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Chill with Grant!

---"Tonight's the night..."

"As the NBA's popularity continues to grow, the players seem to turn up in more and more places. Last year, I was invited to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Believe or not, I was really nervous about being on the show, probably because I knew there would be millions of people watching. Even though I'm used to playing in front of 20,000 people plus a TV audience every game, it's not quite the same as being interviewed by Jay---especially because you never know what going to do or say."

---"Stars from different worlds"

"A couple of years ago, I was asked to present an award at MTV Music Awards, along with talk-show host Rikki Lake. It was really fun, getting to hang out with so many stars from the music world. It was interesting to discover just how much basketball playerd have in common with other entertainers---after all, we all travel a lot, we play in the same arenas, and we both put a lot of effort into trying to please our fans."

---"Lots of questions"

"I know a lot of atheletes don't enjoy dealing with the media, but I don't have a problem with it at all. I realize they're just trying to do their job, so I try to be as accommodating as possible. Some guys complain about the media being nosy and asking questions that can get under your skin, but I believe you have to answer the questions the best you can. While the media is important to what we do, it's what you do on the court that really matters."

---"Another challenge"

"One of my favourite sports (other than basketball, of course) is tennis. I've been playing tennis since I was a kid, and one of my idols when I was growing up was tennis great Arthur Ashe. Tennis, like basketball, is a game that challenges you both physically and mentally, and you have to be able to see the entire court and try to out-think your opponent, just like in basketball. Umlike basketball, however, you're out there all alone, with no teammates to help cover your mistakes."

---"Obey your thirst"

"One of the things I've really started to enjoy in the past couple of seasons is working on television commercial. The first time I did one, I was amazed at the number of people involved---I thought we were shooting a movie instead of a 30-second commercial! I've been very fortunate that people I work with have produced some really interesting and fun commercials. Although they're a lot of work and there's a lot of down time, the end results make it all worthwhile."

---"Even though the NBA All-Star Game is fun, we're competitors, we want to win"

"One of the most fun events for the players is the annaul NBA All-Star Weekend. It's one of teh few chances that we actually get a chance to hang out with other guys in the league and enjoy ourselves. The All-Star Game is always fun, since we get a chance to play with and against the best players in the game. Even though it's fun, everyone still wants to win. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Slam Dunk Competition, where the players gather to watch the league's up-and-coming stars do some incredible things while dunking."

---"In the rafters at Cameron"

"A couple of years ago, I had the honor of having my number retired by Duke University. I was only the eighth basketball player ever to have his number retired, joining my former teammates Bobby Hurley and Christian Leattner up in the rafters at Cameron. We had a great run at Duke, winning national championships in my freshman and sophomore years and playing for the national title in my senior year. Now that we're in the pros, though, I have to treat Christian and Bobby just like any other opponent."

---"The importance of education"

"I try to stress the importance of a good education when I speak at schools. Unlike athletic ability, an education will always be with you, which is one reason I made sure to get my degree from Duke. Since both of my parents went to college, the value of an education was impressed upon me at a young age. No matter what you choose to do in life, an education will help you get there."

---"I start preparing mentally for the game early in the day"

"From the time training camp starts in October until the season ends (hopefully with as NBA Championship!), players are consumed with basketball, between practices, shootarounds, travelling and of course, the games themselves. For me, I start my mental preparation for a game early in the day so by the time we board the team bus for the ride to the arena, I've already been planning for that evening's opponent for quite a while. After the game, it's back on the plane to take us to our next city---and the preparation starts all over again."

---"I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything in the world"

"It's time! After all the preparation, all the coaching and all the stretching, it's finally time for the game to begin. Lots of teams have really long pre-game productions during the player introductions, which can be rough on the visiting team. After all, once you're all warmed up, you don't want to wait for the game to begin. Despite that, nobody I know would trade this feeling for anything in the world. This is the moment that we live for, when we go up against the best athlets in the world for 48 grueling minutes."

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