Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast

Episode 2-Tony Bruin, a Basketball Life

July 24, 2020 Tony Bruin Season 1 Episode 2
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 2-Tony Bruin, a Basketball Life
Chapters
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 2-Tony Bruin, a Basketball Life
Jul 24, 2020 Season 1 Episode 2
Tony Bruin

Join Attorney Steve Wallace, Esq. and Co-Host Celena Muzic of The Wallace Law Group, PL for another episode of Attorneys are Human Too.  In this episode, New York City High School and Syracuse University Basketball Legend Tony Bruin is the guest.  In addition to coaching high school and AAU Basketball, Tony Bruin is the creator of a retro basketball clothing line Red Collection.

Topics covered in this Episode:

Tony Bruin's middle school and high school basketball playing days
Tony Bruin's First Dunk
Tony Bruin's college recruiting process and why he selected Syracuse University
Tony Bruin's Syracuse Basketball Career
Tony Bruin's toughest opponents
Funny Stories About Coach Jim Boeheim during Tony Bruin's Playing Days
Tony Bruin's Professional Basketball Career
Whether College Basketball Players Should be Compensated
Current State of High School and AAU Basketball
Discussion About Red Collection, Tony Bruin's Retro Basketball Clothing Line
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Show Notes Transcript

Join Attorney Steve Wallace, Esq. and Co-Host Celena Muzic of The Wallace Law Group, PL for another episode of Attorneys are Human Too.  In this episode, New York City High School and Syracuse University Basketball Legend Tony Bruin is the guest.  In addition to coaching high school and AAU Basketball, Tony Bruin is the creator of a retro basketball clothing line Red Collection.

Topics covered in this Episode:

Tony Bruin's middle school and high school basketball playing days
Tony Bruin's First Dunk
Tony Bruin's college recruiting process and why he selected Syracuse University
Tony Bruin's Syracuse Basketball Career
Tony Bruin's toughest opponents
Funny Stories About Coach Jim Boeheim during Tony Bruin's Playing Days
Tony Bruin's Professional Basketball Career
Whether College Basketball Players Should be Compensated
Current State of High School and AAU Basketball
Discussion About Red Collection, Tony Bruin's Retro Basketball Clothing Line
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Steve Wallace:

Welcome to attorneys, our human to a podcast with your host, Steven Wallace and your co-hosts Selena music. Both of the Wallace law group. Today's episode is Tony Bruin, a Basketball Life. welcome everybody. I'm Steve Wallace, your hosts and we're also joined by Celena Muzic. We're both at the Wallace law group and we have a true privilege today We have New York city and Syracuse university basketball. Legend, Tony red Bruin here today.

Tony Bruin:

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. And

Steve Wallace:

as you see, Toni's wearing his Syracuse basketball t-shirt and he's the creator of an amazing retro basketball clothing line, which we'll go into detail a little bit later on in the program. So the first question a lot of our listeners have is if you could just give us a little bit of background of your basketball playing days and in middle school and high school in New

Tony Bruin:

York city. Okay. Well, it started off, I guess, way back, way, way back when I was in a small Catholic school in a long Island city, New York by the name of Saint Patrick's. And we had a gentleman in my neighborhood in Ravenswood projects that his son also went there and he was the coach. And I've never really played basketball up until maybe the sixth grade, but I was always taller than most of the kids in my class And so he always was needed. Let me stay. And you should play basketball. You should come out for my team. And at that point I was really skinny and awkward. Didn't really have a lot of self confidence in myself, athletically wise, but he kept the pressure on me and eventually I came out and, I know I wasn't any good but because he was the one that encouraged me to come, he cut me on and I guess he saw something or I knew, you know, how to develop a basketball player. And, the better I started getting in the small successes I started having, I eventually really started liking the game and then I just went. put my energies into it between, I would say the end of the sixth grade all the way going up. And so the eighth grade and then, and then I was all in, it became a passion for me. Okay,

Steve Wallace:

great. And so could you let us know, when was the first time and what age were you when you were able to dunk.

Tony Bruin:

Well, that was another thing that was kind of weird because even though, like I said, a basketball player starting in sixth, seventh, eighth grade is kind of late. I had a gift, I guess, for Noah, A thing that I can think of right now on the, at the time I thought everybody can do it. I didn't think it was anything special. Although I didn't know all of the rules or anything, you know, it wasn't a great shooter or I was just learning how to drill and everything. I had amazing jumping ability and people used to say, Oh, and all the things that I did. And I really didn't think no that I was doing anything special. I think it was the eighth grade where just stand under the basket. you know, I wanted to score the best way I could and I really wasn't at a, at a high skill level then. So I just jumped up and dumped it and threw it in. And everybody looked like. They were so shocked. And I didn't really realize what I had done was something that most eighth graders just don't do standard flat footed, just go straight up and jump without running or anything like that. And then when people started telling me not know that something special that I kind of started understanding that at least I had a head start with something special in the game. Well,

Steve Wallace:

that, that was great. I just remember when I was little and I used to watch you at Syracuse, you used to posterize a bunch of people.

