With the NBA Draft less than a month away and his stock/value very much up for debate, Shabazz Muhammad remains as polarizing a prospect as any in this year's crop. Not only that, but there's now an added level of drama, mystery and intrigue surrounding Muhammad. Specifically: His father's latest alleged troubles.
Muhammad went on the Jim Rome Show Friday to discuss everything from draft prep to his UCLA days to the recent report of his father's reported indictment on federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges.
"I wasn't really familiar with what happened," Muhammad said of the story. "I haven't talked to him. I mean, I'm always there for my dad."
Muhammad said the story isn't a distraction for him in the lead-up to the draft. He described his relationship with his father as "pretty strong," yet added he hadn't spoken with him "in a little bit" but that he's "a good father figure for me."
Rome asked Muhammad about the mystery surrounding his true age, an issue that came up in March.
"That was something I wasn't really familiar on either," Muhammad said. "I never told anybody I was 19. My friends know I'm 20. Everyone knows I'm 20. My driver's license says I'm 20. That's something that got twisted up with my father and reporters."
Muhammad acknowledged part of why he was doing an interview like this to begin with (you could understand if he wanted to pass on talking to the media right now) was his desire to speak up for himself, to be the only public spokesman for himself. (Previously, his dad had done a lot of the talking.)
There was also a conversation regarding Muhammad's time at UCLA. He called Ben Howland a "great coach" but also said the system Howland used held him back in some regard.
"There was some stuff that I wasn't really comfortable with," Muhammad said. "It wasn't a really up-tempo style of play, but I really enjoyed playing there. ... I didn't really get to show a lot of off-the-dribble stuff."
Give the interview a listen here:
Shabazz Muhammad talks about his dad and what didn't work at UCLA