Who was the toughest player for you to guard?
GM: When I played, there were very good centers, Patrick Ewing, Rik Smits and in the Western Conference there were some very strong players like Hakeem Olajuwon. After playing Shaquille O'Neal, my shoulders were sore for two days, my body got beat up bad. He was so strong.
How difficult was it to get adjusted to life after you retired?
GM: It was hard. I retired because of back surgery. My back was in really bad shape. My mind wanted to play but my body said otherwise and that is when I retired. I said I was too young to retire from playing basketball. I played another year in Europe. After I retired I was so used to getting up and go to the gym and when it was done, I missed the feeling. So for me it was very hard, but it was a decision I had to make. I had no choice.
When you were young and growing up in Romania, did you ever dream of playing in the NBA?
GM: Never. I felt the players were too big and strong and I couldn’t compete against them.
So after being drafted, how did you feel about the chance to play in the NBA?
GM: I was very curious to see if I could compete against the good players. All the time I wanted to play against good players and this is what I wanted, the top competition. So it was a real challenge to come and play in the NBA.
You did a little acting including a role in the 1998 movie My Giant with Billy Crystal and commercial endorsements with Snickers. Did you enjoy that and would you like to do more?
GM: I loved and had the best time. I am not doing movies, but I would love to do it.
When you came to the U.S you said you didn’t know much English. How did you learn the language?
GM: Watching TV and the news every day and talking with people. I really wanted to talk and express my feelings and the only way to do that way to learn the language so I worked at it. When there is something you like to learn, it comes easier.
Any teammates you particularly enjoyed playing with?
GM: I enjoyed all my teammates.
Any one who stands out as a player?
GM: Rod Strickland. He was very quick and a smart player with a high basketball IQ.
Do you follow today’s game closely?
GM: Today’s game the players are much better. They should be better right now with all the advances in training. Basketball I think is much better than 10-20 years ago.