Celena Muzic:

So. Yeah. Well, I have a question. How tall are you

Tony Bruin:

then? Well, here's the other side of that? You know how I told you I was taller than most of the kids in my class? Well, I was around 63 and even today I'm only six, five. She only groups, two inches more. I thought I was going to be about six, eight or so, but I think in the eighth grade I was like six, two, six, three. I thought I was going to be a lot smaller, but I kind of kept off at 65.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent.

Tony Bruin:

So then,

Steve Wallace:

so following that, so you weren't, you, somebody discovered you in middle school and then can you tell us about your high school experience and, and for those of our listeners, aren't aware. New York city is the birthplace of, basketball. And you know, a lot of folks that play college basketball like Tony and those that go to the pros. They're always referencing a New York city type of player. So if you could kind of go into a little bit of detail,

Tony Bruin:

the gentlemen from the school, once he got me started playing in the eighth grade, then I had that whole summer to go. From eighth grade before I was able to go into high school. So that's someone playing in some neighborhoods tournament, a play that you might of, usually wasn't it also played for civic projects, about four blocks down from me, which is Queensbridge. And, he had came to my neighborhood and played in the tournament a few times. And, and he went back Raven to a gentleman by the name of, Hey Carter who have anybody from New York knows who had caught her. And she's the one that started the, the famous wheelchair games. where all of the boroughs played against each other for championships and all of the money donated went to help people with new wheelchairs or electronic stuff for the wheelchairs or things that they, their insurance wouldn't cover a goal. What a hospital for paraplegics. And it grew so big that it turned into a tournament that NBA players were playing. What's make a long story short. he brought me down and introduced me to him and I started playing for his teams and that's where my development really took off. I started playing against really high caliber players, which pushed my learning curve way up, really fast and, and introduced me to other places. And other programs had me traveling all over the United States, playing against some of the best players in the country. and after that point, I decided to go to mater Christi high school, which was kind of weird because my first choice was going to be Powell Memorial, but the schools that want to strike the Catholic schools were on strike that year. And, I couldn't get my paperwork in and by the time everything ended. it was too late to get the paperwork. And for Powell Memorial, I ended up going to Mata Christie, which worked out really well because I ended up getting two city championships there. my first year might have Christie. We did pretty good, ended up playing on varsity at the end of the year A gentleman by the name of how it Garfinkel, who ran one of the most successful

Steve Wallace:

five star camps, right.

Tony Bruin:

Or basketball camp. And once I went there, I had, I had a fabulous, camp. We, and when I came back from that camp, I went from being somebody that was pretty much known to New York city area to being known all over. So it was just incredible how it just, it just seemed like it happened so fast.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. One of the things I'm a basketball story and I played in high school, but I'm a lot shorter than you. I was a shooter, but never, never a jumper. So no, I live vicariously through, through my son. Right. I coached basketball. We'll talk about that a little later in the program. So one of the things that I know is there's a big rivalry between the city schools and the Catholic schools in New York city? So could you elaborate a little bit more on that?

Tony Bruin:

Well, it used to be the public schools. If you went to public schools, they would always try to say, well, it's not the same competition, but it was in the Catholic schools you would say is not this same competition. You know, if you think about all the great players that came through the Catholic school, like Kenny Smith and Kenny discipline, I mean the list is so as Derek Chivas and public schools, you know, obviously the, the list of so great of the players that came. From from public school. So it's always kind of a rivalry there. So I think our big robbery for the public schools that year was Cordoza, you know, they had won the city championship and we had won a city championship. So they put it together at the Capitol school champion who played a public school champion at st. John's university. And we won that game cause we talked a lot of jobs. So we set up that they have to eat a lot of cakes. Had we, not one, but it worked out pretty good for us. So, so you just, you just mentioned about

Steve Wallace:

talking about John. What, what is your best smack talk line that you ever had on phone?

