The Rickey Paulding Appreciation Week With Jimmy Mckinney: Breaking Rickey´s Longevity Would Be Like Breaking Steph Curry´s Three Point Shooting Records It Won´t Happen

Jimmy McKinney (192-G-1983, college: Missouri) is a retired basketball player that had a 10 year professional career in Germany from 2006-2016. He played a total of 285 games for teams like the Fraport Skyliners, Wurzburg, Tuebingen and the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He began his basketball career at Vashon High School and then played at the University of Missouri (NCAA) from 2002-2006 playing a total of 123 NCAA games. He was teammates with Rickey Paulding at Missouri from 2002-2004. He spoke to about his memories of his good friend Rickey Paulding.

Jimmy how have you been? Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

I’m in St Louis, Missouri. Everything is good. I’m a high school basketball coach at Kirkwood high school.

You retired in 2016. I always hoped that you would of played longer. Could your body still have let you played a few more years?

Body wise yes but not mind wise. I just felt that at that time I couldn’t do it on the court the way I was accustomed to. I knew my time had passed by and I didn’t want to cheat the game and let it be a money thing. You should be playing the game for the love of it. When I lost it, I knew it was time to go.

Are you still connected to basketball in other ways besides being ahigh school coach?

Yes I am with my sons. I have an 18 year old who is more connected to football while my 13 year old is more connected to basketball.

Rickey Paulding is playing his farewell game on June 4. What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the name Rickey Paulding?

A legend. He is a good friend of mine and I respect him a lot.

What was your first impression when you met him? Was his smile and personality instantly infectious already there at Missouri in the two years where you were teammates?

The first time I met him was on the campus of Missouri when I came in as a freshman. I remember that I was very small when I came to Missouri. I was something like 180 pounds. I talked to him about the college life. I wasn’t afraid, but I was weary of not being strong enough. He was very understanding and told me you will get stronger and that everything will be all right. I will never forget that.

What was your first impression when you saw him on the court? What was the first thing that really stuck out?

How he competed and what it took to win. He was the best offensive player, but also the best defensive player on the team. He always guarded the other teams best player. That really opened my eyes. He was an incredible athlete and was always number one in the sprints. But even more he was a great person that took me under his wing.

You played two seasons with him at the University of Missouri from 2002-2004. What was your fondest moment on the court with him?

It was my freshman year when we played Marquette and Dwayne Wade. He had something like 36 points. He only had something like one mistake in the game. I remember the game was on the line and I was open, but opted to take the last shot and missed. The game went into overtime. This is one of those games that I will never forget. It was on national tv and he hit 36 on Dwade.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber with Rickey Paulding and Jimmy Mckinney in Oldenburg in 2007

If someone had told you in 2004 that he would have a professional career until 2022 what would you have thought? Was his work ethic already very good in school?

I would of definitely believed it. Especially with the way he took care of his body and how his conditioning was. He had a God’s gift and he wanted Rickey to be the kind of player that he would be.

Do you think your record against him in the BBL was above or below 500?

It is below 500.

That is correct.Your record against Jimmy was 6-11 not including cup games. What was it like playing against your ex teammate and friend?

It was always tough playing against him. He was the focal point and they always had a good team around him. It was bitter sweet. On one hand I was playing against a friend, but at the same time, I wanted to win. But I was always happy to see him do great things. But I always wanted to beat him.

Was there a specific game that you will never forget?

The first time we played against each other in Frankfurt.

What kind of legacy do you believe will he leave in the EasyCredit BBL? Do feel that there will ever be another American that will be able to reach his longevity in that league?

I don’t think it will ever happen again. It is like if someone would beat Steph Curry’s 3 point shooting records. I think that if someone could do it then Quantez Robertson. I don’t know if he can. He is close though. He needs 2-3 more years.

Please leave some closing words for Rickey Paulding.

I want to thank him for being a friend and being a positive role model. I want to thank him for taking a kid from St Louis and taking him under his wing and showing me the ropes. I also want to thank him for not cheating the game and playing it the right way at a high level. I also want applaud him and his family for opening their arms and accepting me. If they ever need anything, I will lay down the red carpet. I’m really proud of you and your a great role model and father. Now it’s time for your second life.


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