In a story that has luckily flown under the radar this past week, a website called Media Takeout which posted a reprehensible story accusing Marquis Daniels of being a gang member. We didn’t even bother posting it here initially, there was no need to bring any more attention to it. Read it if you want, but the credibility for these folks has to come in close to zero on this, based on their faulty rationale.
Nonetheless, having hearing whispers of these unfounded rumors, Daniels decided to try to squash the talk in a wide-ranging sitdown with SLAM Online as well as talk about the upcoming season. A few key excerpts:
SLAM: So what’s with the red bandana and gang signs in the pictures? Are you really in a gang?
Marquis Daniels: Of course not. The rag wasn’t mine. You want to know why I wear a lot of red? It’s simple. I think I look good in red. It looks good on me. So just because I like the color red that makes me affiliated? That makes no sense to me.
SLAM: What about the messages where you allegedly replaced the letter “C” with the letter “K?”
MD: That’s absurd, too. Who doesn’t shorten words in their text messages? And to say I replace the letter “C” with the letter “K” is crazy. Where are they getting that from? People are always searching for something negative to say. To even say that I’m in a gang is absurd. I would never put myself in that kind of situation. I respect myself, my family and my fans, especially the kids who look up to me, too much for that.
SLAM: What do you say to people who say that you at least know gang members?
MD: Look, I grew up in a rough neighborhood and I stayed away from stuff like that. My mom worked hard when I was growing up and it made me want to work hard. So when I got to college, I did what I needed to do to graduate in less than four years and kept at it when I didn’t get drafted to accomplish my dream of playing in the NBA. Watching my Mom made me want to be strong and go even harder. So now that I’ve made it, I like to go back to my neighborhood and show those that got caught up in the streets or didn’t make it out that there’s another way. I want to inspire people. There aren’t many players coming back to my neighborhood so I wanted to do that. I want to help. That’s why I always go to the schools and talk to kids. That’s why I sponsor AAU teams and help kids get scholarships. I got my degree in sociology because I wanted to help kids. I love kids. I have kids of my own. So for me, when I see kids light up when I come to the rec centers and they tell me that I inspire them, that’s everything.
SLAM: What was you initial reaction to the accusations?
MD: I was disappointed. I didn’t wanna overreact to it but it reminded me that I have to be more careful about what goes on around me. And as for them talking about me, I just think about the fact that people talked about Jesus, so who am I? People are gonna talk but why not go to the source? I’m easy to get in contact with. I have nothing to hide.
Marquis also got in a bit of talk about the upcoming season and it’s refreshing to Quisy’s already zeroing in on his more defined role this year:
I think my job will be as a key defensive player to help shut down the LeBrons and Carmelos and DWades in the League.
Don’t underrate just how important it is that Daniels won’t have to worry about running the point this year. His size and skillset make him a major asset at the 3 where he does his best work cutting to go with his ability to post up. And oh yeah, how’s that thumb?
MD: I’m healthy. I’m over the thumb injury, and I want to come in this season and show that I can still play this game at a high level.
Health will be a huge factor for this team obviously, but the biggest X Factor on the bench this year could in fact be keeping Marquis’ health as we’ve talked about at length here at CelticsHub. With the C’s depth at the spot as shallow as ever, it will be crucial for Daniels to be able to stay on the floor this season, since his absence would create a serious conundrum for Doc and company.