Tony Bruin:

I don't know if I can say it with no, I'm just joking about how people can't really dribble. A lot of you can't really shoot or just, you know, all the lane parts, you know, we were just like, whatever. we could think of, you know, pull the person's breathers. We we'd say no matter what it was, you know, back at that time, kids were just saying anything. So we would just say anything. Yeah. I think new Yorkers are naturally competitive. Yeah. Yeah. You know, cause you got the boroughs as competitive with each other, you got the captain school versus the public schools, you got the different AAU programs you had the Riverside hall, she had the gauchos on yet on call. You had your nine o'clock. It was just so many, you know, and you also have public schools. Against each other also. Yeah. Yeah. So that, everybody's always for the bragging rights in the city, you know, everybody wants to be the King of the city, but it's all on a broad, you know, just like a lot of the schools that we have rivalries where even today I used to talk about Syracuse and Georgetown is such a big rivalry, but a lot of the guys that we used to play against, I have one speed dial on my cell phone and we talk all the time and we're Facebook, friends and everything, and we joke on each other still today and stuff. So, you know, it's all in good fun.

Steve Wallace:

That's excellent. That's the best part is the smack talk and the bragging rights for the next year or the next game, for sure. Okay. So, so we've, we've kind of walked through your middle school and your high school days. So let's talk a little bit about, after your week that you spent at five star youth and started showing up on the national radar. So could you talk a little bit about the process that you went through to choose your

Tony Bruin:

college? Yeah. Well, once I came back from Firestone, I had one most promising prospects and things really started to get kind of hectic because you have in the New York city area that, if you're doing well in basketball, you have a lot of different people coming after you for different reasons and stuff. So you got to kind of navigate your way through that. And luckily I have some good mentors that are protecting me from some of the serious things, but, it got down to, I think my last schools was, it was, let me say Louisville and South Carolina and South Carolina might say South Carolina, South Carolina was in a picture because my dad from the Hilton head Bluffton area and a Frank McGuire was down here. So we had a New York city kind of coach along with the fact that my father was from the area and the school. Was kind of one of the bubble. They were smiling, they got a few good plays. They could turn the tide and stuff. So that was really a heavy consideration of mine. I love Louisville. I loved him, Danny chrom, and I love Houston. you know, I visited them, actually. I stayed at late Houston's house, beautiful family. I really had a family feel there. A good friend of mine, Rodney McCray had went there at the same time. And, It was just so far away. I was really close with my mom and stuff. So I think that might've been at the decider, but my mom also loved Boeheim. Out of all the coaches that had came into the living room, she says that he seemed the most genuine and she had a feeling like no matter what that even makes sure I got my degree, she kind of was always just something about her in Bay. Hum. She really thought that, and I don't know if it was going to Syracuse was the closest school, but she really, kind of. Engineer. And he told us that way too. And I had a good feel. I'm sure, probably more of my game as in any, any other coach is. So we have some great games. We have, he's told me how some terrible games, and he seemed that he wanted me just to this bathroom, you know, no matter where I could game off of bag games, that really made me feel confident, you know, that he had good intentions for me. So,

Steve Wallace:

so when Bahein was in and for those of you don't know Jim Bay, Jaime's, he's the coach of Syracuse, she was the coach when Tony was there and he's been the coach ever since he's, it's been coaching Syracuse, as long as I've been alive and longer than Selena has been alive. So he's kind of an institution at Syracuse universe. So my question was when he's sitting in your living room with you and your mom and your family and your mentors, what is his, what is this selling point? What's his clothes to you to get you to come Syracuse?

Tony Bruin:

What's the pitch. First thing is he talks about how great the school is and a great alumni that's in the area, know that if you go to Syracuse, you know, you're either in a network of people from New York city, New Jersey, Connecticut area, he talks about how you have a lot of good job opportunities, because a lot of people that are doing a lot of different things are from Syracuse. I'm at that point, I was interested in new house and communications and he was telling me that we have more. Roy, probably than anybody else, in any networks and stuff like that, is his biggest, Chris, I guess, is his school. First. He comes at you with school first, and then, as far as basketball wise, he brags about how he, this, this play is lady a game, you know, and he has a wide open off prints and you can really showcase your talents and. trying to stay away from the weather. Yeah. How close you got a home and stuff and not how everybody that you grew up with will be able to see you play. And of course, we got the dome, you know, we got a great, a lot of great stone points and stuff like that. But the main thing is, is the education and the networking from the alumni.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. Great. So my next question is, so you, you were able to play division one basketball. So you played with a lot of players, in New York city growing up. Was there one player that you played with that you thought, wow, this guy is going to make it, and for some reason or another didn't

Tony Bruin:

make it, there was so many people like that. This is really incredible. I mean, you could go to the pocket and he gave him a day in the office and see somebody probably could have just played in the NBA with given the right circumstances. I think a lot of it is being in the right place. It's the right time. you got guys like Glen McMillan, you know, you talk about Connie Hawkins and Julia serving with and one of my competitors and close friends, he played at Holy cross. And then I think he went to a. I own and play with Jeff Roman for a little while was Glen McMillan. He had hands that made the basketball seem like orange. And I mean, he could just do anything. He was unstoppable, Quonset a basket. but you know, for whatever reason, whatever, like a lot of us just that the NBA wasn't in the car and you just never know, but it's, it's just so many variables in playing in the NBA. A lot of guys get to play professionally. I got to play professionally overseas, but the MBAs are different animals. So many things have to fall right. For you.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. Great. So you come to Syracuse and your freshman year. What, what did you think when you walked onto the court for your first practice, what was your experience and how did they treat you? You know, as a freshman, generally, there's some, probably some indoctrination period that you would have,

