You can call him Chris Douglas-Roberts. You can call him Wave God. You can call him Preme. CDR remains one of the more unique personalities the game has seen. He’s far from the kid who grew up in Detroit, although Detroit is not too far from him. He expresses his love for his hometown in body ink, and he still spends time there as seen in some of his Don’t Cheat the Grind (DCTG™) series on YouTube.
CDR’s journey through the NBA was nothing short of a roller coaster for the 29-year old guard. After being drafted 40th overall out of the University of Memphis by the then New Jersey Nets in the 2008 draft, he spent time in Milwaukee, Dallas, Charlotte, Los Angeles (Clippers), and even did a stint in Italy. Through the years, Douglas-Roberts gained a ton of wisdom on the trials and tribulations on the business of basketball; he has not stopped studying the game. As of six months ago, he was not involved in anything basketball-related, but he did play the last ten games with the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks D-League affiliate. Currently, CDR is back at the Wave God Compound in Arizona, so he had some time to chat with me about the end of the Mamba era, athletes and social media, and more.
The Sports Fan Journal: What is your current relationship with basketball?
Chris Douglas-Roberts: I have an up and down relationship with basketball. It’s been that way my whole life. It’s also very extreme. Things are really good or really bad. Everything is very extreme in my life, so it makes sense. But as of today, I’m back deeply in love with the game. Sometimes the business causes me to fall out of love with the game, but it never lasts. Maybe I’m just frontin’ the whole time, and I’m just pretending to not be in love with the game at those times. Maybe that’s it. I really love this shit more than you’ll ever know.
TSFJ: You’ve spoken before about Kobe Bryant being a mentor of yours. What do you think the game will be missing once he’s not playing anymore?
CDR: This me and Bean thing has taken wings of its own in a way. In 2012, he came out one day in the media and complimented my game and my competitive spirit. It went viral before things were going viral. This was after a day we played one-on-one all day. One day he gave me some advice that I needed: he told me never to stop under any circumstances. It’s really the same stuff [DJ] Khaled is on now. They want you to give up. They want you to quit. Basically that. He told me how at one time a certain coach was playing Rumeal Robinson over him at one point. He told me that I was special, and the cold ones always rise to the top, in so many words. And coming from him that was all I needed. Those words stuck to me even ’til this day. That’s all the mentorship I needed. We had other conversations, but that’s just for us. I never need to say another word to Bean. That was more than enough. I’m grateful for that. I just wanted to clear that up. All the legends love Preme though.
But honestly I’m still in denial of Bean retiring. I don’t want to believe it. I’ve been avoiding it since he announced it earlier this season. He’s our era’s Jordan – no comparison. Mike had his era. Bean had his. Any era coming to an end is just sad as fuck man. I’m going to miss him. He’s a God; his name will never die. His wave will live on forever. I’m going to still wear his shoes.
TSFJ: Have you had a chance to speak to him since his “farewell tour” began, and if so, what did you tell him?
CDR: No I haven’t spoken to Bean. I hate seeing this. I never want him to stop playing.
TSFJ: I saw you post a video vehemently denying having a Snapchat. As big as social media is these days, what are your thoughts on athletes and social media blunders?
CDR: Hahaha yea I’m not effin with Snapchat at all. No disrespect to Snapchat but I can’t have too many social media [applications]. I have a Twitter and an Instagram, and that’s more than enough for me. The more different social media (platforms) that come out, the more time I try to spend away from my phones. Humans are kinda weird as hell – they don’t even live no more. They just record and take pictures that they never look at. It’s scary to me because I’m really knowing what’s going on. It’s the real life zombie land or whatever that show is called. It’s scary. Girls be in the club just recording themselves making silly faces but aren’t really present in the club. It’s like people do things just for social media, not to really do it. They have social media on their minds before they do it – Zombie-land.
I love social media for athletes though. It gives you a platform to interact with the people. I also like the fact that athletes can show their personalities more these days. We aren’t robots. Athletes are no different from anybody else as far as making mistakes. Some blunders are just mistakes. Some aren’t. It all depends on the situation.
