From L.A. to Indy: A Conversation with Ebony Hoffman, Part II
FW: How has life been in Indianapolis, compared to L.A.?
EH: “I’m a lot different from most people in L.A., because I never really grew up a city girl to begin with. I was always a homebody in Los Angeles. In my opinion, L.A. is not for young people – if you’re under 21, it’s not the greatest place to be because you’re limited in what you can do.
“L.A.’s real fast, there is always stuff going on, but I love Indianapolis. I’m actually thinking of making a transition to move here. The city is nice, the people are great. The highway is not hard to follow – 465 is a big circle and no traffic jams! Boy, that’s the biggest thing! I can leave the house 20 minutes before an appointment and don’t have to worry about being late – instead of having to leave an hour-and-a-half before the appointment actually starts.
“It’s a lot different from my home, but the only hard part for me is not having my family around. I grew up in L.A., I went to college in L.A., and now I’m in a completely different part of the country. The weather has been the biggest change for me. I’ve dealt with everything else, but the weather is getting a little cold. My car has to warm up in the morning and I’ve never had to do that before!"
FW: Have you bought yourself a heavy coat?
EH: "Yes! I’ve been to Burlington Coat Factory and I’ve picked up a wool coat. As long as I have cable, PlayStation 2 and a heater, I’ll be o.k. Those are important requirements!"
FW: What are your hot games on PS2?
EH: "Oh! (laughing) Tamika’s going to kill me! Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – that is the ultimate game right now. Red Dead Revolver is great! Madden 2005 and NBA Live, those are both great games."
FW: So … why is Tamika not going to like your last answer?
EH: "(laughing again) She loves Tiger Woods’ game. She beats me at it because she plays it all the time. I play four or five different games all the way through, but she plays one – all day long. She annihilates me at Tiger Woods because she has this creative player customized to Tamika Catchings. It’s incredible. I still have to learn Tiger Woods, but I’m going to catch her sooner or later."
FW: When you play NBA Live, who wins?
EH: "I win! Oh, I win, [Tamika] doesn’t know how to play. She always wants to play Tiger Woods. She knows how to play Madden a little bit, but her favorite is Tiger Woods."
FW: Who are the top three players in the NBA, and why?
EH: "LeBron James has surprised a lot of doubters, especially this year. The guy is a beast, he is incredible. Last year, I thought Carmelo Anthony was better than him because he had played a year in college. He had an extra year to grow. But this year, I think LeBron is the best wing player in the NBA. His shooting has improved dramatically. He’s blowing people away, and he seems to be physically jumping higher than he did before! He’s amazing. I think the other player is Kevin Garnett. Those two right now are 1 and 1 ½ on the scale. Garnett – his numbers are impeccable – 25 points, 21 rebounds and eight assists last night. How could you not want THAT GUY on your team right now? If we’re on a playground right now and we’re picking teams, I want Garnett. Even ahead of LeBron. The third guy … hmmm.
"I’ll would take the younger Shaq. He’s still a force, but he’s not in my top three right now. I’m not a real Kobe fan, he doesn’t help his teammates get better. The Cavs, for instance, and Denver, they’re both rejuvenated. Look at what LeBron and Carmelo have done. But Kobe hasn’t done that. L.A. is down again. I was a Steve Francis fan until this year. And my fiancé is a big Steve Francis fan. I’m a T-Mac [Tracy McGrady] fanatic, but he gets hurt too much. He doesn’t take care of his body enough – that’s not enough of a complete player if you’re hurt and not helping your team. I guess you’d have to go with Kobe, I hate to say it. Can you rephrase the question to include just the top two?"
FW: Who is the most underrated player in the NBA?
EH: "Good question. I’ve got to go with Michael Redd who plays with the Bucks. He’s really a great, great player that nobody seems to know about just because he plays in Milwaukee."
FW: What is a typical offseason day in the life of Ebony Hoffman right now?
EH: "Well, I live in Indy now full-time and I’m here to train and work with the franchise until the start of the season. Usually, I’ll get up and have breakfast around 7:45. I have a daily workout scheduled at St.Vincent Sports Performance Center at 10:00 where I do weights, plymetrics, some cardio, yoga, pilates, pretty much everything they tell me to do! Darrell Barnes usually schedules my workouts. He has me working to get better physically – in everything I do. I am usually there with him from about 10 until noon. Depending on the day, I usually shoot with Julie Plank or Chuck Person, for about an hour from 1:30 to 2:30. And then I usually meet up with Tamika in the afternoons or evening.
"Pretty much everyday, I’ll meet with Tamika and we’ll go to dinner, or a movie. One day we played “Clue” for about two hours! We were looking for something to do that day, so we went into Toys ‘R Us, just to find a game. It’s a fun game, and just about anybody can play it. I won, so I’m the champion!"
FW: You mentioned your fiancé. What would you like to fell Fever fans about him?
EH: "His name is Ronald Cass. We’ve been engaged for a couple of years, since I was at USC, but we have no specific plans to get married yet. I want to graduate first."