Brother tandems in sports aren’t all that rare. There are the Mannings, Gasols, and Klitschkos among many other family pairings. However, it’s not often that you see black brothers (yes, we mean blood-related “brothers”) in the NHL. After next month’s 2012 NHL Draft, P.K. and Malcolm Subban will become one of the very few black bother tandems in NHL history (what up, Chris and Anthony Stewart?!).
Malcolm is the No. 1 ranked North American goalie heading into the Draft and P.K. is an up and coming defenseman on the Montreal Canadiens. On top of that, they have a younger brother Jordan Subban who's an elite NHL prospect currently taking the OHL by storm. We got a chance to catch up with the two older Subban brothers to find out their thoughts leading up to the draft, what it’s like being black in the NHL and what motivates them.
Interview by Elias Ahmed (@thatedude)
Malcolm, how does it feel to be just weeks away from the NHL draft?
Malcolm: This is a huge thrill right now, I’m just trying to enjoy the whole thing. Obviously, I still got the combine coming up but I’m just trying to enjoy the whole thing.
P.K., what advice have you given your brother leading up to this year's draft.?
P.K.: Enjoy it, have fun; I mean the NHL never called me and wanted me to show up at the draft. [Laughs.] I was a second-round pick, I went 43rd. For him I know that he’s the No. 1 ranked goalie in North America and the world right now, he’s got a great opportunity. He’s got to enjoy this whole process because it only comes once. Not that many players get the opportunity to walk up on that stage and get that jersey.
As black hockey players, you represent a minority in a major pro sport. How does it feel to be in that position? Is it something you guys consciously think about a lot?
P.K.: Well no. We’ve been playing hockey for a long time, since we were little kids. I started playing hockey at two and a half. Obviously, playing hockey we want to be known as good hockey players and hard working guys that earn everything they get. For us it’s an opportunity, myself and my brothers have an opportunity to do something special. Playing in the NHL, it’s a great job, it’s a great life to live, and we just want to have the opportunity to do that. That’s going to come from our hard work and dedication to the sport. As far as being black players in the league, obviously it’s great. We’re role models to a lot of kids, not just black kids, but all kids out there and that’s what we want to be known for.
You guys also have a younger brother, Jordan, who is also an NHL prospect. The possibility of three brothers all becoming professional athletes is quite the feat, what motivates each of you?
Malcolm: I think it’s the support from our parents. They want to see us succeed and do what we want to do. I think that it’s the passion for the game that we have and just the work ethic. We try to work as hard as we can every game. Trusting God and help from our parents have gotten us to where we are now.
P.K.: Exactly. I think it’s just having the support of our parents. Knowing that they’re going to keep you on the right path and guide you. I know Malcolm and myself, we’re a little bit older now, but we don’t know everything. To get to where we have so far has been a great accomplishment but we’re not even close to being satisfied. To be able to keep on getting better, progressing, and having success, you need help. What better place to get it than from your parents?
Speaking of your family, your father was a basketball star in high school and you also have sisters who had great college basketball careers. So we have to ask: Who’s the best baller out of the brothers?
P.K.: Definitely me. I got the experience, I got the strength, I got the talent, I got the famous jump hook. That’s my move. I’ll stutter step, then drop the shoulder, a little pump, a little Kobe Game 7 fade-away, and the hooks coming too. And Malcolm knows, he’s got an inch on me but he can’t defend that. He knows that.
Wow. You have anything to say about that Malcolm?
P.K.: You got to respond, bro.
Malcolm: You know what, I’m a perimeter player. I’m more like a Ray Allen.
P.K.: No you’re not! [Laughs.]
Malcolm: Yeah I am. [Laughs.]
What will it be like when you face each other in the NHL for the first time?
P.K.: I mean at the end of the day, we are still brothers. But I’m also getting paid to score goals so he better watch that glove side, because I like to go glove side. I know he thinks he’s got a hot glove but I’m going to have to try and expose it. Now if you want me to be totally honest with you, right now he’s probably winning the battle cause we had a couple skates together and I didn’t score too much on him. So I guess I’ll say that I’m waiting for the game to score on him.
Malcolm, you have anything to say about that?
Malcolm: Uh, no I don’t have much to say. [Laughs.]
P.K.: Yeah that’s right! Silence is golden! He knows not to talk too much smack cause you don’t want to give me that incentive right?
Malcolm: I mean he’s only got one goalie to score on, I’ve got the whole team to try and stop so I can’t worry about one player.
P.K.: That’s a very good answer.
What kind of music are you guys listening to pre-game or during training sessions to get you hype?
Malcolm: All varieties. I love every type of music to be honest.
P.K.: I like my R&B, my hip-hop. But I’m old school, I don’t like a lot of new stuff. Though I do like a little bit of Meek Mill. He kind of sounds angry when he’s rapping so I like that part of the game.
Who pulls the most ladies out of the brothers?
P.K.: Wow, well definitely me. I’m the oldest, I have the most experience, and I’m the best looking. I’ve been told that on numerous occasions, numerous. Now that doesn’t take anything away from my brothers, Malcolm is good looking and Jordan’s a good looking guy, too. I mean they are related to me so they get a little bit of the looks. But right now I have to say I have the most experience. I’m a veteran when it comes to that, they’re still learning. They have lots of potential. They’re like first-round picks right now in the game, they still have to develop. [Laughs.]
Malcolm: I’ve been told that I’m the best looking brother. Yeah I’m pretty sure the other day some girl tweeted that I was the best looking Subban on Twitter. [Laughs.]
P.K.: Ah, no you’re not! Next question.