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Friday, July 17, 2009

Ex-Jayhawk Pollard still holding out for NBA

Boston's Scot Pollard (66), Kevin Garnett (5), James Posey (41) and Eddie House complain to a referee in this December 2007 file photo. Pollard, a free agent, isn't ready for his NBA career to be over.

Boston's Scot Pollard (66), Kevin Garnett (5), James Posey (41) and Eddie House complain to a referee in this December 2007 file photo. Pollard, a free agent, isn't ready for his NBA career to be over.

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Scot Pollard knows the odds of an NBA team calling on him after a year off are slim at best.

Still, the 34-year-old former Kansas University center, who played for five teams in 11 seasons before failing to receive a free-agent offer during the 2008-09 campaign, is not officially retired and is ready for duty.

“I am in very good shape, not NBA shape, but I could be quickly,” said the 6-foot-11 Pollard, who is up to 290 pounds, which he said is muscle from working out on weights, not fat. He went at 278 during his playing days.

“Physically, I feel great. It’s great to wake up every day without knee, ankle problems like past years. It’s the same story. The right offer would entice me. I will not go try out for a team,” added Pollard, who instead would want a guaranteed contract.

He last played for the world championship Boston Celtics in 2007-08.

“Right now, it’s a lack of interest on the NBA side. We had a couple nibbles overseas last year, nothing solid. We are not going to pack up and move now,” he said.

Pollard, in fact, has put his house in Indianapolis up for sale, kept the one in Lawrence and has decided to make Lawrence his permanent home.

He, wife, Mindy, and children Lolli (10), Tallula (6) and Ozzy (almost 2) next year will move into a new house in West Lawrence. Construction will begin this fall.

“My oldest is in fifth grade. She’s going on her fifth elementary school,” Pollard said. “It’s hard to ask her to move again. I will not move my family again. We have a lot of friends here and like it here a lot.

“If my kids were younger, I’d be a better basketball player. I’d rather be a better father than a pro athlete.”

Still, he conceded he’d be willing to keep the family here and get a temporary place somewhere, “if a team like Boston said, ‘Help us win another championship.’ I’d listen to that.”

Pollard is not pleased with the way his career came to an end in Boston.

He received a championship ring for a season that ended because of surgery in February.

“I got hurt in September and played until February. They said I needed surgery. It hurt that they didn’t invite me back for another year,” said Pollard. “I played hurt all year and then they replaced me. That’s the business, the NBA. It didn’t hurt my feelings, but it would have been nice if they said, ‘Let’s pay him back (for playing hurt) and give the guy an offer.’’’

Pollard did some broadcast work for the NBA network last year and his agent is looking into some possibilities.

“I will work in front of a camera the rest of my life,” said Pollard, who remains popular in the towns he played in — Sacramento, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Boston.

He said the highlight of his career on a team level was winning the title with the Celts. But on more a personal level. ...

“I really felt Sacramento was the best time of my career because I felt most loved by fans and felt a part of the organization, city and team,” Pollard said. “I was teammates with two guys (Chris Webber and Vlade Divac) who had their jerseys retired and invited me back to be in their retirement ceremonies. That meant a lot to me. I took pride in being a good teammate.”

Pollard also plans on being a fixture at Kansas University sporting events this year. Though he said jokingly he “may try to use my celebrity status again to get tickets,” he realizes there’ll come a time soon he’ll be buying tickets for all his family members.

Pollard, who was born in San Diego, plans on living in Lawrence a long while.

“My kids aren’t that interested (in games) yet. Maybe go to one or two games,” he said. “I probably would like to go on the road this year and see the opposing team’s crowd and help out and cheer for the Jayhawks,” Pollard said.

Comments

DSommersby 11 years ago

Pollard's a stud. Hope it works out where he can get another chance with a team that could use a hard working, savvy vet to help off their bench in the Association.

He's a great Jayhawk. I think he needs to be a little more flexible on possibly trying out if a team wants to run him through the motions. I understand him not wanting to move his family around but he may have to jump through a couple of GM hoops to get a spot on their teams. Either way he had a great career. Hope he gets another shot, but he will do well regardless.

100 11 years ago

Make that two NBA championship rings officially housed in Lawrence. The Miami Heat & the Boston Celtics.

Pollard played some great ball for the Celts before getting hurt. An NBA GM who knows anything about big men should take a look at him -- Scot Pollard without injury equals the lane contained with ferocious intensity and a happy fanbase.

Toto_the_great 11 years ago

100, what about Vaughn? He calls Lawrence home, so that would be at least three rings.

sevenyearhawk 11 years ago

Scot was always a favorite of mine!

KGphoto 11 years ago

Hey Scot. Ever think of doing a little coaching like Danny? You'd get paid to sit on the court for the games, and you'd be in front of the camera a lot.

What an asset you would be. Teaching kids not only basketball skills, but how to be a good teammate. How to do their hair and nails. Hehe.

Hey what ever happened to Marvin?

Joe Baker 11 years ago

He needs to contact Pritchard in Portland!! Might be a good chance playing for another KU alum.

jaybate 11 years ago

The problem Pollard faces is the same one every older person faces in any business, once they have been out of it for a short while, or once new management enters the scene, or once you're too old to buy into the one-way commitment baloney.

The only way back in is with persons who know and trust you and want you at their backs. Divac and Webber are no longer NBA stars who can demand who their backups are, so they can't tell the coach that's who we need in practice and for team chemistry (read a road pal in hotels, restaurants and bars).

Apparently Pollard did not build up a bond with Boston's bigs, who apparently decide with the coach who their back-ups are. If it were up to Pierce, Pollard might be on the team. But it is the Boston bigs that have to want to work out with Pollard on off days and travel with him to the bars. And those Boston bigs apparently already have their own pals.

Life in the NBA is as brutal, as it is in any business. It is great when you are getting the check, because you can do what is needed and are wired into the political status quo. It is the pits, when you can only do what is needed. Ask about six million Americans who have had their jobs shipped over seas lately.

bangaranggerg 11 years ago

Pollard was my favorite Jayhawk of all time. I don't know what drew me toward him but I remember being in the Fieldhouse when I was 13 and arguing with my friend about how he was better for the team than Lafrentz. Probably the only former Jayhawk basketball player I would get nervous around because I was such a fan of him as a kid.

I hope he still drives "Marvin," that 1975 or whatever green and black Cadillac Eldorado Convertible- coolest car ever.

thomc6 11 years ago

The guy is originally from California and clearly a free spirit who has also lived in several cities and played in many others on the NBA circuit. Yet he chose to return with his family to Kansas of all places. Who'd a thunk it?

100 11 years ago

You're right, three rings in Lawrence. Miami Heat via Wayne Simien (on display at Allen Fieldhouse). Scot Pollard via Boston Celtics. And Jacque Vaughn via San Antonio Spurs. Now if Larry Brown or Bill Pope would move back Lawrence would gain another via the Detroit Pistons.

Throw in the slice of Einstein's brain on Massachusets street (no joke), & Lawrence already has three more NBA championship rings & a lot more brainpower than the entire city of New York.

shinely09 11 years ago

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Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago

nice career for Scott....he's probably done more than a lot of people thought he would. but he's done...it's over. he's been hurt too often.

Paul Mitten 11 years ago

The one thing I remember about Scot Pollard is that he took one three-pointer in his career at KU and sunk it. I remember that three. I laughed for ages.

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