Dime: How did you start getting interested in fashion?
CP: I’ve always been interested in the way I look and the things that I buy since I was a kid. It was just something that naturally came to me. As I got older and I experienced more cultures and learned about more designers, my love for it kind of grew. Me and my business partner, we’ve known each other for seven or eight years, probably more than that, and she’s a celebrity stylist. And we both came up with the idea of starting this company because, as athletes, especially females in particular as well as males, with our body types and sizes, it’s hard for us to kind of find fashionable clothes, so helping athlete’s develop their image is something we take pride in. We do website designing; we do logo designing; we do red carpet events. We even do personal shopping or wardrobe styling if you have a hard time trying to get your wardrobe together for work that week. We actually have somebody that can come out and organize your closet. It’s something I definitely wanted to prepare for in the early stages of my career so when basketball is done I can just walk right into it.
Dime: What has the transition from Madison Square Garden to the Prudential Center been like?
CP: Playing wise, just getting comfortable with the arena. Getting familiar with it. It’s something we have to commit to doing because we’re going to be playing there for the next three summers because of the renovation at the Garden. We got to make it our home.
Dime: Where are some of your favorite spots to hit up in New York City?
CP: One of my favorite spots is definitely SoHo. I love to people watch and go eat outside, especially in the summertime. As well as shopping. I like the Meatpacking District, Flatiron District. Those are some of the places I enjoy being around.
Dime: What do you think the Knicks need to do this offseason to become a championship contender?
CP: The good thing is that the Big Three that they have will start out at training camp, which is the most vital thing. I think once that happens and they get to know each other a little bit more than they did last year, and of course add some key pieces around those guys, I definitely think they’re gonna be contenders this year in the East. ‘Melo and Stoudemire – no better two than those guys. They’re definitely top of the top in their positions. So I think New York has definitely got the talent as well as the coaching so I’m excited for those guys.
Dime: As a guard yourself, who are some of your favorite backcourt players to watch these days?
CP: I love Chris Paul; I love Rondo; I love D-Wade; I love Seimone Augustus, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen. I mean I could go on and on. I just enjoy great players. I just enjoy watching them and seeing what they’re craft is and taking stuff from it.
Dime: Back in 2009, David Stern said he thought a woman might be in the NBA in the next 10 years. Do you think you or any other WNBA players could compete in the NBA right now?
CP: (laughs) I mean, of course. Skill wise, definitely. But I think the fact that those guys are so much bigger than we are, it’s kind of hard to say. But you never know with Sylvia Fowles and [Liz] Cambridge. Those are some pretty big girls, and I think physically they can kind of keep up.
Dime: There was a lot of buzz during the NBA playoffs surrounding the MJ vs. LeBron debate sparked by Scottie Pippen. Who do you like and why?
CP: I grew up watching Michael Jordan and I’m sure LeBron did as well. That’s the reason why he wore the No. 23 and even retired it because of him. To get compared is definitely an honor, but to say that he’s better than him right now is kind of hard to say. Michael Jordan is definitely in a class of his own in terms of the way he attacked the game and made basketball a fun sport to watch globally. It’s kind of hard to say. Potential wise, I think LeBron has the ability to be the best LeBron. Look at those two players, they are totally different. LeBron, to me, reminds me more of a Magic Johnson… LeBron is a great player. He’s young, and he has so much ahead of him.
Dime: I read that you were close friends with Dee Brown growing up. How did you guys become friends?
CP: We’re kinda in the same age group, and we grew up in the same neighborhood. We were always playing at the YMCA together. They had a men’s AAU team and a women’s AAU team, and we both were on those teams. That’s kinda how we got started. We were like elementary school boyfriend and girlfriend.
Dime: Who would win in one-on-one?
CP: It would go back and forth, but I think he would get the best of me because he was so quick. But he made better. He made me a better player, that’s for sure.
Dime: You won a gold medal with the US in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. Are you planning on suiting up next summer in London?
CP: Oh definitely. If I make this Olympics, I think it will be my last one. I’m definitely rooting hard for it and hopefully I can make the final list and help represent the USA to the best of my ability.
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