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Original Issue

Q&A Brad Daugherty

The five-time NBA All-Star and former Craftsman Truck Series team owner is a NASCAR analyst for ESPN/ABC

SI: Most readers probably don't know that you wore the number 43 in high school and the NBA in honor of Richard Petty.

Daugherty: And I could not wear it at North Carolina because Curtis Hunter, my freshman roommate, wore it. We had to flip a coin for it. I met Richard Petty when I was a young fellow. He spent some time at a race talking to me. Here I was this young African-American kid at Daytona, and we just talked. That made a huge impact on me. I told myself if I ever became famous, I would always take time to speak to anyone.

SI: Have you always wanted to be a broadcaster?

Daugherty: Absolutely. I was a mass-communication major with a journalism minor. As a kid my dream was to take Paul Harvey's job.

SI: With this role you become the most visible African-American covering the sport. How significant is that?

Daugherty: To be honest, that's the main reason I'm doing this. I said to myself, If I don't accept this opportunity, I don't know who else will get it. I feel a lot of responsibility because of that.

SI: Do you enjoy the NBA now?

Daugherty: Absolutely not. I really don't watch NBA basketball. That's no slight to the guys playing—some are tremendous. But I think expansion killed pro basketball.

SI: Michael Jordan is a famous Cavaliers killer. Do you cut him slack as a fellow Tar Heel, or do you hate him because of what he did to your team?

Daugherty: I have to cut him slack because he's a member of the family. We're all Tar Heels first. But he cost me a lot—at least one ring. If he was not a Tar Heel, I would never speak to him.

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