Iconversation is the name of the interview segment on “A Little R&R on Sports,” our weekend nationally syndicated sports entertainment show. Of course, we thought it was a clever and unique word blend name that would get listeners’ attention and set us apart. We suppose it has done that, but the best thing it did was to inspire much more substance in the segment than we ever imagined.
Initially and probably like most of you, within our own perceptions, we fell right into the Sports Center definition of icons, which essentially is exclusive to sports legends and tremendously high profile sports personalities. So, in our first few months we’ve had Iconversations with: NY Knicks great Alan Houston, Sports super agent David Falk, WNBA star Tamika Catchings, Detroit Tigers Pres./GM Dave Dombrowski, NBA Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond, former NBA player and coach Lionel Hollins and perhaps you’ve heard of Julius “Dr. J.” Erving.
The great guest lineup continues with this week’s (June 7th) Iconversation, featuring Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and legacy Ken Griffey Jr.
That’s not too shabby for any sports show, but particularly one that’s less than six months old. No one will argue with their iconic status in the celebrity sense and their accomplishments in their respective sports are very well documented, but that’s really not the true meaning of the word.
An Icon is defined as a picture, an image, a symbol or a representation. Somehow our interviews have fostered a level of comfort and trust high enough for these legends of the game to talk about their preferences for being “Icons of Humanity” rather than simply “Icons of Celebrity.” For them, it’s not at all about stats, awards, accolades or money…been there, done that and got the shoe contract.
For Alan Houston, he’s proud to be an iconic husband, father and son. Tamika Catchings is proud to be an iconic example, particularly to hearing impaired people, of the heights that can be achieved despite a hearing disability. David Falk is an iconic friend with long, close and strong relationships with some of the greatest athletes and coaches of all time. Lionel Hollins is an icon of balance. He’s a complete person, able to put everything in proper perspective. Julius Erving is an icon of style and class. As a grandfather of five and a living legend, Doc is the picture of contentment at this age and stage of life.
The Iconversation segment in our pilot show featured a lady named Judith Black Moore and her 6’9”, 257 lb. son, Tarik Black, a former University of Memphis standout, who at that time was getting ready to play his final year of collegiate basketball at Kansas. Iconic, you may ask? Definitely. Judith and Tarik are icons (picture and representation) of a mother and son totally engaged in navigating the crazy, cutthroat, competitive world of big time college recruiting.
But there’s a positive twist to this story because thanks to Judith’s savvy and Tarik’s smarts…four years of college yielded: four years total playing experience with two Top 25 programs; four NCAA tournament appearances, two degrees (bachelors & masters) and most importantly, options just in case the dream of a career in the NBA ends up no more than that, a dream. We believe R&R listeners want to hear iconic interviews like that too.
So remember, we’re all iconic in some way, shape or form. We all have an image. We all present a picture and are a representation of something to someone in whatever we do. And as for us at “A Little R&R on Sports,” we’re going to keep introducing you to “Icons of Humanity and Celebrity.”
(“A Little R&R on Sports” is a nationally syndicated radio show heard on hundreds of radio affiliates and digital platforms. In Memphis, listen every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on 790 AM ESPN Radio.)