Shawn Marion’s NBA career was defined by the championship he won in Dallas, his unorthodox shooting style and his nickname “The Matrix.” Marion earned the nickname early in his career because of his versatility. The 16 year NBA veteran will be putting his versatility on display in a whole new way in 2018, as he’s teamed up with former NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos on the 30th season of “The Amazing Race.”
Marion chatted with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about his experience filming the show, his longevity as basketball player and the differences between his mindset on the court and in a race that took him around the world.
DJ Sixsmith: What appealed to you about the opportunity to be on “The Amazing Race”?
Shawn Marion: It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. There aren’t many times you get invited to do something like this, so why not. I’m a very outgoing and adventurous type of guy.
DS: You played in the NBA for over 15 years and won a championship. How will your experience as a basketball player help you on the show?
SM: To be a 16 year veteran in the NBA, it took a lot of dedication and work. Doing and participating in “The Amazing Race” is a totally different mindset. I’ve been able to use some stuff from the NBA because of the competitive athletes I was around. When you think about the bigger picture, you actually can’t relate that to the race because you don’t know what you’re going to be doing. The mindset of competing in itself is what drives you more than anything, that ability can help in a lot of different situations. It can actually hurt you sometimes too in the race. Cedric Ceballos was really adamant in saying, you got to play the race. When you’re in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget that. You want to get through the challenge and you want to win. You’re competing against people, but you can’t forget you have to finish the task as well.
DS: What was the toughest part of the experience for you?
SM: I just didn’t know what to expect. Something so simple could actually be the opposite. Sometimes you’re so locked in that you think you know something and then you miss a little minor thing. You never know where you’re at until you get in the race. You might be last in one challenge and then in the next one, you’re going faster than everyone else and before you know it you’re in first place or last place. You don’t know because they don’t tell you and you don’t know where everybody else is.
DS: You retired from the NBA in 2015. What do you miss the most about playing hoops?
SM: The camaraderie, you can’t put a price on that. I miss the laughs and giggles going through the trenches of competing and winning games throughout the season. That’s something I really miss.
DS: How much basketball do you still watch?
SM: I still watch a lot. I actually just did the pre-game show in Dallas a couple of days ago. It was pretty great because it was non-scripted and live. I do some guest appearances and some ambassador work for the NBA. First of all, I’m a father full time to my son. My son comes first and everything else has to work around my schedule with my son. I enjoy life and I can’t complain.
DS: You are teammates with former NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos. What was it like being paired up on the show with him?
SM: Ced is a cool guy. We have a basketball fraternity, once you’re in the league you’re a brother for life. We had never been teammates. It was very interesting to see how we related to each other and communicated. For the most part, we were able to figure stuff out. We had some crucial blows here and there, but it wasn’t anything drastic. We got over it. If you hold any grudges, you can’t compete. When you get mad and dwell on it for a little bit, it just ruins the day. We fought and got through stuff and made it through. Everything isn’t picture perfect. Once you communicate and get through stuff, that’s all that matters.
Season 30 of “The Amazing Race” premieres Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 8pm on CBS3.