Remember how Deadspin’s Dave McKenna wrote a long piece about Adrian Dantley’s new job as a Montgomery County crossing guard, and then WTOP posted a video of Dantley on the job?
Well, Wednesday morning the DeMatha and NBA great appeared on CNN to talk about his newest gig in much greater detail.
“You made millions playing in the NBA. You’re a Hall of Famer. Why this job?” Dantley was asked.
“Well, basically I didn’t work last year so I got bored sitting around the house,” Dantley responded. “Usually I’m a routine guy. So I was in the weight room one day, and some guys were in there talking. They said they liked to do some things for some kids, but just a little bit, maybe one hour a day. And then one guy said you know what, my wife is a crossing guard! And I said to myself, that’d be a good job for me. That way I can stay busy, spend some time with the kids, do something for the community, and that’s why I’m here.”
It is, though, a rather unusual method of giving back to the community. Incidentally, on rare occasions, the crossing guard at my daughter’s elementary lets us do a diagonal cross, going across two streets at once while she stops traffic in four ways. Such an amazing feeling. (Watch the Dantley interview here.)
Anyhow. “What are the perks besides just being able to play with the kids?” he was asked.
“A lot of people talk about the benefits, but I’m basically doing it for the kids,” Dantley responded. “Yes you do have some benefits. It helps, it pays for my health insurance. I think that’s what everybody been talking about. You know, in the NBA, even though you make a lot of money, they don’t pay for your health premiums. And me watching news and business, the premiums go up every year. And I told my wife, you know what, I don’t care how much money people might think I might have, I’m not gonna spend $17,000 on health insurance. That’s what I spent last year.”
And do people know who he is?
“Well, when I started the school year in September, people who knew basketball, they knew me,” Dantley said. “But now in the last week, I think everybody in both schools know me now.”
I guess the satellite truck might help. As for his job performance, Dantley indicated that he was improving.
“I’m at two intersections that’s pretty dangerous,” he said. “Two kids almost got hit twice. I almost got hit once at the beginning in September. I was a rookie and all the crossing guards were kind of kidding me a little bit. But you have 146 crossing guards in Montgomery County and there’s only three men, so when I had a meeting the first day of work, the three guys said man I’m so happy you joined us, these women give us a hard time. So I’m in the minority here in Montgomery County… I think it’s more dangerous out here than me playing one-on-one or me taking a hard foul from an NBA player.”