really. But I like Kobe (Bryant), man. Any great player who can take his game to another level like that, you have to really respect that. You know he's going to bring it every night. You can't help but love that.
If you were a general manager and you were starting a team, who would you pick first?
The first player I'd take is LeBron James. That's just a guy who can take over games, man, by himself. He's just a freak of nature. I would have to build my team around him.
What are you most likely to be doing in your free time away from One Buc Place?
I do a lot of driving with remote control cars. I drive those things all the time and do all kinds of crazy stuff with them. That's a lot of fun. I have about five of them.
Tell me something unique about your hometown of Alexandria, La.
Well, it's not like Tampa. But the good thing about it is that we have some good, loving, down-home folks. In the neighborhood I grew up in, mostly everybody knew everybody. You couldn't really do anything because people knew people, and things would get back to your mom. They'd say, "I saw your son doing (this); I saw your son doing that." It isn't like Tampa where you might see someone maybe once. It's a small town where everybody's in your business. You know how that can be.
You guys on the offensive line really take a lot of shots at each other. Who gets cracked on the most?
I'd probably say Donald Penn. He gets hit a lot because of his size. You should see him when he falls. A big dude like that, when he falls, he falls awkward. That's a big ol' dude to fall like that. When we're watching film, (Jeff) Faine will rewind it and show it in slow-mo. He don't like that very much. It's so funny. He kind of rolls over. He looks so unathletic, even though he claims that he was a great basketball player. But there's nothing graceful about it when he falls. It looks painful. He told me if he was 6-9 like me he could have been in the NBA. Well, I guess we'll never know.