Before Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh & LeBron James took Miami by storm, there was one man that ran South Beach. And his name was Rony Seikaly. Averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game during his career with the Heat, the man nicknamed “The Spin Doctor” (due to his trademark low-post spin moves), is still considered a living legend. Nowadays, Seikaly has traded in his spin moves on the court for spinning on the turntables, as he is an up-and-coming DJ/Producer who recently signed with Subliminal Records. Yesterday, we got up with Miami’s first ever draft pick to talk about LeBron, the Miami heat and life in the world of DJing.
Dime: What was your first reaction when LeBron James said South Beach?
Rony Seikaly: My first reaction was, I really didn’t think it could possibly happen that those three guys could align and play together. I thought it was surreal, one of those things that comes fast but you thought you heard it wrong. But it sunk in, and I was like wow, this just happened. It’s still very hard to believe that it did.
Dime: With this Heat team firmly entrenched in the East, how many other teams do you see realistically being able to make the NBA Finals in the next five years?
RS: Orlando’s got a great team with good players at every position. Boston has a good team too. But we are talking about Wade, Bosh and LeBron. Cleveland was always a contender because of LeBron, and Miami a contender because of Wade. And now you put those two guys together, it’s like combining two contenders into one superpower.
Dime: As the first draft pick in Heat history, are you still involved with the team at all?
RS: I am still a fan, but I’m not really involved in any other way.
Dime: Are you going to root for this team to succeed and win championships? What does this do for the competitive balance of the league?
RS: When I played, the Celtics and Lakers were always the teams to beat, and they’d be in the Finals every year. So back then, I believed that the League needs more parity than having two teams always in the Finals. But now that Miami has the team to beat, and could be going to the Finals every year, it’s very exciting that they are the team that can do that now. So it’s good for me as a Heat fan, but maybe not for the rest of the League. And obviously the Heat become the team to beat now.
Dime: Do you see other guys taking below market value to play on this team?
RS: Yes, absolutely. You saw it with Boston when the Celtics had the Big Three A lot of players took the minimum to play with that team. They had a chance to go to the Finals and they wanted to be a part of it. I think a lot of veterans will sign with them who want to add a ring to their legacy. I don’t think there will be anything like this ever again where all the stars align for one team at the same time, so players who want to win are going to take advantage of it. It takes a lot of luck and preparation. You have two Jordans, or the current equivalents, on one team essentially.
Dime: From the days when you were playing, could you have ever imagined this type of thing happening? You know, where three of the biggest names in the game all sign with one team at the same time?
RS: Nobody could imagine this back in my day, and nobody can imagine it now either. Pat Riley is a genius and Mickey Arison has incredibly deep pockets. If any team could do it, they are one of the teams that could. I still think about it and can’t believe they got that together and how they could clear all that space and get those three guys.
Dime: If you could create a Dream Team from your playing days, which three guys would you pick?
RS: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Those were the poster guys of the NBA back then. This generation it’s Kobe, LeBron and Wade, but they all kind of play the same position, so you’d have to trade one of them for a big man. But in terms of talent, those three are the best.
Dime: You are a DJ and producer now. What inspired you to get into that?
RS: Nothing really inspired me, music has always been a passion of mine. I have always loved playing music, listening to music and studying it. I used to just play privately before I was prodded by family and friends to do it in public. I was very hesitant about doing something I love in public because I didn’t want fame or fortune – I just loved doing it. I didn’t want to call attention to myself from it.
Dime: Who gave you the nickname “Rony Style”?
RS: That comes from the superstar DJs of the world. The Erick Morillos of the world, they always used to tell me I had a distinct style you wouldn’t here ordinarily, so they started calling it “Rony Style” and that’s how my nickname came about.
Dime: Who is your DJ role model?
RS: Danny Tenaglia was a favorite of mine in the early to late ’90s, and Erick Morillo nowadays. I am a student of music. I like a lot of different DJs, different styles and I just try to take it all in. I don’t try to be another DJ. I play what I feel and whatever moves me. Listening to other DJs is fun, but a DJ has to play what they feel, and go by what the crowd’s reaction is to their music.
Dime: You signed with Subliminal Records. Why did you choose them?
RS: Subliminal is one of the best. They are great at what they do in the dance industry. It’s a company that is very well known, has a good name and will be here for awhile. Plus, the fact that the people running it are really good at what they do.
Dime: Are there any similarities between being recruited by record labels and college/NBA teams?
RS: No, it’s a different kind of thing. The music industry is limited to night clubs and the clubbing world, so you are recruited to play in those places; getting drafted or signed by a team, you play for the whole city not just the team.
Dime: What’s the favorite club you’ve ever DJ-ed in?
RS: LIV in Miami is probably one of the best clubs in the country. Ibiza is one of the best clubs in the world. And in France, I like a club called Queens. Those are the more popular ones I’ve played at.
Dime: Last question. NBA Championship ring or Grammy?
RS: An NBA ring because that’s my love. My love is the sport. Sports is what I’ve done my whole life. Music is a passion, a hobby, but I’m not looking to win awards for it. If you win awards for a passion that’s great, but that’s not why I DJ. I poured my heart and soul into playing basketball; the bruises and the injuries are what you are left with if you don’t win a ring, so I’d rather have that.
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