Rashad McCants played possessed. In high school, he ripped through the competition, earning state MVP honors in New Hampshire while taking his team to the state championship. College was no different. At Air Jordan’s alma mater, University of North Carolina, McCants scorched opposing defenses with his silky smooth skills, earning All-Conference and second team All-American status as a sophomore while leading his storied conference in scoring; he went on to help the Tar Heels cut down the nets as the 2005 NCAAnational champions.
The 6’4” guard also became one of the most controversial college basketball players in history. The press latched on to McCant’s lone wolf personality and his inflammatory statements about playing at Chapel Hill. The media labeled him “bipolar” and “borderline psychotic.” He memorialized the adversity in ink, tattooing “Born to Be Hated” on one arm and “Dying to Be Loved” on the other.
When McCants declared for the 2005 NBAdraft, he might as well have declared himself eligible for purgatory. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected McCants with the fourteenth pick in the NBAdraft, and the rookie guard hit a three-year run of road bumps and bad luck. Multiple injuries kept the eager young player sidelined for much of his first two years. Doctors declared him healthy just as Timberwolves management traded star player Kevin Garnett, turning the team into a total rebuilding project. None of it keeps McCants up at night. He’s more concerned about taking this chance to prove himself to the NBAand the rest of the world.
INKED: Tell us about your first tattoo experience.
MCCANTS: My first tattoo was “Born to Be Hated, Dying to Be Loved.” I got it when I was 21 and in college. I was going through a lot of controversy. People said I had a bad reputation and a bad attitude. I just wanted something that kind of said where I was at.
During college, members of the media referred to you as “borderline psychotic” and “bipolar.” What is it about your personality that brought these comments?
There’s nothing about my personality. The people who don’t know me assume things about me. I’m a private person and a lot of times people take that the wrong way. When I step on the court, I’m there to get the job done and win. Some people are all smiles, but I take my job seriously as a professional, and some people don’t understand that.
You once said of playing for the Tar Heels: “You’re not allowed to say certain things, but once you get out of jail, you’re free. [I’m] in my sentence, and I’m doing my time.” You later clarified the statement, saying your comments were directed at how much your days were planned out by others. Has being an NBA player been a more- or less-regimented lifestyle than it was in college?
It’s a big difference. You show up and do your job every day in practice and then you have a ton of free time to do whatever you want. You have no free time in college because when you’re not at practice you are either in class or study hall, and you go to sleep when you get home. Now I practice from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then I have the whole day to myself.
Rashad McCants Shows Off His Tattoos : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR-pN9ZKAn0