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WILLIAM GINSBURG OR LATRELL SPREWELL? A SUNDAY MEDIA TOUR
Published March 9, 1998
In his first in-depth interview since being suspended from the NBA for choking Warriors coach PJ Carlesimo, Latrell Sprewell spoke with CBS's Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes." Sprewell was the only participant involved in the hearings interviewed for the "60 Minutes" segment. HIS TAKE: Sprewell: "I wasn't choking PJ. PJ, he could breathe. It's not like he was losing air or anything like that. I mean, it wasn't a choke, I wasn't trying to kill PJ." Sprewell, asked if he would have stopped attacking Carlesimo if his teammates hadn't intervened: "But no one had been there yet, so it's not like I was going to sit there and kill the man, no. No, I would have stopped." Sprewell, on the lack of respect from Carlesimo: "You don't talk to people the way that PJ talked to me." Sprewell said when he came back to the gym the second time after being thrown out of practice, as he got near Carlesimo, players tried to keep him from getting any closer: "I think when that happened, I just started swinging my arms just to get free from those guys. This is where they say PJ was punched or something. I know that I didn't intentionally go out there to hit PJ." Sprewell, asked if he needs counseling: "No, I don't feel I need counseling." Sprewell, asked if he "got away" with attacking Carlesimo: "I attacked him, but I don't know about getting away with it. [It] cost $6.5 million and 68 games, that's the highest suspension in any sport that's not drug related. I mean, that's, to me, I mean, that's not getting away with anything" (CBS, 3/8). MORE SPREE: David Aldridge interviewed Sprewell for ESPN's "Sunday Conversation." Sprewell, on where he would like to play if he had a choice: "If I could go anywhere today, if I had like one pick, I would be in DC." On how he demonstrates to NBA Commissioner David Stern that he can control his temper: "Stern and I, we've never really talked. At the hearings I saw him, but he really never really got to talk to me. I was basically listening to what he was saying. So there was no real dialogue between us." On if Stern might have misjudged him based on what he saw and read: "No doubt, because he knows nothing about me." On learning from the incident: "You know, I think the coaches, too, can learn a lesson here: that they really need to have an understanding of the player, and they really need to watch how they talk and treat players. Because we're not kids, you know, we're men" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/8). On CNN/SI, Sprewell told Fred Hickman: "[W]hen people just say I got away with it. ... I have lost my Converse deal, I have lost $6.5 million ... And not to mention my image. People think that I am like the worst person in the world right now, and that's why I am here right now trying to change some of that" (CNN/SI, 3/8). Sprewell was also interviewed this morning on ABC's "GMA" by Lisa McRee and will be a guest tonight on ESPN's "Up Close" (THE DAILY).