Rick Fox, 32, plays forward for the NBA champions (the Lakers),
sleeps with a Miss America (wife Vanessa Williams) and counts He
Got Game, Eddie and Blue Chips among his acting credits. Since
1997 he has also had a recurring role as Jackson Vahue, a former
NBA star turned con on the HBO prison drama Oz. We caught up to
him on the outside.
SI: Has spending half your life in locker rooms with naked men
prepared you for your role in Oz?
Fox: Yeah, it was an easy transition.
SI: How good was Vahue in his prime?
Fox: Michael Jordan is a notch below.
SI: Who had the better screen performance: Penny Hardaway in Blue
Chips or Charles Barkley in Forget Paris?
Fox: I don't know how much Charles was acting.
SI: Was Shaq robbed of an Oscar nomination for Kazaam?
Fox: He's more Golden Globe material.
SI: What's the best movie performance by a basketball player?
Fox: I like Kareem for comedy in Airplane.
SI: On opening night in L.A. this season, Vanessa sang God Bless
America and got a rousing ovation, while you scored nine points,
had five rebounds and fouled out. Who had the better performance?
Fox: My wife, definitely.
SI: Who would win this two-on-two game: You and Vanessa or Grant
Hill and his wife, (R&B singer) Tamia Washington?
Fox: Right now, Vanessa and I. Grant's on crutches, and Tamia
just had a baby.
SI: Is it true you majored in radio, TV and motion pictures at
Fox: It is.
SI: They don't offer that major at Duke, you know.
Fox: That would be why I didn't attend Duke.
SI: We have to ask: How do you get a Miss America to marry you?
Fox: Smoke and mirrors, baby.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH