Richard Edwards, the lead singer of Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, recently put his love for the NBA on wax, releasing "Arvydas Sabonis", a rock n' roll tribute imploring the seven foot Lithuanian and former Portland Trailblazers center to come back. I caught Margot and the Nuclear So and So's concert last week at the Plaza Live in Orlando where Edwards thought to ask the crowd what they thought of Dwight Howard lately, before giving his own opinion: He's a dick.
Later I was lucky enough to catch up with the gifted Indianapolis-based songwriter for a few basketball questions.
SB Nation Tampa Bay: Are you a Pacer's fan?
Richard Edwards: I like the Pacer's OK. I'm a big Colts fan, but I grew up in the era of Jordan so everyone was a big Jordan fan. I grew up not that attached to it. I like it when they're good and fun to watch, but for whatever reason as much as I like basketball I don't have a super strong lifetime tie to that team, or anything like that. But they're decent now, which they haven't been for the better part of the decade, so that's good.
SB: What's your take on this whole Dwight Howard situation? I know at the show you said that he's a dick.
RE: Well I find what he's doing to be much more distasteful than The Decision. I mean make a decision. And maybe people will be mad at you, but don't drag them through the sh*t that he's been dragging them through this year. I know there's been controversy with him and on the bench, and him not paying attention to the other players but that's been going on all year. He's always got a look on his face like his mom told him to clean his room and he doesn't want to. His body language, it's just annoying to watch him play, and that's unfortunate because he's a good player. He's not coming off as someone you'd want to play with as a teammate.
SB: Are people in Indianapolis looking forward to drawing the Magic as a first-round match-up in the playoffs?
RE: I'm not sure. I don't think that's a team you'd really be excited to play because they're kinda Jekyll and Hyde. When they're good, when Jameer Nelson is good, I don't think you want to play them. And when they're dysfunctional, there's probably no team you'd rather play. So it just depends on what team you get. If you get the team that beat Miami, that convinced [Dwight Howard] to sign the extension you definitely don't want to play them. I don't know, it's tough to explain how they can be on either end of the spectrum. There's very little middle ground, so I don't know.
SB: That seems as though it's true for a lot of team this year. There's a lot of question marks going into the playoffs from the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat on down.
RE: Well I think that has to do with the process that these teams are being put together. Chicago is a bit more organically built it seems like, but with Orlando and Miami especially it seems like these are teams that are built to make a superstar happy. Instead of drafting.
SB: Who's your guess to win it all this year?
RE: It's really hard to say. I think if Miami plays up to what they're able to, I can see them coming out of the East. But I could also see them falling in the first round. In the West I would probably err on the conventional wisdom that Oklahoma City looks the best, but it's also hard to ignore what the Spurs have been doing.
SB: I think the Spurs have a good shot of winning Duncan another ring.
RE: It'd be nice. It'd be nice to see him win another ring, I guess. But I don't know if I'd want to watch that Finals. But I don't know how I would want to see in the Finals. When they won it was not the most pleasant few years of basketball watching. But I guess it's good for a team with fundamentals to win it. It's certainly not as fun as watching Oklahoma City.
SB: The Lakers are looking pretty strong too.
RE: I can see the Lakers winning the West. But I don't think it can happen with Kobe Bryant taking as many shots as he has. But they've got two huge players.
SB: Hopefully while he's been out he's been able to see the success the team has had by forcing the ball into the post.
RE: Yeah, I was just listening to someone say the same thing on talk radio during the drive today. I guess I err to not knowing if he's even capable of thinking that way. When you're that good and have been that great for that many years, I don't know if it's in your DNA to say OK we've got two seven-footers who are capable of scoring thirty a game maybe I should chill out. But I think they'd be better if he did.
SB: You've previously mentioned not only rooting for Michael Jordan but then also rooting for Penny Hardaway and the Penny & Shaq tandem when they were .
RE: Yeah, my brother was a really big Penny Hardaway fan. He was great. His was unfortunate situation too, because he was one of the most fun guys to watch of the past many many years and his career got cut short. I remember my brother crying when Houston beat him, and he was just a big, big fan of him.
SB: Your new album Rot Gut Domestic has a song "Arvydas Sabonis" about the great Lithuanian center who played for the Trailblazers. Growing up in Indianapolis what drew you to him?
RE: All of the memories of why he was important to me and my brother and my friends when we were younger are a big vague. But I certainly think that at that point in the NBA having a guy who was that foreign, who was that old, who was playing, I mean I thought he was great when he was playing although everybody else said he was playing on fumes. He was just great. He was just mysterious and kinda weird. You would watch him and play and you would always assume, or you would always imagine he had this other life as a secret agent when he was done playing. He would put on a suit and light up a cigar. There was just something dark and productive about him. And, like I said, he was just great to watch. He was super fun to watch. I mean I envy all those people who got to watch him all those years when he was. I've been trying to track down some of his jersey's from overseas.
SB: Well that's all of my questions. Thanks for talking with us!