My connection with Desmond goes way back to my time with the Seattle Sonics. He was one of the most exciting players on the team and he even won the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 2001. I was a fan, and even purchased his authentic jersey.
Many years later I learned that, in addition to being an amazing athlete, Desmond was also an incredible artist. At that time, I hadn’t heard of many athletes who are equally passionate about creating art so it was so great to learn that I wasn’t alone. Growing up, I’ve always loved playing and competing in sports AND creating art, but I didn’t know anyone who also shared both of these passions so, in many ways, I looked up to Desmond for being one of the first athlete/artists that I personally knew.
I had never collaborated with another artist to create a single piece, but I knew I wanted to create something with Desmond. So, this piece is special to me for many reasons but, above all, this piece represents two athletes – and two artists – coming together to create a piece about their shared passions. To show some love to Seattle, the city that helped shape both of us as athletes and artists. To destroy the stereotype that athletes can’t be artists. And, ultimately, to demonstrate that true magic is created when you pursue your own path that brings you fulfillment on your own terms.
This piece is that magic.