There’s a reason that everyone has grown to love Marshall Henderson, and it has nothing to do with whether or not he’s a good kid or a good student.
It’s all entertainment, pure and simple. He added to that legend on Thursday with yet another too-honest press conference that will likely make his coach, the NCAA and his math teachers cringe.
“I guess. I don’t know. I’m not real good at math,” Henderson said when asked whether or not his on-court antics were calculated. “Other than two, plus three. I know that one well.”
He may not be good at math, but he’s good enough with financials to understand that the NCAA is the one banking off of his notoreity.
“I’m trying to get paid here soon because I’m tired of doing all this stuff for free. And this is where you make your money, the NCAA tournament,” he said.
I like it. In a world where athletes in the public eye are conditioned not to be controversial and to provide stock answers to every question they’re asked, it’s refreshing to see a guy like Henderson, who doesn’t care one iota how the things he says will come across.
In fact, he seems to relish it.
“[AAU basketball] got me into head bobbing and trash-talking kind of stuff,” Henderson said. “And my favorite players in the NBA all do that stuff, like J.R. Smith. People like that. JaVale McGee. I love those kinds of players. They can put a crowd in the arena, sell some tickets.”
“That’s what it’s about.”
When asked if he likes playing the role of the villain, he said “I guess so. I don’t really have a choice, do I?”
But without a doubt, the best quote that Henderson had today was this: “I’ve been a Duke fan since my dad ever told me anything about basketball. It was all about Duke, Duke, Duke. I love the way they play.”
Everyone hates Duke fans, so it only makes sense that the nation’s most polarizing player grew up a Duke fan in Texas.
Get yours, Marshall.
Hopefully you’ll last long enough in this tournament that this won’t be the only chance we get to hear you thoughts on life at a press conference.
(Thanks to Chris Chase for the transcription.)
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.