Steve Alexander

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Rotoworld's Guster Interview

Saturday, February 27, 2010


About a year ago we ran several interviews with rock stars about their love of fantasy hoops. In case you missed them, you can click on the following links for any you're interested in.

Stephen Malkmus – Pavement/Jicks
Bo Koster – My Morning Jacket
Doug Martsch – Built To Spill
Sam Coomes, Janet Weiss, Joanna Bolme – Quasi/Sleater-Kinney/Jicks

I recently hooked up with Brian Rosenworcel, the drummer for Guster, in Nashville for some beers and a tour of the studio where the band is finishing up their latest record. Guster's 1999 release, Lost and Gone Forever, was considered by many to be a perfect pop record and earned the band a huge college following, as well as mainstream acceptance. The only drums used on the record were hand drums and their live shows became a pretty big deal in the early 2000s, and remain so today. Guster is still big with the college kids, and while you may not have heard much from them lately, there's a new album on the horizon, as well as various releases in over the past 10 years, including the 2006 classic, Ganging Up On The Sun.

They even had the World Wide Leader hook up the opening video for a couple shows they played in Boston in April of 2007. It's well done and pretty funny, and Red Sox fans may be particularly amused, so check it out.

Brian originally got in contact with me because he loved an obscure R.E.M. reference I made in a Daily Dose, which then led to a conversation about Andray Blatche, and eventually Guster. He's a fantasy hoops fanatic and knows his stuff, much like the other people I've done these interviews with. So without further ado…

Here are 20 questions with Guster's Brian Rosenworcel

1. How long have you played fantasy hoops and how many leagues are you in? Do you also play baseball and football?

Brian Rosenworcel: This is my 5th year of fantasy hoops, and I've always been in just one daily Yahoo league with my ultimate Frisbee buddies from college. I've been tempted to try fantasy baseball, but it seems wiser to stay in my marriage.

2. What is your team name and why?

BR: Right now we're called "House of Blatche" in honor of my new favorite Wizard. My first team was called "Isiah's Disciples" and I managed them pretty recklessly. I owned Eddy Curry that entire year.

3. How do you keep up with your leagues/setting lineups when you're on tour? Has touring ever cost you a championship?

BR: Being on tour is pretty cushy, Steve. You play a couple hours a night and have the rest of the day to yourself. Add in free wi-fi on the bus and you've got a fantasy-friendly lifestyle. During the NBA season I sometimes walk off stage and onto the bus where I study box scores with my fingers soaking in a bucket of ice. I know that's not very rock 'n roll, but then again, neither is Guster.

4. How does your family feel about your fantasy sports addiction? I've been married for 19 years - Once we got the first five fantasy-sports filled years out of the way it was all gravy.

BR: Well then, I've got a year to get through before sweet, sweet acceptance kicks in. I'm chipping away.

5. Who are some of your all-time favorite players and why?

BR: I've owned Chris Bosh for two years now, and he's my favorite kind of player -- maybe not as exciting as Gerald Wallace or Josh Smith, but incredibly consistent. You need to be able to count on your studs come playoff time.

Troy Murphy carried me last year. I like big guys that hit threes and get steals or assists like Troy. Or guards that can block shots like Tyreke Evans. Deron Williams, David Lee, and Paul Millsap get my rocks off too. I have a soft spot for anyone that came to me off waivers.

6. Do you draft with your head or your heart? Is it better to have a bad team full of guys you like to root for, or would you rather own players you don't care about and win at all costs?

BR: Ultimately I can't live with a player that I think is 'douchey.' Like Jason Terry. That guy is not welcome on my team, ever. I can't explain it, but I just don't want to have to root for him. But you've got to strike a sensible balance on draft day. My first year I held onto Mike Sweetney way too long just because he was my favorite Knick. I don't do that anymore. Fantasy hoops has made me less of a Knicks fan and more of a I-hope-my-guy-gets-the-rebound-off-the-missed-free-throw fan.

7. What player did you draft that you're most disappointed with? Will you ever draft him again?

BR: I drank the Anthony Randolph Kool Aid this year and it stung me. Not to mention Gilbert Arenas in the 4th round, which was a stroke of brilliance, until it wasn't. I'd draft Ant-Rand again if Nellie was out of the picture.

8. Will Tyrus Thomas or Yi Jianlian ever become reliable fantasy studs?

BR: I'm going to say YES to Tyrus and NO to Yi. Yi seems like the kind of guy whose going to be mildly fantasy relevant but drag his actual team down with crappy FG% and selfish play until he's ultimately benched. Thomas will thrive in Charlotte now that he's a member of House of Blatche.

9. How did you discover Rotoworld, and would you classify yourself as a junkie?

BR: I found Rotoworld when my friend Noah emailed me the Malkmus interview. Hard to believe other musicians take this stuff as seriously as I do. At the time I'd been a seasonal subscriber to another fantasy hoops service that required you to pay, but I'd just written them an angry email because their writers had gotten a little too creative and started regularly using the word "tilt" instead of "game" in their updates. It's a basketball game, not a f****** 'tilt.'

Then I discovered Rotoworld, in all its Technicolor glory, and never looked back. If clicking on Rotoworld 20 times a day makes me a junkie, then so be it. I've seen the needle. The damage is done.

10. Do your band mates ever get sick of hearing you obsess about the NBA? I know when we were enjoying beers in Nashville (watching LeBron vs. Melo) you were quick to apologize to my wife every time the NBA came up. But really, I'm not sure she'd rather hear us talk about Russell Westbrook instead of swapping stories about Bob Dylan, Pavement and Band of Horses.

BR: I think they're fascinated with the idea that something as dumb-sounding as fantasy basketball could be so captivating to me. But we don't really talk about it. I just asked Adam, our guitar player, to name two current players in the NBA. He thought for a while and said "Mike Gminski? Is the G-Man still playing? Manute Bol? Who's the guy with the corn rows?" Point, illustrated.

Keep reading for questions 11-20.

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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