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Collected wisdom: Desmond Mason, former OSU and Thunder forward

Former Oklahoma State and Oklahoma City Thunder forward's current passion is art.
by Jenni Carlson Published: December 15, 2012
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photo - Artist and former NBA player Desmond Mason poses for a photo on Thursday , Dec. 6, 2012, in Oklahoma City, Okla.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Artist and former NBA player Desmond Mason poses for a photo on Thursday , Dec. 6, 2012, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

But I was ready. I'd been ready.

Basketball never defined me. It changed my life. But it never defined me. I was ready for a new challenge. I felt I could be successful. It was going to be some work, but at the end of the day, I was prepared for it.

The next season after I retired, we got an offer to go to Atlanta, and I told my agent, “No.” It was time to do something different.

I love what I'm doing, and I get to be home and be a dad.

I can't coach my own kid. I was too intense as a player. I'm strict enough as a dad. You don't want me to be a coach.

I'm pacing up and down the sidelines at the soccer games. I'm like, “I didn't even play soccer. My wife played soccer.” She's sitting there calm and I'm like, “Kick the ball. Run faster.” That's not good. She's only 7.

I'm going to be that guy getting into it with other parents.

Last year I had a show in Cabo San Lucas. Just the people that showed up — Alex Rodriguez was there, Tim Allen was there, Joe Buck came out, Rich Heise came out. I'm turning around looking at these guys, and they're bidding on my work, warring for this work. It was pretty neat.

I had the very fortunate opportunity to see A-Rod again. We got to talking about my work. He said, “You should do Art Basel in Miami.” Well, Art Basel, it's the Super Bowl. He was like, “No, you can do that. You can definitely do that.” To me, that was big.

One thing I've been telling people for a long time, they're like, “Oh, you're the basketball player turned artist” but I say, “No, no, it's the other way around.”

I want to be one of the best that's ever walked this planet.

I've got a long way to go, but if I can work myself into the NBA where nobody thought I could, I can definitely work myself into the painting world.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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