Before the NBA suspended the 2019-2020 NBA season indefinitely, Langston Galloway was having a career-best season. Playing in a reserve role for the Detroit Pistons, Galloway became a key component of the their offense. In 66 games this season, he was averaging 10.3 points per game, while shooting 44% from the field––which is a career-high. With the NBA season on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, many NBA players are finding themselves creating new business ventures, starting podcasts, and watching “The Last Dance”––the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls. Galloway is one of them.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak with the seven-year NBA veteran. Galloway, 28, spoke on how he and his family are staying safe during the pandemic. Along with that, he shared some thoughts on Pistons head coach Dwane Casey, and whether he’d like to return to Detroit next season.
KW: First off, how are you and your family holding up in this whole ordeal? I know you’re social distancing, but what extra measures are being taken to protect yourselves?
LG: We really been just staying at home. Me and my wife put together a makeshift gym in the backyard and it’s been great because we’ve been able to workout. We have a couple [exercise] bikes and whatnot and just been staying at the house and not trying to do too much.
KW: I’ve seen you two doing some of the workouts on Instagram. Are those workouts that you and your wife created together? Or is it something that you and your teammates have been sharing or are they workouts suggested by the [Pistons] coaching staff?
LG: Basically our strength and conditioning coaches have been sending us different workouts to do. Also one of my brother’s is down here. He’s a trainer as well. So he’s been helping us. It’s been a team effort for sure.
KW: I want to talk about your season before everything came to a halt. You were having one of the best seasons of your career. It was definitely your best statistical season as a Piston. What led to your improvement?
LG: I really want to give all the credit to coach Casey. The man gave me opportunity to go out there and play my role and be a defensive anchor. Just being able to play both sides of the ball and go out there and have fun. So that was the main objective. And just trying to help be a leader and a role model to the rest of the young guys on the team.
KW: What do you feel about coach Casey regarding how he’s training and coaching you and your teammates the past couple of seasons?
LG: Oh, it’s been great. I really appreciate all the hard work and effort that he’s put into helping us along the way. He just wants to win. And I think that that’s what we all want to do is just win. And I love that.
KW: No one knows when this season is coming back, if it is does but this is your last contract here in Detroit.
KW: Would you like to return to Detroit?
LG: Yeah, I would love to come back to Detroit, but we’ll wait and see what happens.
KW: In the event that you don’t return, what would you be able to provide for Detroit or any other team, based off your skillset?
LG: I’m able to guard one through three and I’m a knock down shooter. That’s what I provide and I think that what Coach Casey sees in me. And I hope that going forward, that’s what everybody sees.
KW: Now, I saw you rocking that MJ (Michael Jordan) jersey on the Instagram several days ago. So I take it you’ve been watching “The Last Dance”.
LG: For sure, for sure. That’s been a key necessity right now with no basketball going. I’m a big MJ fan and a big proponent of all that he’s done. So it’s always cool to see it and watch the behind the scenes aspects from his life.
KW: This is a very layered question and statement. Now I could be wrong, but in the several games after the unfortunate passing of Kobe Bryant, it seems like the intensity of the games rose a little bit. It was as if players were elevating their game. Then the coronavirus outbreak hits, and now you guys are all in a downtime and able to watch this documentary. Do you think that this documentary will have any kind of impact on the competitiveness of the league when it comes back or was it already there?
LG: No, I think that after All-Star break, things always pick up guys started getting more and more competitive. I think that that’s what was happening. But you know there’s always extra incentives based on any additive. Things that can make you work a little harder.
KW: Following up on that, one thing that I’ve noticed after this documentary began airing is the social media chatter between fans. They’re trying to compare eras like “So and so couldn’t play in the 1980’s” or “XYZ couldn’t play in this era”. What do you have to say about people such as fans and analyst who compare eras to downgrade one and uplift the other?
LG: I mean, there’s always going to be a debate. Everything can be turned into another debate. At the end of the day, it’s like you, we’re never going to be able to see MJ play against LeBron. You’ll never get a chance to see play Wilt Chamberlain play against Michael [Jordan]. So it’s just always going to be a debate. It’s always gonna be a lot chatter. And that’s what comes with the territory of anything in sports. You always want debate and compare different analysis to see who was the greatest and who wasn’t.
KW: I can get behind that. I’ve seen you have doing some Instagram Live interviews during the downtime. Who has been your favorite interview/conversation so far?
LG: Yeah, I’ve been able to do a couple. Isaiah Thomas was a really fun one. Just getting to talk to him about his love for sneakers and all that he’s doing right now. Then also my boy Greg Monroe. That was real cool to get a chance to catch up with him.
KW: I know it’s too early to talk about that, but after your NBA career, is conducting interviews or being an analyst something you could see yourself doing?
LG: For sure. I mean, I definitely don’t want to close off any doors that possibly could be open. But I enjoy interviewing and talking about sports. That just comes with everything that I went to school for. I have two degrees in sports marketing, and communication. So I just love being a part of the sports world.
KW: There has been on official word on when the NBA season will return this season, or if the next season will start in December. Will you have any apprehension about getting back on the court during this pandemic?
LG: No, I can’t wait to get back out there. I’m working out every single day, just staying ready. That’s my whole mindset right now. I mean this is going to be tough to see if we can get a chance to play with the fans or not. But like I said, I’m just staying ready the best I can, and waiting for my opportunity to get back out there and play with my teammates.
KW: Have you talked to any of your teammates about the possibility of playing basketball without fans? What were your thoughts?
LG: No, no, we haven’t, we haven’t discussed that at all. We’ve kind of left that alone cause you know that’s what our game is all about. It’s all about having the fans there supporting us. So we haven’t had a chance to talk about that at all.
KW: Langston, thank you for taking your time to speak with us. We have to end with this question though. Now, you always see me trying to grab photos of your custom kicks (shoes) when I’m at the Pistons home games. What is your favorite pair out of all the customs ones you have had made?
LG: A favorite of all time is definitely the Toy Story shoes. Being able to wear Buzz [Lightyear] and Woody on my shoe was dope because Toy Story is such an iconic movie back in the 1990s. And I just enjoyed when it was so hyped up and everybody wanted to see that shoe. It was all the social media outlets. So I was really excited about that.
You can keep with up Langston Galloway by following his Instagram @langgalloway10 and his sneakerhead account @lgkicks9. Also be sure to follow Kory Woods on Twitter @koryewoods. Graphic art created by Terrance Cochran of KopyKatzDesignz (@kopykatzdesignz on Instagram)