Interview with Hot Sauce: Part Two
C.Y. Ellis: A lot of your New York fans are wondering when you’re going to hit Rucker Park. Do you plan to play in the EBC or a similar competition any time soon?
Hot Sauce: No time soon, but I’m willing to go whenever I get a chance. I’m working right now. Work comes first. Every summer, I’ve always been on tour. The only guys that get a chance to play at Rucker Park are the guys from New York when they have a one-week break in the summertime.
Mark Edwards: Usually he’d been on tour for a month straight, and when he gets five days off, he’s trying to go home, see the family, rest a little bit. Then, to be honest with you, we don’t like playing basketball outside. Greg Marius, the CEO, the owner of the EBC, he’s a very good friend of ours, and he’s always extended a hand to us to play, so we’re going to be doing some things in the future with EBC, but right now, we’re getting a million calls for movies. We’ve got four different movies we’re trying to pick from which he’s probably going to be involved in. He’s the star of the new NBA Ballers 2 videogame that’s going to come out next year.
CYE: They had Steph on the cover of the first one, right?
Mark: Yeah. This year they’re putting Chauncey Billups on the cover. To beat the game, you’ve got to beat Hot Sauce.
CYE: Who do you think is the best streetball player on the planet?
Sauce: You’re talking to him right now.
CYE: So you have confidence in yourself.
Sauce: It’s me, of course! I want you to put that in the article, too.
CYE: We’ll definitely feature that.
Sauce: Put it in bold letters!
CYE: Which players on the scene aren’t really as hot as people say they are? Who has too much hype and not enough game?
Sauce: I’ve got a little, fat-ass answer, but I don’t know his name.
Mark: I forgot his name! Do you remember it, Sauce?
Sauce: Nah, nah.
Mark: I think everybody’s going to forget his name after next year! He might not get re-signed! But we’re not going to say no names, because as soon as you say somebody’s name, that gives them fame. But there’s a little, fat dude running around. He thought he was cool, but he’s just a little, fat dude.
CYE: On your profile page on our site, we’ve had comments from fans from places like Nepal, Ghana and Papua New Guinea. Why do you think your name is known in countries where even the NBA doesn’t have much of a fan base?
Sauce: It’s because I was doing stuff that people weren’t doing that at the time I came out. I’m the originator. A lot of people have got handles, but I’m the originator of these moves that people haven’t seen before. Now I’ve got the whole country trying to do what I do.
Mark: What’s funny is that when And 1 Mixtape: Volume One came out, it was hot, and there was a real buzz because it was something new and people never really saw streetball before like that. Then, when Volume Two came out, it was like, “Oh, okay, now they’ve got a little team.” But then Volume Three came out, and I think the whole country started to take notice, and Sauce and A.O. helped to bring a style of basketball that they’d never seen before. I don’t think people give him the credit. It’s funny because they interviewed The Professor one time, and they said “When did you start loving streetball?” He said “When I started watching And 1 Mixtape: Volume One, and I loved what Skip To My Lou did, and I patterned my game after him.” I sit back and I say, “Is he lying, or does he just not want to give Hot Sauce the credit? You don’t play nothing like Skip To My Lou. Skip To My Lou don’t moonwalk nowhere. He don’t throw no Boomerangs. So who did you really pattern your game after?”
CYE: When did you first realise that you were world-famous?
Sauce: The next year after the tape came out. Every area I stayed in I was known. I’m a local legend everywhere.
CYE: Who are your all-time favourite streetball players?
Sauce: A.O. and Skip. People don’t know, but A.O. is like Jay-Z in Philly. When we first started the tour, we couldn’t walk ten steps down the street without people stopping A.O. and giving him love and showing us love. He has that presence.
Mark: You could feel greatness. And to be honest with you, A.O. has been doing it five, six years, but he was just playing in cruise control. He wasn’t really showing all his skills until somebody was like, “Alright, you’ve got to step up.” He was like, “Okay, I’m about to show y’all something. I’m about to show y’all how I almost made the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers in 2001.”
CYE: Where do you think you rank all-time among streetball players?
Sauce: Where I rank at? I’d say top three.
CYE: A lot of fans, particularly older folks, see you as a main reason that a lot of kids nowadays spend more time working on tricks than the fundamentals. Keeping that in mind, do you think your influence on the game of basketball has been positive or negative?
Sauce: Both. I’m the first player to mess the game up in a good way and a bad way. They say I messed the game up, but it’s a compliment saying that in every city, I’ve got somebody playing like me, playing for a team or something. So when somebody like a coach for a high school sees me and talks to me, saying “You got my kids’ heads all messed-up”, that’s because I messed the game up in a positive way.
CYE: Who would you say have been some of your toughest opponents?
Check back soon for the third and final part of the interview, available only at HoopsVibe.com.