By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
Two-time NAIA All-American Kevin Loder stopped by to talk about playing multiple sports while growing up, the cultural significance of Alabama State’s success during his time there and remember his days with the early 1980s Kansas City Kings.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
01:15 – Playing multiple sports while growing up and that not being overly unusual, being the only NBA or ABA player from Cassopolis, Michigan, fundamentals in other sports helping him in basketball, receiving better university offers in football;
05:55 – The benefits of being versatile and playing more than on sport, cases like Charlie Ward;
06:55 – Billy Ray Bates as a teammate of his at Kentucky State, Bates’s levels of intensity and greatness being a model for him, his scoring explosion in the NBA playoffs;
10:05 – Having the right people around him to became an All-American twice while averaging close to 23 points and 8 rebounds per game his last two years in college, Alabama State’s 1979-80 season, the team’s 32-2 record, and the school as a rich culture university, the team bringing resolve to cultural issues through sports;
16:45 – Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons of the Kansas City Kings pursuing him after the 1980 NAIA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, choosing education over the NBA, being drafted 17th in 1981, the first NAIA player to get selected so high;
21:40 – Him leading the Kings with 25 points in a 146-102 beatdown of the Denver Nuggets, matching up against Kiki Vandeweghe and Denver’s high-scoring team, coming in the league with Eddie Johnson as a rookie counterpart to replace Otis Birdsong and Scott Wedman, the Kings having no stars;
26:45 – Having to ask a lot from his body due to his style of play, the difference in players nowadays resting and teams having a mindset of championship or bust;
33:55 – Being a retired player with no city of his own in the NBA, Kansas City waiving him since they wanted to pursue Reggie Theus, losing his confidence for a period of time because of that;
39:40 – Participating in the first ever Push Excel game, having a connection with Magic Johnson, Jesse Jackson addressing all of the players at that game;
42:10 – Not making the home state Detroit Pistons roster for the 1984-85 season and starting his next career thanks to the degree he once wisely chose to pursue, work as the Vice President of the National Basketball Retired Players Association’s Houston Chapter.
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Kevin for coming on the podcast and sharing his thoughts on the topics discussed on the show!