Dime Q&A: Mario Chalmers On Obama, Richard Sherman & The Clutch Gene

It was during a highly emotional game in December against the Indiana Pacers, a team they faced off against in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals when tempers flared on the Miami Heat sideline. LeBron James went to sit on the bench during a timeout after Mario Chalmers had turned the ball over. The two exchanged some words and Mario said something to LeBron that made him erupt from his seat, charging at him until Udonis Haslem had to restrain him.

A short time after the incident LeBron was shown on TV mouthing the words “I was wrong my bad”. The actions and yelling from teammates was nothing new to Mario; he has dealt with it his whole career in Miami.

Even President Obama trolled Chalmers at the White House about his Heat teammates constantly yelling at him. Chalmers might have the hardest job in the NBA being the point guard for the 2-time champion Miami Heat. He is known as the little brother of the group and the team has put all their trust in him to make the right decisions.

He has faced adversity his whole career back to his days in his home state of Alaska, where people outside of the state doubted his talents. Through heated confrontations with teammates on the court, backlash from doubters and then winning two championships as the starting point guard, Mario Chalmers is showing he is as tough as any point guard in the league.

When talking to him he is one of the most confident people you will ever come across. (Just look back at what he said in 2012 when he stated he was in the front end of the top 10 NBA point guard category.) However, there are so much people who do not know about Mario Chalmers off the court and the incredible job he has done. Whether it is his love for video games such as Skylanders Swap Force, his lifelong dedication as a fan of the Carolina Panthers and his mission running the Mario V. Chalmers foundation for research for breast cancer and building youth programs, Mario Chalmers is one of the best role models in the NBA.

I recently had a chance to speak to Mario and get his insights on video games, Obama’s joke and his teammates.

*** *** ***

Dime: Can you tell us about your role with Activision and Skylanders SWAP Force?
Mario Chalmers: It is great because I am video game person. It is cool experience. I am just trying to get more people to go out and play the game. (The Skylanders series is a video game that allows players to bring life into real action figures.)

Dime: What are some of your other favorite videos game to play?
MC: Some of the other main games I play are NBA 2K, Madden and Call of Duty.

Dime: How did it feel when President Obama made the joke about you last week at the White House about how your teammates scream at you on the court? Is he really as cool as he seems in person?
MC: Obama is really cool. He knows a lot about basketball and as you seen with the video he said he has my back.

Dime: Is there ever a time when you are just mad how guys scream at you on the court? Do you take it as positive criticism?
MC: It’s not as bad as before. I used to but now I am kind of used to it. It is part of being with a team like this, we all want to win and succeed. Just can’t let it get to you.

Dime: Is there extra pressure to perform on you when you are playing with guys such as LeBron and D-Wade?
MC: No not really. It’s actually better for me because they provide so much attention on defense that it takes the pressure off me.

Dime: What is your role on the team? How has your game improved?
MC: My role is to get everyone involved and to be proud. Whether I am helping scoring the ball or facilitating, I just have to keep the game flowing making sure guys are in the right spots.

I have gotten better and the players and the coaches on the team have shown me a lot of respect about what I bring to the team.

Dime: On the quest for a three-peat this year, what is something that you, your teammates, and coaches approached differently this year? What areas are you guys trying to get better?
MC: We all trying to get better in all areas. It is a long season and we are just preparing to make another long run in the postseason.

Dime: Can you talk about the team chemistry? You guys are always having the most fun it seems whether it is with the nickname the Heatles, spending holidays together, the epic Harlem shake video.
MC: It is just the type of team we are. We are brothers and have a family atmosphere. Everyone contributes some way or another.

Dime: Funniest Person on the team and why? What is the funniest thing they did?
MC: We are all funny but if I had to say someone it would be James Jones. He is always cracking jokes on someone.

Keep reading to go inside Miami’s locker room…

Dime: You are a hard worker on the court and fearless but can you explain your personality off the court?
MC: I am laid back person. I am very quiet but also one of the guys always cracking jokes.

Dime: Can you talk about Coach Spoelstra and how he has been a great influence over the Heat locker room?
MC: He is the leader of the team. He has been a great influence on the team and everyone respects what he does as our coach. He does a great job looking over all of the personalities on the team.

Dime: We don’t have that many pros coming out of Alaska. Can you talk more about where you are from and growing up in Anchorage? Complete opposite of Miami…
MC: Everyone in my family played basketball. It is just a thing. Basketball is a big thing in Anchorage.

Dime: What has made you confident over the years to take big shots in games?
MC: From people who doubted me and said I couldn’t do it.

Dime: What are you looking forward to the most during All-Star Weekend?
MC: Just some down time. It is a long season and it is a good opportunity to take a good break from basketball.

Dime: You have some of the most fashionable guys in the league on your team, do you consider yourself fashionable?
MC: I can be fashionable, I keep it simple. I try to throw on some colors here and there. My style is just laid back; I don’t try to do too much.

Dime: What artists are in your headphones constantly?
MC: Everything that is new that would get me ready before games whether it is Jay-Z, Drake, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Those are some of the main names.

Dime: I know you are a Carolina Panthers fan, I know you were crushed when they lost to the 49ers. How did you become a Panthers fan?
MC: I became a Panthers fan from living in North Carolina when I was younger. I was a fan with them when they first started out. I’m going to always root for them.

Dime: What did you think of the Richard Sherman interview?
MC: I thought it was funny. I feel like when someone thinks they are the best with what they do, I do not see anything wrong with that.

Dime: Who you got to win the Super Bowl? Broncos or Seahawks?
MC: I’m going to have to go with the Broncos. My friend Chris Harris is a cornerback on the team.

Dime: Can you talk about the Mario Chalmers foundation and what is the mission of your foundation?
MC: The mission of the foundation is to help support research for breast cancer and support athletic and educational programs for children.

Dime: You have two adorable kids; can you talk about being a father?
MC: Being a father is amazing especially when you can have someone that is looking up to you and following every one of your moves. It is just a great feeling.

Dime: About a couple weeks ago, you put a picture of yourself on Instagram dunking during the game on Christmas with the caption “Guess I was feelin pretty good on Xmas day huh. Teammates told me I need to start dunking more so imma try it out.” Do we see a few dunk contests in the near future for you?
MC: No dunk contests for me. I just have to keep it simple during games and just throw down a couple dunks.

What do you think?

Follow Jarrel on Twitter at @_JarrelHarris.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.