Chris Kaman is Germany's Barber
U.S. citizen and German basketball center Chris Kaman spoke at great length to the U.S. media this morning after the Germans crushed Angola. Kaman, of course, is new to the German national team, and in coming days, many reporters will write about how Kaman came to play for the Germans through his great-grandparents' nationality, how some of his family members--including his dad--felt uneasy about this choice, and how he's just trying to get a different summer experience than going to the Vegas Summer League.
The Post will have more on this story later, but I asked Kaman whether it doesn't seem strange to look down and see the German national colors.
"Yeah, I was thinking earlier, the biggest thing for me is when we play the USA and they play the U.S. national anthem, I don't know what I'm going to do," he said. "I usually in the NBA always put my right hand over my heart. I mean, I should, I guess. I don't know the German anthem yet. I don't, I have no idea. I know all the words to the U.S. national anthem though...."
"Other than that, to me, it's just basketball man. It has nothing to do with my political views or anything like that. I want to have fun and play basketball."
And does he speak German?
"I'm not gonna say any to you guys because most of the stuff I learned you don't want to hear, but I will learn it eventually," he said. "You know, I got the Rosetta Stone language learning thing, so I'm working on it. It bugs me, but everybody on my team speaks English, that's their second language....And I'm just like 'Yo what the heck is going on, like, can you guys PLEASE just speak English,' and they still speak German on the bus. So I just put my headphones in and go to sleep or just relax."
"True story, I'm the guy that shaved all the rings," he said. "I shaved all the rings into everybody's head, and I couldn't shave it into my own head. Some of the guys had one of the handball players from Germany...she does hair back in Germany and she dyed their hair, but I didn't want to do that. I've got to go home to my girlfriend. She's not gonna like that."
Later, Kaman admitted that he only shaved the rings into the heads of Dirk, Tim Ohlbrecht and
Desmond Demond Greene, and that some female German Olympians the bleached in the rings. He also said he had some barbering experience, occasionally shaving his father's head, although Jason Kidd didn't seem too impressed.
As for the critics, "I don't know, I just want to be positive when I'm here, try not to focus on the negative stuff," Kaman said. "That doesn't get you anywhere. It's not like we've got T.J. Simers out here, you know...writing the stories he'd be writing if he were here."
Posted by: JDP | August 10, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lindemann | August 10, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse
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