Tony Bruin:

he's especially known for being hard on his freshmen and, almost to the point where he tries to tear you down to build you up and you don't know what what's going on. You know, you just think you just can't do anything right. Oh, he's especially, especially hard on his point guards. So I didn't get it quite as bad as the point guys did. and, but I, I think that's just part of the process on how he works. You know, he can get all of this stuff out your freshman year and your sophomore year. He basically doesn't have to say anything to you because the program his style what he's looking for? I mean, just a little thing. Like I'd come out your first year at college and everything, and you get on a lift line and you just, you know, don't take them layups. What are you taught? You ever get on the court and not take a lap full speed. I mean, something just distribute with go 100% of loses his mind. if you don't like wait for the screens to get exactly. They're just things that, you know, in high school and you're the star. You don't think of the guy, you wait for the screen. And I mean, but, And you really start to doubt yourself and then, Just when you, when you really wonder if this is even for you, that's when you start to realize what he's doing and you still have to get it. And then eventually you see them going once, maybe the younger guys, but he's really hard on his point guards the most. And I think that's why he always has great point guards. Great, great point. Go out. Play. Sure. He's not really a school that's known for having a lot of,

Steve Wallace:

yeah. Excellent. So when you made the jump from high school to division one college basketball, What was the thing that you noticed most the difference between high school and college?

Tony Bruin:

The thing that I noticed that you noticed right away is there's not anybody that you could relax on. You know, like in high school you might have two great players want to start in five of another team. And those are the guys that you had to key on. And certain guys you wouldn't have to pay attention to as much, you know, at division one level there's no, not really one play that you can just really, say, well, we're not going to worry about him too much. And just keen on this guy, everybody can contribute. Everybody's going through something, you know, you gotta, you gotta be playing difference 100% of the time, because just about anybody on that team can be, you know, obviously if a team has a great, great playoff or the American site player, you might want to be more conscious of helping the person that's playing him, but it's not really anybody that you, you can just, you know, let them free and not stick to because anybody I'm going to division one team can beat you one way or another. You know, they can do something they're out there for a reason. He did it with great. Penetrative Boreham was shooter or slash or something, but there's a reason that they were given a division one scholarship. Okay. And so

Steve Wallace:

who were your closest friends on the team when you, when you played your four years? Well,

Tony Bruin:

my, freshman year, was Ron Perry and Eric Santa Fe ruins with Eric Sanders when he came out from Michigan, which I found it was different. You know, you had like the Michigan culture with them and me coming from new Yorker, a New York city guy and a Midwest guy. It was just funny. They're into action that we had, and I really enjoyed it. being around him and learning different things. And then not gene came that next year. I was a year ahead of him and we were neighborhood friends and grew up, you know, and childhood friends. So then me and him a room together. And he was one of my best friends growing up. So I'd have to say definitely, we were pretty close to him. Know one thing they does not do is pit people against each other. You know, it builds us up as a team. Okay.

Steve Wallace:

Great. So Bay Haim is notorious for, you know, ESPN and some other media outlets portray him a certain way. Can, you tell us a few funny Bay Haim stories that you had during the time you were there?

Tony Bruin:

Well, my first one is stories about him is I never felt comfortable with driving with him. He just drives me crazy. Like he's just always just focused on basketball and all this stuff that's gone. I mean, cause to be cutting around, going through stop signs and stuff like that. So finally, I think we were in, I believe we were playing Boston college and, you know, game day, he's so full of adrenaline and everything. I think he forgot to stop and he ran right into the back, the car in front. That was like either my, I believe that was my freshman year at the beginning of my sophomore year. And from that day on it, they, we never let them drive again. You know, like we would come from the airport, get rented, cause I'm going to advance and that was the end of letting him drive. So to this day, you know, I always talk about his driving and I could go through, you know, he'd be on a curve. And go 50 miles an hour and stuff on game day or something. He just, he's never stopped thinking about basketball even to the point where when he's driving, he'll turn his head and say, you know, it's just, he's so focused. I mean, basketball. This is like, you know, we just, it just makes us laugh all the time or sometimes. We'll be in a locker room and say, we're having a bad half or something and he'll be yelling at us. I say stuff that doesn't make any sense at all. Nobody wants to tell them what you just said. Nobody understands. And this is just something you get used to though. You know, we laugh at later and stuff. Well, some of them, like after the game, when we went and stuff, you know, you said this, well, you guys know what I meant. So you got to love them.

