18 Burning Questions with Bo Kimble
Issue date: 4/12/07 Section: Sports
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Media Credit: Loyolan Archives
1. You've said before that your years at LMU were the best times of your life. Is there any other moment/time in your life that comes close to your time at LMU?
The only thing that ever surpassed [my Loyola experience] is the birth of my son, who is two months old, Gregory Ethan Monroe Kimble. Every man wants someone to carry his name -- men always want their first son to carry on their legacy.
2.Ã‚ Your first name is actually Gregory. Where does Bo come from?
When I was about two years old [...] everytime [musician Bo Diddley's] music came on, I used to do ridiculous dances as a kid because I guess I liked his songs since they were played so much. So everyone started calling me Bo.
It happened to be a nice, cool [name.] Bo Kimble's kind of like a real distinctive name that I really actually love. I actually really miss [former LMU sports] announcer Bernie calling out Bo Kimble!
3. After your LMU career you were drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers [with the No. 8 pick in the 1990 NBA Draft.] What happened after the Clippers?
I got traded in 1993 to the New York Knicks. I played a season and a half with them. Then I got tired of sitting on the bench collecting millions of dollars [...] I just had enough of that. I never made it to the NBA for the money, I just really loved to compete. And I knew I was the best so I loved playing against the best. I needed to be on the court.
In retrospect, I wish I never would've left the Knicks because, by going to France the following year, I read in USA Today all of the guards got hurt. So I would've had the opportunity to show what I was capable of doing at the NBA level. So after the Knicks experience I negotiated a buy-out and I went to play in Leon, France for 10 months.
4. Where else have you played?
I played in Greece, Portugal, Taiwan, France, London and then out in the CBA for the Connecticut Hellcats, the Yakima Washington [Sun Kings], I was in La Crosse Wisconsin. These [were all about me] trying to get back into the NBA at that time. I went on a tour of 22 countries with the Harlem Globetrotters with the Kareem tour. That was one of the best basketball experiences I've ever had because I'd never been on a basketball court [before] and never had to play 100 percent.
Many games, once I stepped on the court, all friendships [ceased.] I only knew one way to play. And the Globetrotters' stance was totally opposite. It was more showmanship and fun, but that was too awkward for me. But I had a good time because we traveled the world and I love traveling and it was just a really incredible experience to be a part of, getting to know Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; getting to know him as a person other than just the legend.
5. So would the Harlem Globetrotters trump your time at LMU?
It's Loyola Marymount for sure. All day, all night. If I tried to dream of a better college experience, I wouldn't be smart enough to dream of the kinds of teams we had each year. Paul Westhead was the players' coach of all time, to let the players go out and do what they do best-for me, what I did best was I could shoot and score on anybody, anytime, anywhere and he allowed me to open my game up and show that I was totally unstoppable. And for Hank, he allowed him to show he's the toughest, the meanest in the paint and be the most dominant, aggressive force in the center.
Our coaches didn't limit any of our skill level, [which] was always on display. Most coaches are not confident enough to allow players to be themselves, to play to their maximum skill level. There was no better way to play than like how Paul Westhead allowed us to play. It was up-tempo and fun to watch. It was fun going to games, not the same as the boring ball we see today. We were a bunch of talented guys and we went into every game with a 'not-gonna-stop-us' attitude.
6. Do you keep up with current Lion basketball?
My heart and soul will always be with the team. But as for do I follow them? Absolutely not. It's just when a team loses that much, it's hard to watch and root for them. It's not enough to keep me tuned in. But I will always be pulling for them in my heart.
7. What do you think about Rodney Tention and what he's done so far with LMU basketball?
AH: The current LMU head coach.
Unfortunately I don't know much about him.
8. You originally played for USC before transferring to LMU. Which school did you like best?
I actually didn't want to leave [USC], but since we were forced out, Hank and I chose to go to LMU. USC was a very special place for me. People were nice and treated us very well. They still do; they'll come up to me sometimes when I'm there for a game and they're very courteous even though I was only there for a year. It's a very family feeling when you're there. But I wouldn't change a thing. I loved it at LMU. It was the best times of my life.
9. Do you continue to dislike Pepperdine and Gonzaga, the WCC schools and rivals?
I don't like any of them. You know, it was very exciting at that time to be able to dominate every single one of those schools. And they weren't just playing us but they would have to play against our rowdy fans too.
10. If you could choose one coach to coach the Lions now, who would it be?
Paul Westhead or myself. We would know what to do with the program and with the guys to get them winning again.
11. What wisdom would you impart to the team today?
Winning is an attitude. Teams have won games before the ball even went up because of attitude and team mentality. Teams must be mentally prepared and the team today needs to be strong. They need to be thinking, "Nuh uh. Not in Hank's House."
12. What is something about you that people wouldn't know?
I'm an incredible cook. And I'm a pretty good amateur R&B singer, which would probably shock most people because only the ones I'm closest to would see me sing.
13. Boxers or briefs?
I wear both and I love both. Briefs more often, though.
14. Shorter shorts or longer shorts?
At the time of playing, it's fine because you don't really notice. But if I had to pick, I'd pick the old version. But, you know, it's got nothing to do with it because, obviously, shorts aren't helping [the Lions] win.
15. Where was your favorite place on campus?
Hannon, because they were the best apartments on campus at that time. We weren't blessed with the apartments that you have now. I also loved to eat at the cafeteria [the Lair.] But it's a lot better now; the variety is more.
16. What would you consider your perfect pre-game meal?
Some good ol' lasagna...for the carbs. They had really good lasagna at the Lair. And some French toast, bacon, sausage. Mmm.
17. And now for those left-handed free throws...
Hank was terrible with his free throws. He was actually a right-handed guy but tried shooting his free throws left-handed for a while. So I shot the first free throw of every game [in LMU's 1990 run in the NCAA Tournament] left-handed just to honor him and give him the respect that he deserved. It was my Hank moment.
18. What was going through your head the day Hank died?
I remember we were on defense. I think Hank had just dunked or something and then he collapsed. I mean, the last thing anyone was thinking was that he would decease. We had a defibrillator back in the locker rooms and I remember thinking why no one was going to get it or why we weren't using it. You know, people think it was out of everybody's control but I know if we'd gotten that defibrillator it would've saved his life that day.
19. What happened during the dispute between Hank's family and LMU after he died?
Hank loved LMU and his mother loved LMU. But when you have money and lawyers, a mess is created. It was a situation that the lawyers created, not Hank's family.
20. Do you ever get annoyed with being known in relation to Hank, not just by yourself?
I'm absolutely honored by it. People live to be 100, but none have achieved what Hank did. To be associated with Hank is a blessing. It was an honor to be with such a unique and wonderful person.
21. If you could have a conversation with anyone in the world, dead or alive, right now, who would it be?
It'd probably be Hank. Just to do more of what we'd always do.