The Rematch

Etan Thomas, NBA / Retired - The Players' Tribune

The Rematch

Hosted by Etan Thomas, The Rematch focuses on athlete interviews that examine the love-hate relationship between players and the media. The goal is to give athletes a chance to reclaim their identities from the stigma of getting pegged with such labels as polarizing, mercurial & immature.

Listen to The Rematch on RadioPublic

E8. Dr. John Carlos

“I think my mission in life was to make that statement and expound upon it to educate other people.”

The 1968 Olympics are known today as one of the most overtly political sporting events in history. This is in part due to the actions of Dr. John Carlos. His Black Power salute was at once a gesture of defiance, frustration and solidarity. The silver-medal winner sits down with The Rematch’s Etan Thomas to talk activism, fake news and how he truly believes that his moment on the Olympic podium was his reason for living.

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E7. John Wallace

“I went from being one of the worst kids in the neighborhood to being one of the best players in the country in a 3-year span.”

John Wallace is an undisputed Syracuse legend. After a stellar high school career, the Rochester, N.Y., native stayed close to home for college. As a senior in 1996 he helped lead the Orange on a memorable upset run to a runner-up finish in the NCAA tournament. He went on to enjoy a seven-year NBA career, playing for five different teams. Wallace joins this episode of The Rematch to discuss the stereotyping of Syracuse players, his struggles to make it in professional basketball and his undying love for the Orange. The ’Cuse is definitely in the house.

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E6. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

“As athletes, sometimes riches can be an instrument used to purchase our silence.”

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was known as a sharpshooter during his NBA career. His accuracy from behind both the free throw and three-point lines was legendary. But his career was suddenly derailed when his refusal to stand for the national anthem became headline news. Many fans viewed his form of protest as anti-American — Abdul Rauf was fined and suspended, and received arson and death threats. In the wake of a similar protest staged last season by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Abdul-Rauf joins The Rematch to clear the air about what he was doing, and discusses the various forms of athlete activism.

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E5. Bill Laimbeer

“I don’t care what people think about me. I’m gonna win the game.”

To call Bill Laimbeer polarizing would be an understatement. While playing for the Detroit Pistons in the 1980s and ’90s, Laimbeer was known as an enforcer — a player who was willing to go the extra mile for victory, even if it sometimes meant crossing the line of dirty play. And while some fans loved his tactics, there were others who seemed barely able to stand the mere mention of his name. On this episode of The Rematch, the NBA veteran turned WNBA coach shares his perspective on team identity, rough play and the evolution of the game of basketball.

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E4. Kenny Anderson

“Being selfless after so many years of being selfish is hard to change.”

New York playground legend Kenny Anderson was the definition of basketball prodigy — college scouts began recruiting him when he was in the sixth grade. Drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 1991 when he was only 20, his talent shone on the court, but he struggled personally with the trappings of being young, rich and famous. Now, 12 years after his career came to a close, Anderson joins the The Rematch to share his story — a cautionary tale for young athletes who experience sudden success.

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E3. Chamique Holdsclaw

“I know what I live with. I’m here right now but tomorrow am I going to be able to get up out of bed?”

Chamique Holdsclaw is basketball royalty, but uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. The three-time NCAA champion was selected first in the 1999 WNBA draft, but within a few years her off-court problems began to overshadow her play. In 2004, Holdsclaw made headlines when she announced that she was battling depression. Eight years later, she hit rock bottom after an arrest following an altercation in which she smashed a car window and fired a handgun. On this episode of The Rematch, Chamique shares her story of redemption, and explains the dangers of denying yourself peace of mind.

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E2. Keyon Dooling

“I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. And I couldn’t play ball anymore. It didn’t make sense to anyone else because I still hadn’t talked about the trauma.”

In 2012 Keyon Dooling lost everything. The 11-year NBA veteran had just re-signed with the Boston Celtics when a chance encounter with a stranger suddenly sent his world spiraling out of control. In a matter of a few weeks the man with a reputation for exemplary behavior both on and off the court — a model for younger players entering the league — abruptly quit basketball and checked himself into a psychiatric hospital. It was there that he was forced to confront childhood memories he had suppressed for decades. By the time he recovered from his breakdown, he had lost basketball — but he had also found himself. In this episode of The Rematch, Keyon shares his powerful story and his fresh perspective on life.

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E1. Charles Oakley

“The fans saw someone get dragged out of an arena where they played for 10 years. A million people were watching. What could someone do to be treated like that?”

Charles Oakley built his reputation on consistency. Known for his gritty style and hard-nosed sensibility, Oakley became one of the most beloved players in the history of the New York Knicks. Now that the dust has settled on the well-publicized altercation he had in February with security at Madison Square Garden, the 19-year NBA veteran addresses the aftermath of the incident, his relationship with the Knicks and his reputation as a tough guy both on and off the court.

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For Terence Crutcher’s family and friends, this is not some abstract situation or trending topic. The media will move on to the next story soon enough. But Tiffany will have to live with this reality and tragedy for the rest of her life.

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