Steve Wallace:

So along those lines, what is the funniest thing that he ever said to you, to somebody? And when you guys

Tony Bruin:

were in the huddle? Okay, well, son going to get mad at me, but to this day we still laugh about it. I don't know if you remember Michael Adams from Boston college. I do quickest God, you ever want to go? I mean, From baseline, the baseline with the ball. I don't think I've ever seen anybody puts it in him, you know? And, we were, we were playing them. And then, so I was trying to pick them up at half court, but for some reason, son was intent on picking them up from baseline the baseline. So after microloans, zoom, past them, everybody's trying to switch the case and all of these mismatches cause Michael Adams and the two guards in the back court being of course, the time out until sun God and abuse in a phone booth, you know, back at headquarters, we all just died. Like just give me one more chance and I'll show you, I could do it, but that was at the phone booth a little box. So suddenly you couldn't. Right right up there on the court. Okay,

Steve Wallace:

great. So who was your toughest opponent in college that you had to guard?

Tony Bruin:

I'd probably say, maybe Martha McGuire or Clyde Drexler are probably my two toughest assignments, but I made sure I was a tough assignment for them too. I think I had. 28 against both of those guys too, but they, the better the player, the more brought out. I mean, those guys would the real jail

Steve Wallace:

and in college, I cause one of the things that you're known for is dunking on people. That's something that we see a lot of highlights to this day. And so who was the player that you got the most satisfaction dunking.

Tony Bruin:

Well, I don't know if I got the most satisfaction, but I'll tell you what I got the most neurotic from. Cause even to this day, you would think that I never did it. Anything else, because just about everywhere I go, somebody says, Oh, you know who? This is, this is my friend Tony point. Oh, I didn't know him yet. A guy had dumped off Patrick human. So I guess I'd have to say that I have on Patrick human because I swear that's what it seems like.

Steve Wallace:

Well, it's funny, you mentioned that because my grandfather had a store on campus. So I think we were up in Syracuse also. And there was a big picture of that. It is in a store. And so I always remember when I was little, I was like, Oh my God, I love that picture.

Tony Bruin:

Yeah. It was something, you know, I guess back at that time before. Pet wants to the NBA and stuff. Nobody really had gotten a dunk on them. So maybe we close with maybe the first early on or something. People made a big deal about it. But I did the one thing that I have, I didn't have confidence in anything else. I had confidence in my jumping ability. So it really wasn't anybody that would be afraid to try, you know, try at least once a week.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah. Well that was great. So in, in college, which player were you surprised that made it to the NBA that you played against?

Tony Bruin:

that's a funny, that's a joke. Maybe John Pinon. I thought maybe he'd be too, too. what's the word that I'm looking for under size? You know, because he was so strong, you know, he dominated real villain over, but I guess he played like a center and I didn't think that that would carry over to the NBA, but he surprised me. He played in the NBA and did really well. another guy that I grew up with Stewart Granger, and I think that, He would be playing in the NBA. You just never know, like I said, you gotta be in the right place at the right time. I had a high school teammate that on. No. I remember in the championship game, I had to yell at a few times because he was getting nervous and stuff and he ended up going on playing the Olympics. Weren't Fleming and it had like a 10, 11 year career with the Indiana patient. So you just never know, it was just a matter of being in the right place, the right time, finding your niche coach that appreciates your game and knows how to use you to get the most out of you are so many different things. I'm staying out of trouble. Keeping your body. The top shelf is just so many different things that just have to go right to play in the NBA.

Steve Wallace:

So Selena wanted to ask you about the current state of the MBA and your thoughts

Tony Bruin:

