Monday , Aug , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Interview with Circus at MSG

There are many possible sources of inspiration for a streetballer’s nickname. Some, for example, are simply derived from what’s on their birth certificate.

Interview with Circus at MSG

There are many possible sources of inspiration for a streetballer’s nickname. Some, for example, are simpy derived from what’s on their birth certificate.

Pat Da Roc

Some are references to a trademark talent.

King Handles

Some are a little more abstract. 

High Octane
Prime Objective
Main Event

Some are fate.


Regardless of where or how he first picked up the tag, “Circus” now fits Jerome Holman like the sneakers he’ll never have to pay for again. Dictionary conceits are played-out, but let’s dip into the big book of words for a moment. 

cir‧cus/ˈsɜrkəs/ Pronunciation Key – [sur-kuhs]
–noun, plural

large public entertainment, typically presented in one or more very large tents or in an outdoor or indoor arena, featuring exhibitions of pageantry, feats of skill and daring 

Sound familiar to you? That’s because Circus = AND1, by definition. Although technically the team’s newest signing, you could be forgiven for thinking he was one of the OGs. With the swagger of a veteran, his own theme tune and a full season’s experience already under his belt, the contract simply made the partnership official. 

Now, with the deal in writing, it’s on Circus to continue the legacy of Steph, Skip and countless other guards grown on the New York streets. It’s his duty to carry on the good work of Air Up There, Professor, Spyda and all the other ballers AND1 has picked up along the way. It’s his responsibility to bring the big-top fun of clowns and candyfloss to the circus that is AND1.

HoopsVibe was in the building to see Circus named the 2006 contract winner and, as you’d expect, the web’s undisputed champion for streetball news and interviews was first on the scene to talk to the man. Read on for our exclusive feature, and check back soon for the remaining pieces in our AND1 series.

C.Y. Ellis: Congratulations on winning the contract. What’s your initial reaction?

Circus: Just excitement, man. I’m just happy. I feel I deserve it, man. I’ve been here the whole summer, so just a little happy, that’s about it.

CYE: What inspired you to come out for AND1?

Circus: Really, the money. That’s about it. I feel like I knew I had what it takes to fit in, so I just gave it a shot, man, and it paid off. I’ve been through nine elimination games this summer. It just paid off, man!

CYE: How do you think this is going to change things? I mean, you’ve just flooded the whole court at Madison Square Garden; you must feel different inside somehow.

Circus: Not really. I mean, before this AND1 stuff, I was big in New York City, just playgrounds. I won all the tournaments there is, so they respect it, man. You just gotta…(Big Mike Ellis leans in between me and Circus)…Big shout-out to my coach Mike, man! None of this would have been possible without him. He snatched me off the streets of Brooklyn and told me he was going to bring me on tour, so that’s what it is.

CYE: It seems as if everyone on AND1 has a rags-to-riches story. Tell us where you were, say, five years ago.

Circus: Five years ago, I was in college – not even that; I was in high school. I’m only twenty-five, so…I went to St. Patrick’s high school in Elizabeth, New Jersey; I played at Wichita State in Kansas, then I been out. This is my second year out of school, and last year I played in the ABA for the Long Island Sound, and just caught a break with AND1. It’s a good look.

CYE: One thing that’s noticeable is that you have a fundamental game in addition to the tricks. What made you go for AND1 rather than seeking a pro contract abroad?

Circus: I mean, I was going around that circuit, but this was just here for me so I took advantage of it. They told me they wanted me to come out to the first city, do the TV show. I went with it, and that was it.

CYE: So what’s next for you? What happens immediately? Champagne and all that?

Circus: Yeah, a little bit! I’m chilling, going to Mexico tomorrow for a week, so I’m just going to chill.

CYE: And what happens next in the bigger picture? Where can we expect things to go from here for Circus?

Circus: I don’t know, man. We gon’ see, man! See how this turns out, and you gotta keep going, keep moving.

CYE: How does it feel to have the level of public support you’ve enjoyed?

Circus: It feels good. The TV show really helped me, especially being on since the first city. I’m on every episode, so a lot of people out there got a chance to see me and hear my little theme music. It’s a lot of love, man.

CYE: What’s your message for all the people out there that have been behind you this whole time?

Circus: Man, I just want to say that I appreciate it. Big shouts to New York, big shouts to Brooklyn. I appreciate all the love, and that’s it.

Air Up There (to Circus): You going out tonight?

Circus: (To Special EFX and AUT) Definitely. They stole all my shit, son. Both of my phones, my shorts…

Air Up There: When?
Special EFX: You got it?
Air Up There: Who?

Circus: I don’t know! I went to do these interviews and all that and niggas stole all my stuff!

Special EFX: Who? All them niggas that was in there?

Circus (to me): Man, I appreciate it, but I gotta find my stuff!

CYE: Do what you gotta do!