Dime Q&A: Streetball Legend AO Dishes On The Best Philly Talent

By: 07.31.12

AO (photo. Ball Up)

Since AND1 Mixtape Vol. 3, Aaron Owens aka AO will forever be known as one of the best streetball players of all time. It is fair to say throwing the ball off someone’s head became fashionable because AO mainstreamed the move. Throughout his lustrous basketball career, the high school teammate of Rasheed Wallace and Aaron McKie has always repped his North Philadelphia roots. Dime caught up with AO before the Boston Ball Up game and talked about Philly and the players that come out of the city of brotherly love.

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Dime: Since you are from Philly, how is basketball played there compared to the rest of the country?
AO: It is hard nose, and rough man. If you see how I compete and how I play that’s basically how everyone in the city plays. Just look at anyone from Philly; Rasheed, Kyle Lowry, Tyreke (Evans), Jameer (Nelson), they all play hard man.

Dime: As a streetball veteran, what has the whole experience been like?
AO: I probably could have had a long career playing overseas but I would never take this experience back. It has been twelve great years.

I gotta tell you though that Kyle (Lowry) will be the first to defend me in an argument with someone about “Oh streetball is fake.” Kyle grew up under me. We are from the same block so we are family.

Dime: That’s great to hear, I know he is doing big things in Philly, especially with his FamJuice drink line. You ever have any?
AO: I saw him at our Houston game and he was like, “Did you get your shipment?” I laughed and told him to keep that shit to himself (laughs).

Dime: (Laughs) Kyle is coming off a great season and now has a new team, what is his ceiling as a player?
AO: This year was his year. This was his All-Star year but you know he got hurt. The funny thing is, it’s not like he got drastically better, because he has been playing this way since he was a rookie. It’s just that he got more of an opportunity, and got more minutes. He could definitely help Toronto make a playoff push. I mean D.Rose is going to be hurt for a good part of the year, you got Rondo, Kyrie Irving and Deron Williams, Kyle can compete with all of them so he could be an All-Star this year. His ceiling is very high and he hasn’t come close to reaching it yet. I mean he plays so hard. I have never seen anyone out-play him in the summertime in Philly. He just plays so hard that it makes his teammates play hard as well.

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