about it. I think that MEA is in a good place right now. I like the fact that the players have realized. how they can take control of their career a little bit more than maybe back in the past. one thing I worry about is some of that, maybe the players are coming a little too young without the fundamentals, that maybe some of the older cars used to have on a way that the delete used to be, So, but then again, maybe that's because I'm biased. That's the time that I came from, it seemed like some of the guys that, you know, they catch up later to the fundamentals, but I guess we're in a new age now, even as an AAU coach, I've had to adjust with some of the things that are different. I mean, I didn't come through with this age where you pull up for a three rather than go for the layup now that these guys doing stuff. So to get Amos changing a lot and, I guess I'm evolving as the, as the game evolves to try to get along with it. But I'm from the old school where, you know, I think the closer the shot you can get to the basket is your, is your best shot. But the guys that I coach now, they're all looking to take three. So it's changing. Yeah. There's a lot of controversy in regards to these players getting paid. What's your opinion on that? I always thought that was one of the, Things that should be looked at a little more back, even back in my day when I was playing, because what you're asked to do the time that you're asked to sacrifice the fact that they have so many regulations on you, that you can't work during the basketball season, the type of kids and the places that they recruit us from, they know our financial situation. I thought more could be done that says find a way to compensate the kids. Compensate the players. And I'm not saying get rich, but I thought, I mean, you know, your coach couldn't even take you out to dinner after a game. I mean, you know, it's just too to Columbian and, you know, even as far as any long term money, you know, things that they're doing now, like maybe letting you make money off your lightness and stuff like that, they weren't even exploring those ideas. So play started using the on. The power to show them that there's other options that they can do like G league or do other things. Now, now, now they're starting to allow players to do some of the things that they should have been looking at a long time before, because the NCAA has been making a lot of money, some TV contracts.

Celena Muzic:

universities make them a lot of money too. Yeah. And you know, the coaches make a lot of money. The coaches are able, you know, the coach could have a good year at a small school and then all of a sudden leave to go to a bigger school. But if a player had had a bad year or something like that, I'm wanted to leave. they had to sit out a year, so it's like, everything was stacked against the kids were in favor of coaches and the NCAA making money or being able to jump to better opportunities. And the kids just had the hope I keep saying, please, there's just hope that things worked out, worked out the best one was one way or the other, you know? Yeah. What do you think about these players on social media platforms and have a mass of. Followers and they're making money on social media. Yeah. They're getting in trouble for it. Yeah. I think the NCAA is going to have to adjust. Are they going to make their selves irreverent because players now are a lot more smarter and savvy and, and financial savvy and, you know, they just want to find other avenues. Are they going to do other, they're going to bypass the NCAA and start doing things. Like if you look now, like some of the top players now I went right straight to the G league. I just saw her a couple of months ago. Now that they've raised the salaries for the G league. I think some of the top players now can command like $500,000. if not, that's enough to pay for your own college and still start pursuing your goals. If your goal is to try to play professional basketball. One

Steve Wallace:

of the things we're also seeing now, and I've seen a couple of the top recruits, and I've seen you comment about it on social media is that some of the top players are also interested in playing for historically black colleges. What are your thoughts on

Tony Bruin:

that? I thought that was a long time coming. I kind of saw that coming, especially some of the guys that, that are starting to do it now. I mean, If you think about guys like Charles Oakley and Scotty Pippin, and those guys all came from small schools, which just goes to show you if you have the talent, the Scouts will find you. No, no, no matter what school you go to, if you're good enough, the, the people that matter in terms of, of the NBA or professional, they will find you. So if a school can offer you more in terms of what you're looking for as being closer to your family and academically, and if they do have a good enough athletic program, That will challenge you. I don't see no reason. I don't see any reason why, why that wouldn't work too. You know?

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. I guess my next question is, so then after you graduated from Syracuse, you played overseas. Could you give us a little, snapshot into the culture and the way that you would play for an overseas team?

Tony Bruin:

Yeah. When you say interesting, it's like the right place and rightness. I got, I had the unfortunates of being drafted by the world, Philadelphia 76, and I have played a lot of small foot with the coach Bain on. So I would have had to make that team as a guard. There was no way that was going to give me a guaranteed contract as a God, it had more beach cheeks, Andrew Toney, Clint Richardson. I mean, they had an all star back court with all-star souls coming off the bench. So they put me on the STBA team, the Rockford lightning, and first opportunity, the first offer that I got to go overseas, I took it. I wish I'd have been a little more patient to see what might work out for me of maybe able to trace my rights to somebody else or something like that. But again, like, you know, I had a son early in and other obligations and. I just took the first guarantee concept that I could, and I ended up going overseas, but I enjoy my experience once I got over there, you know, you get to see different places. It was, my actually it was my first time out to country. going in to, to, to, to England was the first place that I went overseas to play. And at least, my first experience was one where people spoke in English. So it wasn't one of the hardest transitions that I had to make. Yeah.

Steve Wallace:

And then after, so then you, you played overseas for a while and now, you know, for many years you've been a high school and AAU coach. so where, where do you currently coach? I know you're a high school basketball coach, as well as an AAU coach.

