Shawn Marion (a.k.a. “The Matrix”) chats with The Scores Report


Shawn Marion is a four-time All-Star and a two-time All-NBA performer. He is one of the league’s most athletic and versatile players, which is why TNT’s Kenny Smith nicknamed him “The Matrix” early in his rookie season. As a testament to his versatility, he has led the league in steals twice and has finished in the top 10 in rebounding six times.

The peak of Marion’s career came in Phoenix, as he thrived in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system. But Marion was an All-Star before D’Antoni took over in Phoenix. The guy can flat out play.

After spending last season in Miami and Toronto, Marion is now with the Dallas Mavericks, joining Jason Kidd, Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki for what owner Mark Cuban hopes will be a title run. Marion sat down with The Scores Report to talk about his new team, his prowess on the offensive glass, and why the Suns traded him away.

TSR: Thanks for chatting with The Scores Report, Shawn. We just spoke with your former teammate, Dwyane Wade, a couple of weeks ago. He seems like a really nice guy.

SM: Yeah, he’s my man.

TSR: I’d first like to ask you about joining the Dallas Mavericks. How do you think you’ll fit in?

SM: I think I’ll fit in very well.

TSR: What made you pick the Mavs?

SM: J-Kidd and Dirk tried to get me down there for like over a year now. But I wasn’t able to go directly to them, so they had to make some maneuvers and work out a sign and trade. That’s what it was.

TSR: How do you think the team will change now that you’re a Mav? Dallas was in the middle of the pack in terms of pace last season – do you see the team pushing the ball more to best utilize your skills?

SM: I think we’ll do a little bit of everything. I’m just going to come in and try to help the team in every aspect of the game, and that’s it really. That sums it up.

TSR: You have created the Shawn Marion Foundation, which provides life-changing opportunities to single-parent families. Do you plan to be active in the Dallas community?

SM: Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely. We’re going to put together a toy drive and all kinds of different stuff. If anybody has any input or wants to help, I’m definitely open and willing.

TSR: What are some of the Foundation’s accomplishments that you are most proud of?

SM: I do stuff here and there. I definitely give money to schools. I get a lot of requests for a lot of things, but there are only certain things I can do for my Foundation that’s able to be a tax writeoff, and everything has to be non-profit. But at the same time, I’m able to provide a variety of things, from my mother’s high school where I have my camps in North Chicago to building a playground for an elementary school to providing some money to restore backboards – all kinds of stuff. Whatever I can help with, I’ve been trying to help with.


on the Suns’ decision to trade him away…

“But regardless of what the situation was, I’m a professional, so I went in and played ball. When I left that team right before the All-Star break, we were in first place in the Western Conference…we probably would have won it that year had we done a couple of things differently.”


TSR: I have to ask you about your time with the Suns, because I think NBA fans everywhere want to know what really happened there. My question is a little long, so bear with me. In 2007, you were primed to beat the eventual champion Spurs in the Western Conference Semis, but Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were suspended for Game 6, which you still almost won without them.

SM: We should have won.

TSR: Yeah, you should have won. I was thinking the same thing as I watched the game. The perception is that heading into the 2007-08 season, that you were disgruntled, yet as the Suns got off to a pretty good start that season, I don’t remember anything other than you being a model citizen. Then the team traded you for Shaq. Can you explain your mindset heading into that season – were you ready to move on or did you want to stay in Phoenix?

SM: I mean, there were a lot of things that went on that summer, prior to the start of training camp. So there were things that happened that summer. But regardless of what the situation was, I’m a professional, so I went in and played ball. When I left that team right before the All-Star break, we were in first place in the Western Conference. And I went to Miami, who had the worst record in the NBA at the time. It is what it is. It’s a business. I wasn’t disgruntled or anything like that. Things happen. Sometimes you have control over them and sometimes you don’t. A lot of things went on, but what’s done is done.

TSR: I understand it’s in the past, it’s just tough for a fan to see that team get broken up because it looked like you were on the verge of winning a title, so that’s why I asked about it.

SM: Well, we probably would have won it that year had we done a couple of things differently. (Laughs)

TSR: Now you’re just 31 and have a lot basketball left to play, but who are a few young guys that you enjoy watching.

SM: There are a lot of stars in this league that I love watching. You said you just got off the phone with my man D-Wade, LeBron, Carmelo. All the young guys in that class, they are talented. They are fun to watch. The NBA is filled with talented players. That’s what we are. We’re all talented players in the NBA. We just all beat up on each other and help each other survive out there.

TSR: Are there any rookies that you’re looking forward to going up against?

SM: This year?

TSR: Yeah.

SM: This year’s rookie class…well, I got to play against Thabeet. How do you say his name?

TSR: Hasheem Thabeet.

SM: Yeah, I got to play against him the other day. He’s a tall guy. (Laughs)

TSR: He’s a big boy.

SM: Yeah, he’s a big boy. Who else from this rookie class? Oh, I haven’t seen Blake Griffin yet. They got a nice little class this year, but I don’t know, I haven’t played against these rookies yet. Last year’s rookie class did really well too, with Mike Beasley and all those guys, Mario Chalmers. Shoot man, you’ve got Russell Westbrook…

TSR: Derrick Rose.

SM: Oh, of course, my man D-Rose. There’s another one that’s real good that plays for Memphis. What’s his name?

TSR: O.J. Mayo.

SM: Oh yeah, he was good last year as well.

TSR: I always thought you were a very underrated defender. Do you think you’ll be the Mavs’ perimeter stopper this season?

SM: I see myself as helping this team doing whatever we have to do to win. That’s how I see myself. You know?

TSR: You’re going to be a jack-of-all-trades.

SM: Yep, that’s it.

TSR: I’d like to ask you a little bit about your offensive rebounding, because you’ve always been great throughout your career. When the shot goes off, do you have a pretty good idea where it’s going to come off the glass?

SM: Man, you know what, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, but I just have a knack of knowing where the ball’s going to come off. I just try to be in the right place at the right time. I think it’s a God-given ability though. Not everybody can always be offensive rebounders. You can be a good defensive rebounder because more than likely, if you’re in position around the basket, you can box out and get a defensive rebound. Offensive rebounding, you’ve got to be willing to give more than you do on defensive rebounding. Defensive rebounding is a little easier.

TSR: I think offensive rebounding is a lot of heart and then it’s that knack for being able to figure out where the ball is coming off. And you’re one of the best I’ve ever seen at it, so it just happens – you don’t really think about it?

SM: Yeah, you know what, for the most part, pretty much.

TSR: Are you excited about playing for Mark Cuban? Is it cool to have an owner down in the third row yelling his fool head off?

SM: He’s not in the third row, he’s right next to the bench! Mark’s a great guy. I’ve known Mark for a long time and, you know, he’s a cool owner.

TSR: I know a lot of players say they enjoy playing for him.

SM: Yeah.

TSR: That’s about all I have for you, Shawn. Thanks for speaking with us and best of luck this season. I’m looking forward to seeing you playing with the Mavs.

SM: Man, I appreciate that. Keep doing what you’re doing. And to my fans, thanks for the support, and if they want to hit me up or holla at me, they can look me up on Twitter or on my website,

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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