What happened during Draft Night and your name wasn’t called?
LC: I went to the afterparty, you know what I’m saying? [Laughs]
You were No. 1 in the country, you skipped your senior year in high school instead of going to prep school, and then you put your stock in getting drafted and it didn’t happen. What was going through your head after all that?
LC: I wouldn’t say hurt. I was upset that my name didn’t get called. But my life went on. I continued to do the same thing that I wanted to do from the day before the draft. I mean nothing changed. My name just didn’t get called.
AS: You were surprised right?
LC: I was surprised.
AS: Because people told you…
LC: That I was going in first round, then when it came to the second round I said, “I know it ain’t gonna be called now.”
I was upset that my name didn’t get called. But my life went on. I continued to do the same thing that I wanted to do from the day before the draft. I mean nothing changed. My name just didn’t get called.
You’re going to start doing a speaking tour. Did it start already?
AS: The film is opening in Seattle and Chicago on Nov. 29, New York Dec. 6, L.A. on the 13th, San Francisco on the 20th, and then we’ll have some something to announce very soon in terms of TV and stuff. So it’s going to go on for a while. I’m sure that speaking stuff will accelerate.
You’re going to just go around basketball camps and stuff like that?
LC: Schools, Boys and Girl Clubs.
What’s up with you now? How is the family and everything?
LC: Everybody is cool. My kids are alright.
They’re still in Virginia?
LC: Yeah, they’re just chillin’. I’m back to living. I ain’t lose nothing. I ain’t gain nothing.
AS: That’s what we were going to call the film. That was one of the 12 film titles: Back to Living.
After you didn’t get drafted, you were playing overseas. Why didn’t you stay doing that to try and get back into the league. What made you quit?
LC: I was having too many injuries. After the car accident, I did come back and play again. Then I tore both of my Achilles’. After those I said I was done. I just gave it up.
You still play a little bit?
LC: I play around with it.
In the film, you guys were playing a little pickup in VA and you still had the shot. You still got it.
LC: I still play every Sunday.
AS: That was one of the titles, too: I Still Got It. [Laughs]
So how was this process for you guys? What do you learn from Lenny that you didn’t know already?
JS: I always had an idea about hunger and remaining hungry. For example, look at LeBron James. His motivation isn’t anything but this deep hunger inside of him. There’s always a bigger better meal out there that he can eat. You read these stories about coaches in Canada and they’re starving their goalie, because they think that if you’re hungry your visual acuity is higher. So then you have these goalies who are starving because hunger drives them to be a better goalie. I think that works on every level. There’s this writer who talks about how he’d only go to a museum on an empty stomach so that when he looks at the painting, he’s hungry. I think watching a movie like this you have to be hungry. Always.
I was having too many injuries. After the car accident, I did come back and play again. Then I tore both of my Achilles’. After those I said I was done. I just gave it up.
One thing I’ve learned by just going through a deep personal story and going through the process of seeing it through this perspective, now I can look at LeBron and Carmelo from a completely different perspective for what it took for them to get where they are. So I have such a different respect for them in a way. I see them out in the court and I feel I know them, because I know what they go through. How many people, how much bullshit and stuff that they had to tune out and just focus.
That’s funny that you say that because in the film when Carmelo comes to sit next to [Lenny] you and you’re asking him what you’re going to do tonight, and he’s looking at the court and he’s itching to get back out there…And you’re like, “Yo, you’re chillin’ tonight?”
DF: I think that’s what it was. It came too easy for Lenny...I think you’re playing against people that’s working hard and you’re not working at all and you’re above them, you don’t practice.