McKinley Freeman of ‘Hit the Floor’ on Love, Sex & Basketball
The only thing better than dating an athlete is dating an actor who plays an athlete. You still get the banging body and hand-eye coordination, but you don’t have to deal with daily practices, strict diets, and constant traveling.
With NBA All Star weekend coming up this weekend amidst Valentine’s Day festivities, you can bet that some dudes are going to be streaming live games on their phone under the table while at dinner.
What’s the biggest difference between playing basketball for the camera and playing basketball in real life?
Shooting basketball stuff versus playing actual basketball. I played in college, so I’m comfortable on the court, and if I miss (which is rare, ask Shaun Livingston, Verdell Jones III, or my other old teammates), I get another take. There are specific places you have to be for lighting purposes, etc. In the league, these cats make it up as it comes, and in those moments, that’s where you see great players (Mike, Shaw, Kobe, Magic, LeBron, Steph) separate themselves from the others.
What’s a girl to do if her man is more interested in watching b-ball on V-Day than he is interested in spending time with her?
I think it depends. If they’re both into hoops, then make dinner together, watch the game, then carry on with the evening. If not, it’s one night a year. Suck it up. So, I guess my answer is, “she shouldn’t have to [deal with it].”
What’s a good way to balance love and sports on V-Day — or any day, for that matter?
Any other time, I think it’s about compromise. If you want to take an interest in [each other’s passions], find out why the hell that team is so important to your loved one. I bet the answers will actually surprise you.
You landed a career at IBM before going into acting. How did you make the decision to follow your dreams?
You’re all in my business… [laughing]. Honestly, I got to a place where I thought the things I wanted most in life were the things that were most important to me and they weren’t. At that time, I’d give it all away, gladly, in exchange for peace of mind. From that point, I began to define, for myself, what that meant for me, and somehow, some lucky way, I wound up where I am today, which, hopefully, won’t be the same place you find me tomorrow.
What’s the best gift a girl could get you for Valentine’s Day?
I’ve been told I’m “such a Gemini,” which makes since because that’s when my birthday is, but along the lines of that idea, it really just depends. Surprise me. And it doesn’t have to cost a thing. The gesture is always more important than the gift to me. The idea that someone took the time out of their life to do something for me, without prompting or leading, just because. Living that kind of life is how Valentine’s Day becomes “Monday.”
Who’s your dream co-star?
The next actor or actress I’m across from. I don’t get hung up on who the dream person would be. I didn’t know what my dream job would be until I got it.
How should a girl go about having the “relationship talk” with her man?
Oh man… See how uncomfortable I am even answering that question? Uh… I don’t know…
What’s something all of your exes have in common?
That they all made me laugh, even when I didn’t want to.
What song should Galore add to our Valentine’s Day playlist?
Add the entire SLP2 soundtrack from my boy Tank!
What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?
When I first got to L.A, I was out on a date, and I was kinda blown away. Everything this woman said I had absolutely no interest in, and I’m the kind of person that can be interested just to get this thing over with, you know what I mean? So, anyway, she’s running her mouth… wait… sidebar… At this point I’m working 70-plus hours a week at IBM and in acting class three to four nights a week until almost 1 a.m. sometimes, just to wake up at 6 a.m. and do it all over again… for years.
Okay, so now, realizing that at this point when I blink, I’m literally trying to catch up on sleep, I think out loud, as she’s still talking, “I feel like I’m getting dumber by the second as you keep talking.” Then there was no noise, because I said it out loud. That’s one I remember.
Describe your type in three words.
Smart, funny, confident.
How should a girl treat Valentine’s Day if she’s newly dating someone?
Whatever is best for y’all. Don’t subscribe to other people’s ideas and tradition. Create and do your own.