I'm pleased to present an interview with Bo Koster, keyboardist for one of the most popular rock bands going right now, My Morning Jacket
, and fantasy NBA rookie in one of my favorite leagues – The Rock and Roll Fantasy Hoops League I started this year. Bo is one of my favorite people and the guy knows his basketball. In addition, there are actually some non-hoops related questions interspersed throughout this interview, so stick around if you could care less about basketball. And if you're somehow not familiar with the work of MMJ, check out this performance on David Letterman with the Boston Pops Orchestra - Gideon
- and one of the few times you'll catch Bo without a hat on.
In case you missed the earlier interviews in this space, click on the links to check out hoops-related chats with Stephen Malkmus, Built To Spill's Doug Martsch and the members of Quasi.
The Bo Koster of My Morning Jacket Interview
Where are you from and what were your teams growing up?
I'm from Cleveland Ohio, and I grew up a die-hard Cavs, Tribe, and Browns fan. I rooted for Ohio State a bit, mostly basketball though. I still follow all of them, but I'm only really invested in basketball at this point. I barely watch any football and baseball anymore, but I still read the Cleveland Plain Dealer sports page a lot. I definitely relate to the underdog. I'm not capable of rooting for a frontrunner, because of my Cleveland upbringing.
What got you interested in fantasy sports and joining our fantasy hoops league? Any interest in any other sports or are you an NBA guy?
I've been following the NBA pretty heavily for a long time now. I just love the game of basketball. I love the style and creative aspect to the game, the flow, the rhythm, the speed. Basketball has so much flavor, especially with the rise of international players now. I have a friend who has the NBA package and we watch a lot of games together, but I haven't had television in my home since 9/11, so that cuts into watching other sports. March Madness is my favorite sporting event, and then the World Cup is right behind that. I wish the WC were played every year.
How did you find out about the "Rock and Roll Hoops League" I was forming?
Well, I met you and you convinced me! Now we're old pals. Aren't we? I mean...it's cool. Call me bro. If you want to...I mean...whatever it's cool. Do you text?
Yes, I will text or call you tomorrow, no worries. I will try to find a way to make time for MMJ. Thanks for humoring me. So how would you sum up your rookie season thus far? Good picks, bad picks, things you've learned?
Typical rookie season. I showed some promise, but made way too many dumb mistakes. I drafted Greg Oden fairly early, and dropped him in January. I knew it was a gamble, but for some reason I thought he was going to have a solid year on that team (Portland). He has all the tools, but he also looks like he might be injury prone. Although, it seems like the whole NBA is at this point...I also drafted Gilbert Arenas, going against my pledge to not draft any injured players or players coming off an injury. I've learned a ton this year so far. I didn't know what the statistical categories were when I drafted my team! Also, watching the good teams in my league and how they run their teams has been a good learning experience. I did pick up Boris Diaw, which was a great waiver-wire snag. That's about all I've done well, is play the waiver wire. I think six out of my 12 guys right now are waiver wire pick-ups.
Did you draft with your head or your heart this year? In other words, did you crunch numbers or just go with guys you like?
Well, my whole plan was to draft young guys in their prime. So, my first four or five picks were Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, Andre Iguodala, Josh Howard and Richard Jefferson. I still like that approach. Unfortunately, Deron and Howard were hurt most of the first half, and Iggy started off slow...I overestimated guys who score a lot of points. I assume a lot of first timers do that. I tried not to, but I did anyway.
What have you learned for next year?
I think I've learned that I need to be more proactive with trades and so forth, and to act faster. My draft will be way better next year, and more balanced. I've also learned to not draft injured players. I'm going to consult a shaman or a tribal chief, and have them do some rituals next year to ensure my team is healthy. Seriously.
Any players you will never draft again? Any discoveries you made as a "must-have" player for next year?
I don't think I'll mess with guys who are halfway decent to mediocre in a couple categories like Jefferson. It's like he's decent in a few categories, so he's a must start, but most of the time, his equivalent is getting the better of him in rebounds and FG%. I want to look for guys who consistently produce in four or more categories. I won't over-estimate one player's ability to do one thing well. I've been really happy with Boris Diaw and Brandon Roy. I think Iguodala is going to become like a Danny Granger next year. The Sixers are his team now but I was a year too early with him. Rajon Rondo is going to be a stud. I traded for him a little too late this year. I always thought that Kevin Durant was going to be a lot like Donyell Marshall. I thought he would have a couple good scoring years, and then never reach the heights everyone thought he would. I'm pretty convinced I was wrong on that one.