On the court, basketball fans watched as Rick Fox mastered his game, first with the Boston Celtics and then with the LA Lakers where he won three championships before retiring in 2004. Now off the court professionally, Fox is truly enjoying a second career as an actor as well as being a devoted father to his two children and most importantly indulging in his foodie side.
A long-time foodie and industry admirer, Fox relates the game of basketball and the teamwork it takes to win to that of a restaurant and its ability to provide a memorable experience. “When people deliver on that game plan of service and a meal and they are relying on each other’s strengths and also trying to eliminate any weaknesses, it reminds meof professional sports. I see the two as a parallel. When I go to a restaurant, I am looking at the full experience. I am watching the teamwork and the end result. That is what the food experience for me is about,” says Fox.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Fox’s family moved to his father’s native country, The Bahamas, before he was one-year-old. School and basketball led him to the United States but the culinary memories will always remain. “I have grown to be spoiled. I am used to the fish right out of the ocean and onto the plate. That is the organic and freshness of foods being prepared that I really search out for.” For Fox, it is the ingredients that create the experience so the fresher they are, the better the experience. Hitting the mark for freshness is definitely Asian cuisine which inspires Fox. On a recent vacation to Thailand with his family, he took a cooking class which has added a new dimension to his cooking repertoire.
And wine? Yes, he enjoys this too. “I enjoyed wine way too much for way too long. I’ve enjoyed the Italian regions for many years,” says Fox who now drinks “gracefully” since getting older. With an Italian mom, Italian wines were a natural introduction. Since leaving the NBA and not running 6-8 miles up and down the court each game, Fox is creating a balance between what he now eats and drinks noting that he is no longer inclined to indulge in his Roman heritage of “bring wine, bring food, let’s eat until we fall asleep” experiences.
On a daily basis, it is all about breakfast. “I can eat breakfast any time of the day,” says the father who cooks and is frequently known to show off his skills.
From the Court to the Big Screen
He notes his life is a storybook if ever told. From the court to the big screen, Fox says he has been blessed to meet the right people at the right time and stay busy in a variety of acting roles that allow him to be himself as well as take on the roles of other characters. A chance encounter with Tyler Perry led to a lead role in Perry’s movie “Meet the Browns” as Harry with Angela Basset in 2008. “I was working out with my trainer, working the hill and running down Sunset Boulevard and he almost hit me with his Bentley,” he says jokingly. After a short meeting at Mel’s Diner minutes later, the rest is Hollywood history.
Serious about each project he takes on, fans can tune in on Monday’s nights to VH1’s new series “Hit the Floor” to see Fox in a guest role. “The Game” fans can look forward to more Rick and Tasha twists and turns starting next month on BET and A&E viewers can look forward to Fox’s return on “The Glades” for three episodes. Up in the air is his return on VH1’s hit show “Single Ladies” as taping for the third season was confirmed. Foodies can look forward to a restaurant project at some point in the future as he is in the process of creating the company that will oversee restaurant operations.
With one foot still on the court, this Father’s Day won’t be spent alone with his kids or being served brunch in bed. Instead, he is off to the NBA Finals which will most likely be in San Antonio. Looking forward to the games just as much as the food, he is excited to see what San Antonio’s culinary scene has to offer. Recommendations are welcome.
To stay updated with projects and upcoming appearances, visit Fox’s website at www.rickfox.com.