Tony Bruin:

Back after I played in Venezuela for a while and Portugal, I came back and, I was, I decided to move to Albany, which was like, not as far up as Syracuse, but it was out in New York city. I was raising my son at that time. And, I was, I'll put most of my energies into his basketball career. He ended up going to ion and playing for Jeff Rulon, which was kind of neat because at the same time that he went there, Steve Bert, who also had a son played there and, Gary Springer, all of us were high school, all Americans and all of us had sons that and that following in our footsteps. So all three of them were there. At the same time they, you know, they did really well. They made it to the NCAAs. I think they are. They lost the LSU in the last couple of minutes when they had the Glendale big babies, when Davis, they had a nice run. and after that, I decided to move down South and help my dad who was getting sick on in Hilton head area. And immediately when I got here because people know enough, my basketball, they wanted me to do some coaching. And I ended up coaching at one of the high schools down here, as well as the one AAU.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. Great. And so, and, and so what are, what are the differences that you would say you, you alluded to it a little bit. What are the differences between the players that played during your era and the kids that play now?

Tony Bruin:

Well, it's, it's like when I was in Albany, I was coaching with a program called Albany city rocks, and I think at one point or another, they use, they usually go between the number one and number 10. Right. The AAU program in the country, they, they, one of the elite teams by Nike. And, the one thing that I noticed right away was these kids. you know, we would, we would make, we would want to play to try to get a layup or a mid range shot these guys today. They look in the one place. They get an open threes. The game has just changed so much that I hardly recognize it. So I had to make an adjustment from the way that I was growing up to play sort of way to gain to where the game is played now. You know, you gotta have, you gotta have some great shooters out there. They don't really emphasize a big man doing the post moves like the old days or the day that when I used to play now, we've got big men that want to step, bring the ball up. And you know, none of the positions are not defined, whether it used to be like, you know, your one year, two year three, Now your one was the only one that brought the ball up. You two were supposed to be a shooter is three, supposed to be the most athletic plays in your four and five. You know, now you've got what you call stretch fours. You got six, eight guys that stand out, you know, the three point line, you open it up. Why am I hitting threes all day? And you want to send it? I can come up to the top. Is this really different? And I think a lot of that started with some of the players coming over from Europe because they all came up with the ability. Their big guys came over with the ability to dribble the ball. I could go out and shoot. Oh, long jump shots. And I think that helps change the game too.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah, my, my son is just turned nine and he played last year until COVID he started playing travel ball. And so I'm one of the coaches. And so basically we press for about two hours and for an hour and a half, all we're doing is pressing dribbling and shooting, which I played in the late eighties and early nineties. And I was a shooter. I can't dribble my son's nine years old. He could dribble better than I can. Now, you know, the game has really changed. Everybody wants to

Tony Bruin:

dribble. Everybody wants to drill it. Everybody wants to shoot threes. Like even now when the kids, like we used to come up and we're going to lay out blind, we start in and work our way out, you know, just warming up for the game. These guys, they walk right on the court and start shooting ball long run. When the coaches to say, is that what you're going to be shooting from in the game? And you said that to them, that they go, yeah. Yeah.

Steve Wallace:

Our coach was like, if I took, if I took like four or five steps behind the three point line, he put me on the bench, even if I made

Tony Bruin:

it. So it was

Steve Wallace:

pretty crazy. So, so let's jump into one of the things that we wanted to talk about is that you have a new clothing line out. And if you could just tell us a little bit about your clothing line and how all of our listeners can order them. And I, and I've already seen them. They're great. I've already put my order in, and I know after I show it to Selena, she's gonna order some too.

Tony Bruin:

I appreciate some for that. So, this year, the past alumni game that we had, in January, the coach friend of mine, and another surface of numbness by the name of Peter, right. He picked me up in there, Jersey. He lives in New Jersey. So I fluency airport. Cause you made a big, we made a big, I promise that we haven't seen each other in so long. We're going to do the alumni game together. So, I caught me a really good flight into New Jersey and he picked me up. So we had like a three hour drive, three and a half hour drive from New Jersey to searches for the alumni game. So we would talk in, and I was telling him a little bit about what I was doing with the AAU and everything. And I just happened to mention something, you know, I said, you know what I was thinking of doing with some of my spare time. I said, I'm going to do like maybe a little, sports clothing line. I said something, you know, something retro, maybe down the line, even bringing some other, the old school plays and stuff like that. And he goes, well, tell why don't you do it. I said, you know, I'm thinking about it. He says, no, don't think about it, do it. And I said, I'm thinking about it. You know, then we started talking about other things. And I really didn't mention that much more to them. So we had a great time at the alumni game and I got to see a lot of the players that I hadn't seen in a while break agendas and grateful one game. They played North Carolina, but they lost that game. So we'll make a long story short. So about three weeks later after I'm back in Hilton head, I get an email from Peter and it says, Tony, tell me what you think about some of these styles right here. So I wasn't quite sure what he was talking about and I'm looking at the styles and he had pulled some of the logos and stuff that I was talking about, or for some of my old pictures and the stock was beautiful and he said, we're going to do that close laundry. We was talking about, he says, I'm not he's does, I'm not going to accept, we're going to talk about it later. We're going to do this. We were doing it right now. And he just gave me the encouragement to go ahead and, and the confidence in myself to go ahead and do it. You know, how you just have that friend that just pushes you to do something, right. We just

Steve Wallace:

need a little push to get it done.

