Former Wildcat great has fond memories

Turn on an NBA basketball game and odds are you'll see a member of 1988 Arizona Final Four team. Sean Elliott, Tom Tolbert and Steve Kerr are all analysts on NBA broadcasts. We recently spoke with Elliott and discussed life after the NBA.

Jim Donovan: How often do you, Steve (Kerr) and Tom (Tolbert) get together?

Sean Elliott: "As often as we can. All three of us have been pretty busy all over the place. Steve has been all over the country doing his TNT gig and also trying to work that Phoenix Suns' deal out. Tom of course is doing ABC studio and calling games occasionally, so we're all over the place."

Donovan: Will you have any involvement with the new Suns ownership group?

Elliott: "I haven't really decided yet. It certainly is an attractive offer but I think the real reason I'd be getting into it is for my ego. It's a lot of money to put into a situation, and there is a little bit of risk, but it seems to me that the people in charge know what they are doing. Obviously they are moving in the right direction by picking up Steve and having him be the right hand man. There is no one else out there who knows the league and who is really set up to take a management position more than Steve Kerr."

Donovan: Is the front office something want to get into?

Elliott: "I'm not sure. That's a thing I've been wracking my brain about. What do I want to do down the line? What do I want to do when I grow up? It certainly sounds intriguing, but right now I enjoy what I am doing. I am really enjoying calling games and doing studio work for ESPN. I don't enjoy the travel, but the rest of it I have a really good time."

Donovan: Do you still get the itch to play during the playoffs?

Elliott: "Yeah, I'd say so. There are lots of times during these playoffs when the national anthem in playing and the fans are getting pumped up and it gets your adrenaline pumping. It becomes a little infectious and you want to get out there and run around the court. Then you have to go back to reality and realize that these guys have to play 82 games to get there. Then there are the numerous practices, the flights after games, it's a tough grind."

Donovan: Is there one moment in your college career that really stands out?

Elliott: "There are several, but I'd have to say the biggest was when we beat Carolina to go to the Final Four. I'll never forget how excited I was and the feeling, how we were going crazy in the locker room after the game. Just the sense of accomplishment as a team. Everybody coming together and coming from nowhere really, to being ranked No. 1 the majority of the year and playing great basketball. That whole year really sticks out in my memory."

Donovan: It had to mean a lot more to you being from Tucson.

Elliott: "Absolutely, there is no question about it. I remember going to a game a year before Coach Olson got there. I started off in the upper deck and ended up three rows from the court because there was no one at the game. To go from there to a Final Four, that was a major accomplishment. That year we had the best team, we didn't end up winning it all, but we had the best team in the country."

Donovan: What's the best moment of your pro career?

Elliott: "Winning the NBA championship was the biggest thing. Every bad thing or negative thing said about you, all the disappointments in your career go right down the drain when that final buzzer went off and we were the NBA champs. I'd have to say that for sure."

Donovan: Do you wear your championship ring?

Elliott: "My ring is way to big, it's gaudy. I mean it is downright gaudy. If I were to wear it in public people would think I was crazy."

Donovan: Are there any players in the NBA or college that remind you of your style?

Elliott: "Because I was 6-8 and playing the point, the two and the three, there are not a lot of guys who do that. There are a few, but I think they are more scorers. You'd have to give me a couple of days to think about that one."

Jim Donovan is the host of ‘The Big Show' on Fox Sports 1290. You can catch the show weekdays from 12-3 p.m.


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