TSFJ: Would you have distanced yourself as a teammate from D’Angelo Russell the way some Lakers did after the videotape drama occurred?
CDR: I don’t really know the facts on his teammates distancing themselves from him so I can’t speak on that at all. It’s all gossip to me. None of the players have said they’ve distanced themselves from him. I could be wrong, but I don’t think he’s said it either. I could be wrong though because I really don’t pay much attention to it. But anytime I read “sources said” it’s like gossip to me. If you say something but don’t want anybody to know it’s you, you’re on some sneaky stuff. It’s weak and its gossip to me. So I don’t pay it any mind. That’s their business, anyway.
He and Swag have to handle that however they handle that. It’s unfortunate for Swag, but it is what it is. What I will say is, I feel this social media era is desensitizing us and taking away our filters. We see people getting punched and knocked out almost every day with people cheering on and laughing, all while recording the whole thing. Seeing someone get knocked out was a big deal not too long ago. Like, ‘Damn, he got knocked out? Wow.’ That’s the norm now. It’s like, anything goes is the new norm. You record shit and post it no matter what. I saw a guy on Instagram get shot and upload a video saying how he got shot, but he’s hard to kill. Like my guy, hurry up and get some help, you could die.
TSFJ: I saw you call Jamal Crawford “Wave God Sr.” in a prior interview, and I have to know, how did he earn this nickname?
CDR: Jamal Crawford is Wave God Sr. period. That’s my OG, and I told him he’s WGSr. He’s been doing everything I’ve been doing since the 90s. He’s been being under-appreciated, but all of his peers respect him. He’s been setting trends. He’s been making situations that aren’t ideal work. He’s been the wavy hooper that doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. He’s been influencing pop culture. Remember he had the headband with the line down the middle? He’s been aging backward and always keeping his cool. We both will never get a bump on our faces. We’ll always have our line-ups.
TSFJ: What does DCTG™ embody?
CDR: It means to never fold under any circumstances. It means be crazy and foolish and ignorant, but enlightened. Our greatest weakness lies in us giving up due to circumstances or whatever. I simplify my life. Nothing is complicated. DCTG™ is no excuses.
Don’t Cheat The Grind™ is life. I can go all day with this. It’s also how the universe works. The universe works off of energy and karma. The energy you put into something is the karma you receive. You do a half-ass job you’ll get half-ass results. You take your time, focus, and do a great job then you’re going to get great results. The grind is your energy, and the results is your karma. It’s not that hard. But this is where DCTG™ comes in. I know people quit. I know people give up on their dreams because of embarrassment or self-doubt, the opinion of others, and other weak shit that don’t matter. DCTG™ is encouraging you to bet on yourself and your talents to go live the life you’re here to live. You don’t have anything to lose. You’re here to be special.
TSFJ: As someone who speaks positivism, what advice would you give to any readers who may be experiencing roadblocks and need positive words from The Supreme?
CDR: I’d ask them what did they expect? A life full of happiness only? When you think about it, that’s not living. You need roadblocks and hardships to grow and appreciate things. You wouldn’t know joy if it weren’t for pain. Humans don’t understand self. They look outside of themselves for answers all day, every day and wonder why they’re still confused. If you have knowledge of self, you know life is meant to make you feel. You’re supposed to feel all feelings – not just joy. That’s living life: the ups and the downs. Your story would be boring as hell if it were happily ever after from beginning to end. I wouldn’t read it. If more of us had this knowledge of self, we wouldn’t be so consumed with a moment in time where things are hard. We’d know that for one, it’s temporary because the only certainty in life is change. And two, there’s a lesson in every hardship if you’re willing to learn. And the lesson ultimately helps you grow. But if you resist the lesson by complaining or quitting, the hardship will reoccur until you learn the lesson. All of this comes from knowledge of self. This game I’m giving in this interview is why I’m Supreme.
i write about sports and stuff. Sports radio co-host. Work in pro sports. My opinions are not an endorsement of my employer. Don’t fine Marshawn Lynch.