December 01, 2008
When I asked Danny Granger if he could ever remember starting off a season so well, his answer was simple, "No."
The Pacers' rising star is averaging 24 points and almost six rebounds a game. It doesn't seem to matter too much to him right now, though. "I know I've put up a lot of points," he told me after Saturday's loss in Orlando. "But, we're 6-10 as a team."
The Louisiana native might be frustrated with the way his team is playing, but he couldn't be doing much more to help. He is in the middle of a break out season that should elevate him into NBA stardom. As you'll see, he's also one of the most interesting players in the League.
Ball Don't Lie: You're big into superheroes. I read that you actually want to build a hidden cave in your house like Batman.
Danny Grager: Yeah ... (Laughs) I'm building a house in New Mexico and actually the builder called me and told me he found a nice little feature, a lift for my car, kind of like Batman had. It's in the works, it's a process. [The Superhero stuff] is just a big thing I've been a part of. I love Superman, love Batman. It's just the way I've been always.
BDL: You're a movie buff too, you have over 2,000 movies.
Granger: More now.
BDL: More than 2,000?
Granger: I've got more than that.
BDL: And Armageddon is really your second favorite movie of all time?
Granger: Yeah, I love Armageddon. And Gladiator, I love Gladiator. Armageddon, [is] a great movie. I don't know if anybody saw it, it came out in ['98]. [I] loved that movie, just an all around great movie.
BDL: Speaking of great stuff, you've said your uncle makes some unbelievable banana pudding, are you going to try and sell it in Indiana some time?
Granger: You know what, I probably could. I really, probably could. It's that good.
BDL: What sets it apart?
Granger: You mean what's in it?
BDL: Yeah, what makes it any different than any other banana pudding?
Granger: I can't tell you that. (Smiles) The ingredients that he puts in it are amazing. I remember one time I got sick 'cause I ate so much, I ate a whole pan. I couldn't even walk, 'cause I had a sugar stomach-ache ... we might start selling it.
BDL: You come from a musically-talented family. [His younger brother Scotty appeared on a reality show on ABC called: The One: Making a Music Star, and he is great-nephew of Mahalia Jackson, the "Queen of Soul."] Can you sing?
Granger: Of course. Singing is like what I do in my past-time. Some people don't like to hear [singing], some people like to hear it. It just depends on who you're listening to. (Smiles) You've just got to catch me on a good day. On a bad day I really can't sing, but on a good day, I can sing. Just catch me on a good day.
BDL: Good enough for a record deal?
Granger: Noooo ... (Laughs) If I'm on my own label, yeah. If I start my own label, then yeah I'll sign myself.
BDL: Have you played with anybody who could sing?
Granger: Played with anybody who can sing? Nah.
Granger: I did have a teammate in college, his name was Alfred Neale. He was big into Gospel, could play the piano, could sing really well. He played in the D-League for a couple of years, but yeah, that's the only person I've played with that could sing.
BDL: Speaking of music, I heard that you're really into Rock Band. What's the name of your band?
Granger: Uh, (Laughs) I've got a few, I can't tell you two of them.
BDL: All right, what are the PG rated ones?
Granger: The PG rated ones are ... New Orleans Assassins, something like that just because I'm from New Orleans, and the other two I can't say.
BDL: I read that your nickname is Danny G. Nobody could come up with something more creative than that?
Granger: You know what, I was a junior [Danny's dad is Danny Granger, Sr.]. When I was young, one of the ladies [from our neighborhood] called me Danny G, [like] my daddy. It caught on everywhere. When I'm home, everybody calls me Danny G.
BDL: So there's nothing like The Lone Granger, or something like that. I'm sure you've heard that one.
Granger: I've heard it. I've seen signs in the stands ... The Lone Granger.
BDL: Do you think some of the success you've had this season can be attributed to the well-wishes you've gotten from the people of Indonesia?
Granger: Oh, definitely. That was a great trip. I didn't know it would be that big if an NBA player went over there ... I had a few bodyguards with me at all times, I was on billboards it was crazy.
BDL: You had your own newspaper edition.
Granger: (Smiles) I had my own newspaper [edition] for like three days. It was pretty big.
BDL: Switching gears, you were a civil engineering major in college [he plans to finish up his degree in the near future], is there anything you picked up from the experience, that has helped you in the League?
Granger: How to manage my money. You do a lot of math when you take engineering courses. I've always been good with math ... it's such a technical field, physics, and geology of it, and mathematics.
BDL: I read that you actually hooked up the music system in your house.
Granger: I did a lot more than that.
BDL: Is there any other NBA player who could do that?
Granger: What I did, I don't think so. My dad was an electrician, he worked good with circuits, circuit boards and stuff like that ... so I picked up on all that. I ran the wires through my house, had the circuits going, had to fix the circuit breaker when it broke. I did what would have probably cost me $30,000 dollars to get done.
BDL: So you know you're in a minority when it comes to knowing about the technical side of stuff, compared to the rest of the guys in the NBA.
Granger: I definitely know that for a fact.
BDL: Coming full circle, if you had any superpowers, what would they be?
BDL: You're in the NBA, some people might say you're close to flying already.
Granger: HAHAHA! I would [still] have to say fly, or speed, one of the two, along with [being] indestructible, and x-ray vision.
BDL: Is there a name to this superhero you're trying to create here?
Granger: Yeah, GRANGERMAN. I'd be GRANGERMAN. I have dreams about [being a superhero]. I have dreams [where] I'll be flying sometimes, it's kind of weird.
BDL: OK, so let's wrap this up. What's GRANGERMAN driving into his cave when his work that night is done?
Granger: Black Lamborghini, all black, kind of like the BatMobile.
BDL: The GrangerMobile.
Granger: The GrangerMobile.