I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask Scott Hastings, a long-time fixture of the Denver Nuggets and the team’s current color commentator, ten random and not-so-random questions ranging from his days with the Detroit Pistons to those short-shorts and his thoughts on Andre Iguodala.
It’s not a secret how much I love and adore the 80′s – 90′s basketball era. You were part of the legendary Bad Boys of Detroit; that experience had to be out of this world, right?
Scott Hastings: I learned more playing two years for Chuck Daly and the Pistons than any other place I played. They had one goal each and every year and that was to win a championship. It molded me to the thought that is what pro sports is supposed to be about. Prepare me to compete, and compete to win. They were a collection of some of the smartest, toughest players I’ve ever met, plus a few buttheads thrown in just for flavor.
Were you a fan of the short shorts back in the day?
SH: All I knew were the short shorts. I wear the long ones now and they’re cool, but let’s be honest; they don’t show enough leg.
You make no qualms about harking about the refs, as a matter of fact, you have become — dare I say — legendary in that aspect to which even John Hollinger, among many other well-known NBA’ers, joke about your constant ribbing of the officiating. Does that make you laugh?
SH: The NBA has the best players in the world. From Spain to Brazil to Italy, Russia and America, it is truly the best players. Why I also believe you can call the NBA champs…. world champs, but I’m not sold we have done enough to recruit the best officials. I admit it is a tough business to be an NBA ref and most of the ones I know take pride in their knowledge and work ethic. The rules bind them a little and too many, to me, come with a defensive mentality. It’s a tough job. Pay them well and get the worlds best, then let them do their job.
In three words describe NBA officiating.
SH: Work in progress.
The Andre Iguodala trade happened; I for one was ELATED about the upgrade. What were your initial thoughts?
SH: The Ig is a pro’s pro. He takes pride on his defense and gives you the ability to be even more dangerous in transition. Nugs run as well as anyone, to get perimeter turnovers gives you even more ability to get easy baskets. Running alone does not wear out other teams, but add pressure on d TO running, it can be an interesting combo.
Denver, logically, could place as high as a third seed this season, what’s your prediction?
SH: Top four is a must….thats how you advance in the playoffs.
In one word, describe the AI9 trade.
Masai Ujiri should get his own jersey, right?
SH: Masai is amazing.
Speaking of Masai Ujiri, he has done a phenomenal job going back to the Carmelo Anthony trade. What’s your thoughts on what Masai has done with the Nuggets in less than two years?
SH: He came in during a tough time and working hand in hand with Josh Kroenke, they tackled the tough time head on. They’re not afraid to make a move nor a mistake. That’s what teams need from the front office, and all the while putting a focus on character and championships.
If there was any player you could add to the Nuggets roster, now, to make them contenders, who would it be?
A HUGE thank you to Scott Hastings (@ScottHastings) who was kind enough to answer these questions.