Ross: Bobby Hansen Had Second Thoughts

July 6, 2015

Written by Ross Peterson

For me, Bobby Hansen was the Des Moines kid that lived the dream. He was a star in High School. He played for the Hawkeyes and he made it to the NBA. What more could a guy ask for?

I hope you’ve had the chance to meet Bobby Hansen. He’s an amazing guy. He’s one of those guys that has contagious confidence. You feel better about yourself when he’s around you. He has a sort of presence about him.

A few years ago I got the chance to sit down with Bobby Hansen when he was in Des Moines. We talked for about an hour about life. His childhood, his career at Iowa, and his journey through the NBA that culminated with an NBA Championship ring while playing alongside Michael Jordan.

I asked Bobby about the NBA finals. What was it like to play with Jordan? Did you sit there realizing this was a childhood dream come true, or did that realization set in later? How does a kid from Iowa process those moments while they’re happening? His answers shocked me.

What was going through his head was what could’ve been!

Bobby was not guaranteed to be drafted. Gary Kirk was a friend, and Kirk Van Orsdel was a young company. Bobby was offered a job. But the Utah Jazz drafted him in the third round and the dream came true.

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Don’t misunderstand this: Bobby wouldn’t trade his ride for anything. He’s extremely grateful for the opportunities he’s had through Basketball. But there were times during his nine-year career when he thought to himself “what if I went to work for Gary?”

This was eye-opening to me. To realize a guy that had lived a life I had dreamed of questioned his decisions.

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What I took from the story was this: Even when you reach your goals, there will be a voice telling you that you made a mistake somewhere along the way. Bobby doesn’t tell the story with any regret; he knows he’s been blessed and he doesn’t take any of those wonderful moments for granted. But when he told me that, it reminded me that second guessing yourself happens. It happens to almost everybody, even the guys you think are living a dream.

I had a chance to sit down with Bobby Hansen last week on my sports talk show, The Sports Fanatics on 1460 KXNO. We touched on a variety of subjects, but the old “grass is always greener” story came up.

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Bobby tells some great stories here. We were chatting the day after the NBA draft, so we start by talking about his draft experience. We talk about Aaron White and his fit with the Wizards. Bobby tells us about his shoe contracts and how Jordan took care of him. We also talk about the Iowa Basketball team.

The third voice you hear is Des Moines comedian Bill Blank who was filling in for my regular co-host, Chris Williams.

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