Tony Bruin:

He gave me a big push and he made me get off of it and do it. And it's been great. I can't believe like all of the family and friends and former players and coaches, I mean, you name it, have been supporting me. I mean, even if it's just a headband or a hat or the tee shirts, or we've got long sleeve shirts now, it's just some, I eventually want to grow it into started jackets and warmup suits and the whole shebang, but it's coming along really well and I'm excited about it. And it just goes to show you what good friend is go goofy. Is the red collection. And all you have to do is type in red collection.net, and it takes you right to the website, red collection.net. Got it. You'll love some of the stuff you see

Steve Wallace:

at night. It's nice to have, especially being a new Yorker or something that you're going to like it. Yeah. I've always liked athletic. I'm pretty athletic myself, but, you know, back in the day I was an insane sneaker collector.

Tony Bruin:

What I was saying is we've added other lines, trying to get the vibe of what we're about. Is, and we've got even one shirt saying how it takes a village and with all different nationalities and cultures holding a basketball. And it's basically like how it takes a village to raise a kid these days, all the stuff that's going on and have we all just need to stick together.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah. So one thing, one thing I asked

Tony Bruin:

you is,

Steve Wallace:

do you have children's sizes yet? Cause I did it. I remember I asked you that.

Tony Bruin:

So our smallest one, I think is a small, but we're going to be getting into children's sizes and especially customer ladies too. are you making women's clothing as well? That's what we're getting into now. W w we're getting into women's clothing and children. It's just, we were just so overwhelmed the cameras. I was never expecting the, the, the, the vibe that we got and the turnout of people coming to the website we've had over like 1200 people just visit the website. We've only been up since June 2nd, so it's really amazing.

Steve Wallace:

That's excellent. So we're going to ask you one more question each and then we're going to go to the lightning round. I really appreciate all your time. So Selena mentioned she's a sneaker head. What is your favorite sneaker of all time and why?

Tony Bruin:

Pony. And I think that's because when I started off with Syracuse and my last year of high school, before I went to Syracuse, one of the distributors live not too far away from me. And it used to be an old coach and I couldn't get enough ponies from, and every time I got one scratch on my opponent, he gave me a new pair. That's great. What do you think about what you just mentioned? You're getting into the women's clothing. just because, but what do you think about the women's basketball? I am. So I see that they're finally getting paid the way they should have been getting paid and a w MBA, even though I think they should be getting more of this anyways, they raise the salaries for them and they work just as hard as the guys. They're just a skill, even more. So a lot of them are probably more fundamentally sound than some of the guys, you know, some of the guys just relied on athleticism, so they play a great brand of basketball. And I'm finally glad to see that they get noticed and rewarded for it. I used to go to all the women's games that she refused and have a lot of friends, and alumni friends that played on the teams that I still stay in contact with. So today, okay,

Steve Wallace:

Tony, we're going to jump right into the lighting round. So I'm going to ask you five questions, this or that? no

Tony Bruin:

explanation necessarily good. No. Okay.

Steve Wallace:

Short shorts or baggy shorts,

Tony Bruin:

short shorts,

Steve Wallace:

Afro

Tony Bruin:

or bald. Oh, well, I'm going bowling now.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. Burgers or tacos?

Tony Bruin:

Tacos,

Steve Wallace:

New York city or Hilton head.

Tony Bruin:

New York city.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. They Heim or Calla Perry.

Tony Bruin:

I'm all the way. And last

Steve Wallace:

but not least snow or

Tony Bruin:

rain. I'll tell you the Tony.

Steve Wallace:

Thank you so, so much for, for habeas and for if you could just one more time, if you could let our listeners know where we can get the red color.

Tony Bruin:

Sure. Okay. Is read collection document one word, read collection.net, and we'll take it. We'll pop the website right up easy order. Well, thank you

Steve Wallace:

again so much for your time.

Tony Bruin:

And

Steve Wallace:

we, we really appreciate you so much and hopefully you enjoyed it. And maybe we can ask you on for a future episode

Tony Bruin:

anytime I've had a ball, what you guys thank you. We appreciate it, Tony. Thanks. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. You guys really

Steve Wallace:

thank you for listening to this episode of attorneys are human too. Please subscribe to this podcast in your favorite podcast provider, please also, if you enjoyed today's content, please share the content with a friend. Please ask them to subscribe. And please, if you really enjoyed this, leave us a five star review. Thank you until next time.