Later that same day, I was disappointed because I was obviously beat to the punch about a month ago by Arkansas Sports 360.com’s Jim Harris who had this “Five Minutes With Joe Kleine” article posted. Disgruntled, I thought about just ditching the post, but instead I noticed that the responses I got from Joe were totally different from the ones he gave Jim on the exact same questions, so here is my… SIX minutes with Joe Kleine:
Where’s your NBA championship ring (’98 Chicago Bulls)?
“I hid it up Jordan’s ass. What do you care? So what if I lost it in a bet on the golf course to Charles Barkley when I was with Phoenix. Have you ever seen Chuck hit a golf ball? Well, then, you know that was a damn good bet I made. Unfortunately for me, the Chuckster picked that day to break 120. Now, he wears it like its his own - hooked to a nipple chain that dangles underneath his shirt. Now he goes around telling people that he played on that '98 team with Jordan, and most people don't remember back that far and just take it as fact. I hate Charles.”
Compare working with pro players to working with college players.
“Well, genius. For one, pro players get paid money and college players don’t - unless you go to Kentucky or UCLA or Kansas or somewhere like that. So, pro ball is a job for professionals unlike yourself. Here let me show you what it looks like when a professional athlete is totally dominating at his trade (pulls out photo album below)"
How’s your first year in the college recruiting game?
“It’s difficult, jerk-weed. How’s your first year of taking up valuable internet space producing trash labeled as a blog? Listen, you have to be a salesman. You’re trying to sell your product but sometimes ‘Come play at UALR or I’ll beat up your old man and sleep with your mom’ doesn’t work on the recruiting trail. I’m adjusting. Sometimes they don’t want to buy what you’re selling… unless I happen to be in the projects and they need some crack.”
What was your best time in the NBA?
“Probably when Larry Bird came up to me and said I was the best player he’d ever faced. Or, maybe when I was in Chicago and dunked so hard on Michael Jordan one day in practice that it made Scottie Pippen cry, but Pippen always was a cry-baby, so maybe that ain't saying much. Quite possibly the best time I had in the NBA is when I put lube into Bill Wennington’s Just For Men hair color tube and he rubbed it all in his head and on that God-awful beard he used to sport. He ended up smelling like kiwi-watermelon lube for weeks which is what you get when you’re a stupid Canadian.”
Why get into coaching now, at 45?
"Why you gotta bring up my age? Are you saying that I won’t be worth crap as a coach because I’m 45 and halfway to being dead, because that’s what it sounds like you’re saying? You ever been hit in the skull with a 10 ounce Chicago Bulls championship replica ring?
I just thought coaching would be a fun way to part my vast knowledge on today’s youth since I got screwed out of my radio gig with the University of Arkansas in Traitorsville and needed something to do now.”
So, if you read Jim's article, you will see that maybe I caught Joe on a less-giving, agitated day or maybe it's the fact that the Trojans are only 3-5 in their last eight games. Either way, it was great catching up with the former Razorback stud. Thanks for all the memories, Joe.