Hot Sauce Interview
Hot Sauce is one of the most popular streetball players on the planet. His dribbling and moves are sick. Few ballers on earth are as entertaining as Hot Sauce when he's got the basketball. Hot Sauce and InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner sat down together in Trenton, New Jersey this summer at the end of the 2003 And 1 mixtape tour for an exclusive interview.
(Editor's note to streetball fan sites: Feel free to quote some (not all) of this interview on your site - but be sure to credit and link to InsideHoops.com properly. Thanks.)
InsideHoops.com: Talk about the early days, what you were doing in life, playing basketball, everything else.
Hot Sauce: It basically started when I left Colombus... for half a year, for a trade, to get a job and stuff, but then I decided not to get that training. I went to Atlanta, to hang out with my God-brothers and stuff. Started going to the gym every day. I didn't really play that much high school ball. I started getting well as I got out of school and stuff, used to go to the gym every day and just practice and practice and practice. I started getting creative with the ball and stuff, being real fancy... my game started to get better as the year went by. One day, I just started talking junk on the court...
InsideHoops.com: Where was that?
Hot Sauce: It was an outside court in probably Colombus, Georgia or something. And I started saying, like every time I shoot I was like, "sauce!" I started saying it, every day I just used to say it every time I'd shoot... after I'd shake them up and shoot it, after that, some people started calling me Sauce, because I used to say it so much, I stopped saying it because people started calling me Sauce. So from now on, "Sauce Sauce Sauce," all the time every time I went to the gym. After a couple of months and a year went by, "Sauce, Sauce."
InsideHoops.com: How many years ago was that?
Hot Sauce: It was, say, 1995. It just stuck with me. And the next thing you know, the tapes came out, and people were like, "Sauce, you could be on this..." - tapes one and two came out - they were like, "Sauce, you could be on them tapes." I was like, I probably can, but I don't know the people that make the tapes. I never leave out of Atlanta, you know what I'm saying, and I ran into one of the guys that manage me named Mark Edwards. He knew some of the people from And 1, and he was looking for me. He was looking for me about a month, two months. I was like, locked up in jail, over some little stupid stuff. It wasn't nothing big like no weed or no big violation, just with the wrong crowd. He was looking for me, and I guess, it took some weeks to find him, and I never played against him, most of the people that have been in the tapes send it all to And 1... Mark put in a word for me, and they believed in and had faith in Mark, of how I played. And they had a game in Cali, I went out there to Cali, and they were like, "This little kid, right here? This little dude? What's he gonna do?" I came out there and was like, I was out there just having fun with the main players, I remember seeing them on part one and part two. My name wasn't on the flyers out there. No flyers, my name wasn't on the flyers or nothing. I had to earn my respect, being put out there on front stage. But I wasn't on front stage (at first), I had to do my thing for a couple of games. After I went out there, in the third quarter, I started doing a little stuff the crowd had never seen before, and they started picking up on it, and from there on the crowd was going crazy and crazy. Went to the next city, went out to Chicago, I think it was Rainbow Park or something, that's where I showed out. We were just playing regular pickup ball, but I showed out. And from there on, they were getting all my highlights and building it all up, on the tapes, when me and AO, that's when (tape) three came out, and when three came out, that's when Sauce was born. I mean, when I was in Atlanta, all the little kids used to do what I do, anyway, inside the gym, they used to try to imitate me inside the gym, so I said, same thing they're doing in Atlanta - a lot of them kids trying to do my moves in Atlanta - if I get put out there worldwide, they're going to try to do this in every state I play in, so now every state I'm in they're doing the same thing that the local kids was doing when I was staying in Atlanta, not being able to travel outside of Atlanta, now worldwide everybody's doing some of the moves, they know it's me doing. Every move ain't mine, just similar moves that people know that I do.
InsideHoops.com: So now everyone takes Sauce moves and tries to make them theirs.
Hot Sauce: And mix it, and remake it, yeah. That's a compliment in me when I see little kids and my moves and stuff.
InsideHoops.com: Are you still trying to invent new moves, or are you sticking more to perfecting what you already do?
Hot Sauce: I take the stuff off what I see the kids do. I steal their moves, and make it out of mine and do it in a game.
InsideHoops.com: So you made it, now the kids do it and now you...
Hot Sauce: And I re-steal it back. That's about it. And once mixtape three came out, that's when the Sauce was born.
InsideHoops.com: And after this tour, once it ends, what do you plan on spending the year doing?
Hot Sauce: Just work out, get a little bit stronger, in my game. So in case I get foule a lot and stuff.