Bonner on Bonner: The Matt Bonner Mailbag

By @AaronHadleyDana

Bonner on Bonner by @AaronHadleyDana

You loyal readers took the time to send in your questions last week to your favorite San Antonio Spurs, Matt Bonner, and he responded. Did your question not get answered?  Matt will be doing another mailbag in March so use February to prep and come back with an even better question.

Bonner is hoping to compete in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout during All Star weekend so support the #LetBonnerShoot cause and let’s get Coach B in there! 

From Jared James: I would like to hear any stories about hazing during your rookie year.

Since I was in my mid 20s during my rookie year, I didn’t really have to do anything that bad.  However this story comes to mind:

One time, on the way home from a road practice in Los Angeles, the bus stopped at an In-N-Out Burger.  The team made Rafael Arraujo and I go inside to get burgers and fries for everyone while wearing our sweaty practice gear.  They also made us wear those funny looking paper hats for added insult.  Needless to say, people were staring with bewilderment as we walked out with 22 cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes.  Thankfully, at that point in time, few people had access to cell phones with cameras.  So, this incident went undocumented… until now.

Jude Morte asks: What is it like playing under Gregg Popovich?

Playing for Coach Pop is wicked awesome.  I have tremendous respect for him as a coach and person.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have been traded to the Spurs 7 years ago.

Jude Morte asks: What was the best sandwich you’ve ever made?

I don’t make sandwiches.  Remember, I’m The Sandwich HUNTER, not the sandwich maker.  Making a sandwich for myself would be like Ted Nugent giving up his guns and taking up laser tag.

Jude Morte asks: What’s on your bucket list? 

Here’s a few Bucket List items I’ve accomplished:

  1. Crowd Surf
  2. Own an El Camino
  3. Memorize the unabridged version of “Rapper’s Delight”
  4. Observe Brent Barry at a Rick Ross Concert

Bucket List Items I’ve yet to do:

  1. Hike the entire Appalachian Trail
  2. Attend the Tim Hortons Brier
  3. See a Bruce Springsteen Concert
  4. Witness an actual extraterrestrial being and/or UFO

Jude Morte asks: What is a common stereotype of people from New Hampshire that you would like to dispel? 

New Hampshire is one of the most unmaterialistic places in the country.  You rarely see people with flashy jewelry, fancy cars or Louis Vuitton purses.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t have swag.  You see all these NBA players showing off their closets full of crisp tees and fresh sneakers.  They have Air Force Ones, Jordans, etc.  Well I have a closet full of animal print tees from The Mountain (a NH company) and flannel… L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, etc.

Jude Morte asks: Where are the good places to go in New Hampshire that are rarely included in travel itineraries? 

NH is home to the greatest place on earth, literally.  In the heart of the Lakes Region just off the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, you’ll find a place called, “Funspot”.  It’s the world’s largest arcade and home of the Classic Arcade Games Museum and Hall of Fame.  It also hosts the annual Classic Arcade Games World Championships and boasts the largest collection of classic arcade games.  Add bowling (both candlestick and 10-pin!), mini-golf, go karts, a sports bar, and a ropes course and you can see why the Bonners make weekly visits when back home in the summer.  Also, they carry the world famous “chipwiches” from local Jordan’s Ice Creamery. No written description could possibly do it justice (Ed. note: I ate one of these chipwiches and they are indeed fantastic).  Funspot must be experienced.  As a matter of fact, you should add it to your own bucket list.

(Ed. note tip of the cap to Jude Morte who sent in 38 questions.)

Alex Dewey asks: Do you feel obligated to make a shot after someone gives you a really special pass, like behind-the-back? From a spectator’s standpoint, it always feels like a supreme let down when players don’t make a shot on great passes. Do you feel the same way?

Absolutely.  For me, there are basically 2 ways I can make the SC Top 10.  The first is getting dunked on (ie Blake Griffin).  And the second, is if Manu hits me with some ridiculous cross-court-bullet-no-look-behind-the-back-pass and I somehow catch it and make the ensuing wide-open shot.

Ayatollah Tagomata asks: Who would win in a staring contest: Tim Duncan or Kawhi Leonard?

Kawhi would win because he is 14 years younger and would most likely out live Tim.

Maddison Bond asks:  While the league has ramped up support for the Developmental league, offering all games for free on YouTube, many players still choose to play abroad in the various leagues overseas. Having played across the water, how do you think the NBA should help make the Developmental league gather more homegrown talents and more appealing as a serious league?

First off, I think the D-League is a serious league.  It has improved immensely over the years and every roster has multiple players with NBA experience.  That being said, many players do indeed opt to play overseas.  I think the biggest reason is the disparity in earning potential.  The top teams in Europe pay their Americans an annual salary in the upper six-figures.  If I’m not mistaken, D-League players can only make between $13,000 and $30,000 per season.  Of course by staying home and playing in the D-League, they have the chance to get called up to the NBA.

New Hampshire native Ryan Herbert asks:  New Hampshire has the world’s finest Greek-style Pizza Parlors; which in NH is your favorite, and which toppings most adequately please your legendary palate?

When it comes to Greek pizza joints in NH, the options are seemingly endless.  However, since I grew up in the South End of Concord, I have to go with Milano’s.  I almost always get a small cheese pizza and a chicken caesar wrap.  I can state with confidence that Milano’s has the best chicken caesar wrap I’ve ever had.  It’s also worth noting that Milano’s is where I developed my ability to dominate the arcade game “Buster Bros” and memorized the words to numerous jukebox classics such as “Red Red Wine”, “96 Tears”, and “Radar Love”.

Luke Bonner asks: Can you recite the quadratic formula off the top of your head? If yes, prove it.

Here’s what I remember (I’m answering this one honestly):

There’s the quadratic formula, quadratic equation and also quadratic functions.  Quadratic functions give you parabolic curves when you graph them and usually give you two solutions (when dealing with real numbers) where they cross the x-axis (one positive and one negative).  You use the equation y=ax2+bx+c

The quadratic formula can be derived from this somehow and it comes out to something like… darn, I can’t find the square root symbol on the keyboard.   I had a program in my TI-82 graphing calculator that did it for me.  It was right next to my “Tetris” program.  Forget it, next question…

Brent “Bones” Barry asks: Hey Matt, You got that $43 you owe me?

I paid you back a few years ago when you wanted to buy Screech’s “lucky beret” at that flea market and they wouldn’t take your credit card… How could you forget?

Top illustration by Aaron Dana.

Ananth Pandian

Ananth Pandian is "A Free Born Man of the USA". Follow him on Twitter: @Ananth_Pandian