Thursday , Sep , 07 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Interview with AND1’s Hot Sauce

Technically, when Sauce breaks your ankle, he’s not really breaking it; you are.  He merely performs a move that results in your feet crossing, your knees knocking and, ultimately, your ass making friends with the floor.  You fall of your own accord.

Interview with AND1's Hot Sauce

Similarly, when he breaks your jaw, he’s not literally mangling your mandible; you are.  He merely performs moves that result in your tongue twitching, your gums flapping and, ultimately, your mouth moving until you blab yourself into an injury.  You talk of your own accord.

To digress momentarily, one man can only embarrass so many defenders in a single lifetime.  While Sauce has made a decent dent in the general streetball populace during the course of numerous tours and countless pick-up games, he still has a way to go before he’s sent every defender on earth to the asphalt, hardwood, parquet or whatever other surface he happens to have taken as his stage.

Still, while he may not have personally crashed every court on this concrete sphere, he has managed to achieve total coverage by way of his massive arsenal of moves, each and every one of which has been replicated in streetball games from America to Asia to Africa and everywhere in between.

Loved?  Sometimes.  Hated.  Sometimes?  Imitated?  Always.

So the next time you snap someone’s neck with a Boomerang or set the park on fire with a Hypnotizer, understand that you’re not really fooling your man.

Sauce is.

We caught the people’s champ when AND1 swung through South Florida on their summer tour, and he was cool enough to take ten minutes out to answer some questions for us.  Read on for the interview, available exclusively at, the web’s premier streetball source.

C.Y. Ellis:  So, Sauce, you’re back after your absence.  What’s it like being on tour again?

Hot Sauce: It feels good.  Maybe I’m not playing as well; I’m kind of rusty right now, but I’ve been doing other things beside basketball.  I ain’t touched a ball in a whole year.

CYE: Tell us about some of those projects.  What’s going on for you off-court?

HS: I’ve been doing a little acting or whatever.  I’ve got a movie coming out called “Crossover”.  I’ve been doing that, plus something else (which we’ll let you know about as soon as the project is declassified – CYE) after that, too.

CYE: Oh yeah?

HS: Yeah, but we keeping that on the low right now; don’t want to give nothing away.  Gotta wait ‘til “Crossover” comes out first!

CYE: Talking of “Crossover”, shit looks like it’s going to be hot.  I mean, it’s the first streetball project coming out on general release.  How does it feel to break into acting?

HS: It’s a’ight, it’s a’ight.  We got a lot of good people in the movie: Wayne Brady, Wesley Jonathan, plus me.  I think it’s going to be a great movie.

CYE: Do you think that’s going to be the next stage in your career then?  Hot Sauce the actor?

HS: Yeah. (pausing to think) Yeah.

CYE: Looking at the open run (note: This interview was conducted on the main podium during the open run), what do you think of the talent this year?

HS: They’re more talented.  They got a lot more moves.  A lot of guys got tricks.

CYE: You were with AND1 in the early days of the tour.  Did you ever think it was going to become this big?

HS: I didn’t think it was going to ever get this big, but as long as people are watching us, they’re gon’ learn and get better.  Everybody’s talented.  (gesturing towards open run) They’re on our level now, but they just got to get a name.

CYE: People see you as a figurehead of the new style of streetball.  What do you think of that?

HS: I take it as a compliment.  I gotta keep moving and doing my thing at the same time.

CYE: How does it feel to see guys like Tru Baller making a career by copying your moves?

HS: He’s not the only one.  Nope – there’s people in all fifty states doing what I do, so he’s not the only one.

CYE: But there might not be anyone talking as much shit as he is.

HS: He can talk all he wants.  I only played with him twice.  I don’t know him personally.  There’s people in all fifty states talking shit.

CYE: If there are players everywhere biting your style, why are you still the fan favourite that you’ve always been?

HS: I don’t know.  I guess it’s because I was the original.  I came out when nobody wasn’t doing it.  But everybody else, they been practicing ever since five years old.  So they hide their skills.  They’re really hiding their skills, to me.  But I’m still standing here.  I’m still doing my thing.  But as long as they keep doing their thing, they’ll be somewhere as long as they keep doing something with it.  You’re going to get trash-talked everywhere.  Like you was saying about people talking the talk, they ain’t the only ones talking the talk.  I got people back home talking more junk than them.

CYE: What do you think about the money in streetball nowadays?  Do you consider it a good thing or is it not in the spirit of the game?

HS: It’s better now.  It’s fun and business at the same time.  We used to play for fun the first year it happened.  Then we started getting cheques because people started liking what we do.  We got people coming out and checking us out.

CYE: How do you think streetball today compares to streetball of the past?

HS: It’s more popular now than back in the day.  It might have been popular then, but wasn’t nobody getting paid.

CYE: As you’ve said before, you’re the originator of many of the most popular moves in streetball.  Should we expect anything new from you this year?

HS: You see, that’s the pressure I got.  People ask about new moves with me, but why [don’t people ask why] A.O. don’t get new moves?  Why don’t some of the other players get new moves?  I don’t mind, but I’m just about playing.  I was never like “Oh, this move, I did it!”  I was just doing it to be doing it.  I’m not on tour to have a new move.  It just happens.  They just happen, so people think I’m pulling out new moves every year.  I’m the only person dropping people, so that’s my new move: Making them fall.

CYE: You were saying before how you were a little rusty…

HS: I just need to get my swagger back.  Whoever’s talking junk, they talking junk for nothing now ‘cause I’m not really a hundred percent.

CYE: What’s coming up for you in the near future?

HS: If you looking for other stuff, I got my own DVD coming out, and I got my own tour.

CYE: Tell us a little something about that.

HS: That’s been running like four years now – the Killer Crossover Tour.  That’s me getting to touch the ball a lot and getting my shine on more than on the AND1 tour.

CYE: Who are you going to bring out on tour with you?  I know you had Bone Collector with you before, but I’ve been at Rucker Park all summer and haven’t seen him once.

HS: I haven’t seen him in like ten months.

CYE: I hear he was out on the west coast a short while back.

HS: He might be overseas or something.

CYE: We get more requests for Hot Sauce at HoopsVibe than for any other player.  What do you want to say to all the people that are checking for you?

HS: I’m coming back stronger than ever next year. In the last year I haven’t touched a ball, and I’m kind of rusty.  But I’m coming back stronger than ever.  Oh, and I’m not trying to come up with new moves or whatever.  If I come up with a new move, I come up with it.  I’m not trying to come up with a new move because I never was labelled for it.  If I come up with a new move, I’ma be called “The Man with a Thousand Moves”.  But I do got more moves than a chess game.