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Original Issue

Sam Cassell


On having playedfor seven teams and having been traded six times

I know it's partof the business. But the transition of moving, finding a place to live,sometimes buying all new clothes, that's tough. I look at it like if you'retraded, somebody wanted you. And I've been in some blockbuster trades! I wastraded for Charles Barkley, for Jason Kidd; for some pretty notable names.

On learning lastsummer that he had been dealt from the Timberwolves to the Clippers

I didn't feelanything at all. I didn't know if this team was serious about winning or if itwas happy being in the lottery every year. When I met with [coach] MikeDunleavy, I asked if he wants to win. He told me that's why he wants me here,to make him and this team a winner. Before that I was like the rest of theleague, I thought this organization didn't care about winning.

On the Clippersbeing Los Angeles's "other" team

They've got a lotof history on the other side of town. I don't know that we can surpass [theLakers] in the national mind. It's going to take more than one winning season,that's for sure.

On the titles hewon with Houston as a rookie in 1993-94 and again the following year

They mean so muchmore to me now. Coming into this league, I didn't understand the importance ofwinning titles. I never thought it was easy. We had some tough battles with theKnicks and the Magic--O.K., the one against the Magic was kind of easy--but thefirst one wasn't. I was treated in my first couple of years, and I haven't beenback since.

On playing atBaltimore's powerful Dunbar High, which has won 10 state titles since 1993

Unbelievablecompetition. We had guys who were the 10th or 11th men on the team who couldhave been starters at other schools in the city. Some guys had to wait two orthree years just to get out on the court.

On how the NBA haschanged

The game is easiernow than when I came in. Back in the day it was rough, more physical. It's notlike that now.

On his basketballfuture

Two more years.That's how much longer I want to play. I'm 36, and I'm still at a high level. Ifeel good. I wouldn't mind staying in L.A., but if not, I'd like to go back toHouston, where I live [he's single] in the off-season.

On being abasketball junkie

I don't have manyhobbies. But I love watching basketball. NBA or college, it doesn't matter. Iwatch random games all the time. Seriously, if you know someone that wants totalk basketball, tell them to come holler.



Photograph by Erik Isakson