Wally Szczerbiak - Wally’s World


Wally Szczerbiak’s got it all. He graduated from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) with a marketing degree; sports a rock-hard physique; is happily married to a beautiful woman with whom he’s made three wonderful children; gets paid millions of dollars to play basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers, undoubtedly one of the NBA’s best teams; and he’s got his head on straight. It seems we are all living in “Wally’s World.”

We met up with the local heartthrob when the Cavs came to town to give the Washington Wizards their final preseason spanking. We wanted to find out just how good Wally’s got it. Well, get out your popcorn; this cat has it better than the movies.

Of what nationality is your name, and what is the strangest way it has been said or spelled?
Ukrainian. Sizzle-chest.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing any one of them (family).


Where and when was your favorite vacation?
Vegas for my honeymoon. We went there for two days and then to Bora Bora. My wife and I got bored at Bora Bora and went back to Vegas for four more days.

Win any money?
Actually, we did.

When do you think it is okay to lie?
Never.

Do you have any words or phrases that you over-use?
I am not a “bro” guy. I say “cuz” a lot instead.

What is your current state of mind?
I’m feeling good. I’m trying to keep balanced, trying not to get too high or too low. I am keeping everything in front of me and it feels good.

Do trade rumors get on your nerves?

Yeah, but that’s what you get in my job. I learned a long time ago that this (NBA) is the National “Business” Association, and anything can happen.

Are any of them true?
You never know.

If you died and could come back as anything, who or what would you want to be?
Jesus Christ.

What is your most treasured possession˗both literally and figuratively.
Golf clubs both times.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Superman.

What do you dislike about yourself?
My lack of patience, but I’ve been slowly working on that. My kids have helped.

Name three CDs you couldn’t live without.
Metallica’s One, Pearl Jam’s Ten and some Journey.

Name one you could.
Megadeath comes to mind.

If not in the US, in what country would you live?

Spain. I grew up there and that’s where my dad played. I haven’t been back since I was six.

What goes on your ice cream sundae, and what flavors of ice cream do you start with?
Good question. I start with vanilla and chocolate; then top it with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and Butterfinger pieces.

What subject in school could you just not get?
I didn’t like English.

In which subject did you excel?

Chemistry.

What game did 10-year-old Wally play at recess?

Football.

Late night dinner delivery: pizza or Chinese?

Pizza.

Art museum or history museum?
History.

What is the most important issue facing the world today?
Dealing with terrorism and making sure 911 never happens again.

If the best offense is a good defense, what is the best defense?
A good offense.

Browns or Bengals?

Browns.

I’ve always been a sucker for_____.

Candy.
My secret dream is to _____.
Play in the senior PGA tour.

You can trade shoes with any other athlete—whose are you wearing?

Tiger Woods.

Who was on the first basketball poster in your room?

Dominique Wilson.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Columbus?

Martini.

What’s the last thing you bought for $50, $500, $5000 and $500,000?

Mario Kart for Wii, a pair of earphones, tickets for kids at the Cavs game, and a new apartment for my brother.

Are you a wolf or a rabbit?
Wolf.

What would be your drink of choice if you were playing pool with Tom Cruise?
Grey Goose and splash of cranberry.

Hunting with Hemmingway?
Water.

Poker with Dennis Hopper?
A Bob Marley.

How do you chill?
I play with my kids and video games.

What irritates you?
When people dance around problems and issues.

What makes you angry?
Not being organized, and not being in my routine or structured.

Women are the best at _____.

Being sensitive.

Time is _____.
Money.

You hardly know who I am or what I mean; you only know my_____.
Face.

Family is the root of _____and the answer to _____.

Joy and lifelong happiness.

Where is your favorite place to play and live?
Where to play ˗ Cleveland. Where to live ˗ Long Island.

Do you have a pre-game or post-game ritual?
Pre-game is to eat five and half hours before, and post-game is two beers, usually Guinness.

What does Oxford, Ohio have that you can’t get anywhere else?

Toasted rolls from the Shriver Center.

What do you do in the off-season?
Play a lot of golf.
When you retire, what are the first three courses you are playing?
Pine Valley in New Jersey, Pebble Beach and Bandon Dunes.

What would you be doing if you could not play basketball or golf?
Quarterback.

Who is your hero?
My Dad. He played professional basketball and taught and guided me throughout my career.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Lose a best friend.

Do you have a nickname?
Wally World.

Favorite memory?
Making the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tourney my senior year.

What’s the best advice you ever received, and who gave it to you?
From my Dad at an early age: never use quitting as an option.

Do you enjoy working out, or do you do it to be the best?
I definitely enjoy it.

What animal would you be?

Greyhound.

What is your favorite part of the game of basketball?
The comradery of the team. Cleveland has a lot of it.

What did you buy with your first big paycheck?

Flat screen TV.

Most insane thing you’ve bought?
A Wally-World pendent to go around my neck made of platinum and diamonds. I sold it back!

If you could combine any two sports, what would they be, and what would you call it?
Basketball and soccer. It would be called “Wallyball.”

After getting so close the past few years, do you think you guys will make it to the finals this year?
Definitely. We have one thing in mind, which is a championship this year.

Favorite movie?
Gladiator.

What would your last meal be if you were on death row?
Meat lover’s pizza.

If you could have a drink with anyone in history, who would you choose, and what would you be drinking?
Jesus Christ. We’d be drinking red wine.

What kind of adjustments have you had to make after being injured in your career?
During rehab, I had to watch my diet and adjust my workout routine. I got rid of squats and heavy lifting and things like that.

Who is your favorite player to play with?
Delonte West.

Which NBA city has the most fanatical fans?
Sacramento.

Do you talk to the players you are defending? If you do, what do you say?
No, I don’t talk to them.

Do you have tattoos?
Nope.

How do you personally measure the success of a game?
Without my team winning, it is a loss.

How long have you been going through your free throw routine?
Since the age of 10.

What comes first—talent or heart?
Heart.

Which designer has the most real estate in your closet
?
Polo.