With a big thanks to Linsanity, New York Knicks player Steve Novak has a cult following thanks to his championship belt celebration after three-pointers. Novak, a Wisconsin native and big-time Packers fan, originally did it as a tribute to Aaron Rodgers -- but now it’s taken on its own life with Knicks fans.
“As long as Knicks fans keep liking it, I’ll keep doing it,” Novak says.
We spoke with Novak after he picked LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” as the best workout song as part of a promotion with Gold’s Gym and Men’s Health. Fans picked the song in a vote, so Novak donated the $5,000 prize to the Loeys-Dietz Syndrom Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness for the relatively rare disease.
You picked “Party Rock Anthem” as best workout song. Why’d you choose it?
That’s a hot song. It’s a song that has an energy to it. You listen to it and it gets you up, and obviously I knew that everyone else would agree. I was hoping to win some money for charity.
What will we find on your iPod?
I’m pretty diverse. It depends on the mood. If I’m working out, I’ll listen to something upbeat, maybe pop or rap. Then obviously after a game, on a plane going home or something, I’m more mellow. Maybe some R&B, or something like Gavin Degraw.
Anything on your iPod you’re ashamed of?
Let’s see. I’m not sure. I get some flack for being such a big Gavin Degraw fan. I’m not sure why. That’s my go-to music when I’m on a plane or hanging out.
So has it sunk in that Jeremy Lin has made Time Magazine’s 100 most influential list?
We aren’t going to let him live that down. I was actually making fun of him about a half hour ago on the bus. I remember, we were giving him a hard time and Tyson chandler hadn’t heard it. I said, ‘Tyson, you know Jeremy is on that list?’ He said, ‘What list?’ I said, ‘The most influential people in the entire world.’ So Tyson laughs and says, ‘Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, this guy!’ We were making fun of him. That is incredible. Being in the locker room with him every day, it’s hard to gauge his outside influence. We see the fans and the way they react. To be on a list like that, it shows we’re in a bubble, we don’t get to feel that as much.
In congruence with Linsanity, your belt celebration after three-pointers has gained a cult following. There are even T-shirts. You’re a Packers fan. Was it a premeditated celebration or is it something you just did on the fly?
It truly was something I just did. It was basically I forget exactly when. But early in the season, Max, one of our team security guys, he told me whenever you hit a three you should do the belt celebration, how Aaron Rodgers. I just laughed at him. OK, I get it, everybody knows I’m a Packers fan and all that. Then I was talking trash about how my Packers were going to win the Super Bowl, and that didn’t go as I was hoping, and then a month or two went by. He kept telling me to do it, kept telling me. I said, “No, I’m not doing it.” Then when we played Dallas, I hit a few big shots in a row and I just did it. It wasn’t premeditated, but I brought it out, and it was more funny than anything to me.
Have you talked to Aaron Rodgers about it?
I’ve never spoken to him. I’ve been his fan for a long time. He’s tweeted me a few times. Growing up in Wisconsin and being such a big fan -- during the lockout I went to two Packers games and took pictures and tweeted them out -- to have the MVP tweet me about doing his move in New York was pretty cool.
You’re supporting and spreading awareness for Loeys-Dietz syndrome. What makes this disease important to you?
My involvement with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome started when I was in college. A little girl who lived in a suburb, a 9-year-old girl, she had this syndrome. She had over 20 surgeries in her life and had characteristics of the syndrome, with heart defects and a club foot and things like that. Those are some of the characteristics you commonly see. She had gone through these operations and a friend came to me and said she’d been wearing a Marquette jersey. It made her stronger; she said she’d wear it to give her strength. So I met her and kind of got to know her, and we developed a friendship. She comes to many of my NBA games. She really involved me in Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and made me aware of what it was. So any way I can, I try to help those with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome.