James Donaldson on Why Point Guards Make Good Politicians

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In this week's profile of mayoral candidate James Donaldson, we unfortunately did not have enough real estate to include a handful of basketball-related tidbits that emerged from our conversations with the former Sonic. So here they are: While Donaldson received comp tickets Sonic games while they were still in town, he says he went more for the social aspect, and often left at halftime. Donaldson says he doesn't watch sports much anymore, preferring instead to work out at 5 a.m. every morning, frequent local restaurants, watch movies, and take long, scenic drives.

Asked whether KeyArena and a new NBA franchise would be a focus of his campaign, Donaldson says, "Not at all, but there are things we need to do with Seattle Center." Furthermore, he feels that, of all the positions on the floor, point guards have the skills that best translate into politics (witness Kevin Johnson's recent election as mayor of Sacramento). "They need to understand where everybody is supposed to be," says Donaldson. Of the current crop of point guards, Donaldson feels Chris Paul and Steve Nash would make the best politicians, because "they help their teams to run and function most efficiently."

At 7'2" and 275 lbs. during his playing days, Donaldson remains one of the biggest men ever to have played the game. If successful in his bid for mayor, he will undoubtedly be the tallest elected official in American history. (Though he admits to weighing about 320, at a tone 51, Donaldson still looks as though he could step on the floor.) Donaldson considers former All-Star center Artis Gilmore the strongest man he ever played against, in spite of the fact that Gilmore was actually listed as weighing 35 lbs. less than Donaldson. Says Donaldson of Gilmore, who played for the Bulls and Spurs, among other teams: "He would just lift me up with one arm."

 
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