Scot Pollard sacrificed his body to be an effective inside player — some might say an “enforcer” — during his 11 seasons in the NBA.
“My ankles hurt almost every day. My back hurts almost every day. My knees hurt almost every day. My right shoulder hurts a lot. My body has been abused,” the 6-foot-11, 275-pound former University of Kansas player said Friday from his home in Carmel, Ind.
“I’ve probably had between seven and 10 concussions to various degrees,” added Pollard, the 10th-leading rebounder (850) and 34th-leading scorer (1,209 points) in KU history who last played for the NBA champion Boston Celtics in 2007-08.
“I’ve lost consciousness at least four, five times. I’ve seen stars a bunch of times. I’m not concerned about it. My life seems to be normal crazy right now. I haven’t gone completely crazy, so that’s good. Give me five years, we’ll see.”
Though he definitely has more aches and pains than the average 41-year-old, Pollard has no complaints about his life after basketball.
Fresh off a 27-day stay on the CBS reality series “Survivor,” Pollard is preparing for release of the movie “The Profit” in which he has the lead acting role. The film, which will be shown following a red carpet entrance, will premiere the evening of Sept. 24 at Lawrence’s Liberty Hall.
Details will be announced soon on Pollard’s Twitter and Facebook pages. His fans in Indiana will be able to attend the “Hoosier premiere” on Oct. 5 at Flix Brewhouse in Carmel. After that, Pollard is hoping to show the movie at festivals with the possibility of general release.
“The reason I wanted to do this was because I can’t write a book. I have too many friends and family and loved ones and teammates that I wouldn’t want to name names and places and do the ‘Jose Canseco (tell-all) thing,’ where, ‘Hey I was part of this and this guy was there’ and all of a sudden he’s in trouble with his family,” Pollard said.
Instead he created a movie that he says is “not a biography,” but based on individuals and circumstances he’s observed in his life.
“The brief synopsis is an aging NBA star goes back to his college town — it’s in Iowa (not Kansas) — to rehab an injured knee, to mentor a rising star and hopefully get another contract that gives him 10 years in the NBA (and full pension). He has nine years in the league. He blew all his money, made every mistake a professional athlete can make. The odds are stacked against him. That’s about all I can say,” Pollard said.
Pollard worked on “The Profit” project with famed Lawrence film writer, director and KU professor of film Kevin Willmott. Pollard was associate producer of Willmott’s film, “Jayhawkers,” which featured former KU player Justin Wesley playing Wilt Chamberlain.
“We started out to make a comedy. Through the editing process it’s turned into a drama,” Pollard said. “It’s not a kids movie. Don’t bring kids. It’s not like there’s a whole lot of violence, sex or any of that stuff, it’s language.”
Pollard, who has appeared in movies before, is building up a new collection of fans coming off his TV stint on “Survivor.”
“We go in the airport and, the young kids say, ‘Oh my gosh, you are the mean guy from ‘Survivor,’’’ Pollard said, laughing. “Usually at that point parents come over and say, ‘The reason he was on ‘Survivor’ is he used to play basketball.’
“People are, ‘Wow, I thought you would be mean and you are actually really nice in person.’ It’s nice to bust the pre-imagined judgment. When they meet the big guy it’s, ‘Oh my gosh he’s actually really nice.’’’
Pollard’s charity work continues in Lawrence on Sept. 23 as he hosts the “Scot Pollard and Gale Sayers Golf Classic” at Alvamar. It benefits the KU School of Education Multicultural Scholars Program. To sign up for the tournament go to https://soe.ku.edu/alumni/golf. Sayers is unable to attend this year.
“Sept. 23-24 is a big weekend in Lawrence for the Pollards. We are involved with Lawrence. Lawrence is giving us love right back,” Pollard said, referring to all the local sponsors for the golf event. “We’re about to set a record as far as sponsorship and attendance.”
Pollard will attend to take pictures, sign autographs and hit a tee shot with each group on a yet-to-be-determined hole.
Pollard’s policy is to sign away except when he’s in airports trying to catch flights by racing to terminals on those gimpy knees.
“I’ve been 7-feet tall since I was 16. I come from a family of giants. Everywhere we went as little kids, some of my first memories were people fawning over my dad,” Scot said of Pearl Pollard, a star basketball player at Utah.
“I’ve dealt with a minor form of fame or celebrity my entire life whether it’s because I played for the University of Kansas, played in the NBA or because of ‘Survivor.’ I’ve been in the public eye since I was a little kid. I’ve made mistakes. I’m sure there are some people are out there who said, ‘I met him one time and he was a jerk.’ That’s possible. But I try to treat everybody well. It (getting noticed) is part of my life.”
Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore