Quincy “Q” Jones grew up in North and East Nashville. In September 2017 he took us on a driving tour of his childhood neighborhoods as a way of introducing us to the city. It ended up being a tour of his memories and an introduction to the deep values of his town.
On the court if you weak you ain't gonna survive.
Q: Then when I left here. I moved to out East. So then I had to experience out east. Like, like the psychology over there. ‘Cause over there it’s just like a, over there just like if you weak you aint gonna survive. I mean that’s just the best way to put it. If you’re weak out east… You go out there and you, like, say if I took you out there, right. If I took you out there to play basketball with me. By your body language they goin’, they goin’, they goin’ to tempt you. And they’re going to try you. I took… like, oh, when I was at Cross Point and they gave us mentors, his name was Philip. And I took him to the center one time. And, like, he was then like a dude. He was younger, but, like, he was, like, letting them body him and talk to him. And Phil wouldn’t say nothin’ back. And if you aint gonna say nothin’ back they gonna, like, like, that’s something I can say, like, they might not be street smart. I mean, school smart, but they street smart and they know how to analyze. And so, yeah, man they’ll pick you apart. They’ll pick your apart easily. If you in the center and you call nicks but you aint, like, respected, you aint got no confidence. Forget your nicks. You’re not nicks, you not even fixin’ to play. Nobody gonna pick you up. So then you get your ball and you go on the other side. I done seen, I done have friends to where, like. Once I got my respect, I will pick them up so they could try to earn a respect. ‘Cause it was just like, like they just wasn’t fixin’ to nothin’. Nah I can’t go out like that. I stand for something, you feel me? I ain’t fixin to be nobody’s… I ain’t fixin’ to be nobody’s punk, you ain’t fixin to treat me no kind of way. You feel me? You bleed just like I bleed.
Philip: So the court is a lot more than basketball, is what you are telling me.
Q: Yeah, the court. The court… Life. I seen that life in general is like it. But the court… Big ole chess game. It’s all it is. You just need to think two steps ahead. I could be the best player on the court. And you can’t even be good but if you know how to talk to me and get in my head, I’m already beat! You done beat me already! Because now instead of me playing I’m worried about you and what you got to say. I’m already beat. And so, and so it’s one big old mind game. It’s dealing with your confidence and gettin’ respect. It’s being competitive. Wantin’ to be better than the other person. I mean it’s a whole bunch of aspects to, to… not even just basketball.
Philip: Does any of that carry over into college basketball? D people talk on the court?
Q: Yeah, yeah! Larry Bird, Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan. So many stories on him. Michael Jordan. Larry Bird will tell you. Look, I fixin’ to get the ball, spin move, step back, make the three. You feel me? Alright, this what you gonna do? OK So I’m gonna try to stop you from doing it and you still make it and that’s gonna shoot, that’s gonna hit me and my ego, like, dang, this dude crazy, this dude talkin’. Not only that but Larry Bird was white. Larry Bird gonna go out there and get a quick forty-five on you. Then your confidence is shot. You just let a white dude tell you what. Most of the time when playin’ basketball, especially like, like at ten or eleven, all the coach used to tell us to do is, man all these white boys want to do is shoot. They don’t want no preassure. now. So if you do like is they goin’ to throw it up. But if you leave them open they gonna tax you. But as you get older, you know, like, that whole theory changes, but. Yeah. And so, and so, and so you thinking, alright I can get, I can get buckets dropped on me by Jordan or somebody. But Bird? Nah, he ain’t fixin’ to do that. Yeah. Bird gonna take you there with you.
Q: And then Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan, his… When he came into the league the dude that had his position had just got traded. He said, ain’t nobody in Bull’s history gonna be able to do what I do. Michael Jordan said tell him I’m getting fifty tonight. Michael Jordan went out there, he got forty-nine. He was so competitive. He went to the dude’s locker room. He said, I only got forty-nine tonight, but you got to come to Chicago. That’s how you know that’s the competitive edge right there. That’s how you know it, right there.
Q: And I was talking, like, like… I went to play basketball this morning and I seen an old dude from my church, the Salvation Army. He was talking. He was like, you need, like, protein. I mean, yeah, you need some protein shakes. I was like, man, I just eat my greens. I eat my greens I can work out… Me and somebody can be equal and we both go and work out and he burn out and I burn out but I eat my greens, I’m a heel a lot quicker than he is. So that means I can go back to the gym more efficient than he is. So if I go work out five times, he only work out three times, who worked out harder? Hard work gonna beat talent any day. And so, I’m telling you it’s the will to get better. You gotta have that killer instinct though. You gotta really want it. I love my friends to death but we have on the court you ain’t my friend, we ain’t buddy buddy. You get the ball and it look like an easy shot I’m gonna foul you. I’m gonna you push hard too. Yeah, I’m gonna look at you, like, what? What? You want to take it there we can take it there!