Doug and Jackie Christie are no ordinary married couple. From his time playing in the NBA to Jackie’s striving fashion business, they have never been far away from each others hearts. It takes two strong people to fulfill a marriage in a way that the Christie’s did daily. Even with critics always arising, they seemed to overcome and stood strong with each other. I had the pleasure of talking to both Doug and Jackie in regards to several topics including Doug’s NBA career to Jackie’s fashion business and even their TV show. We even got to talking about playing for the Raptors (of course).
Well enough with the previews… on with the feature presentation.
Hoops Addict: What was it like to fulfill your dream and play in the NBA?
Doug: It was really the most gratifying experience because growing up and not knowing exactly what you want to do. I started out being a soccer player and then once I picked up a basketball I really knew that I love this game and this is what I wanted to do. I tell my kids all the time that I put all my eggs in one basket and I said that I’m going to make it to the NBA once I went from high school to college. Right at high school was the first time a coach told me that I had the talent to make it to the NBA and once I got to college I started seeing other guys around me and I said that this is really an obtainable goal now and then I just kept working and working and once I made it I was just elated and extremely happy.
HA: When did you actually start playing basketball?
Doug: I probably started playing basketball at 8.
HA: Who was the toughest player you ever had to guard in a game?
Doug: I would say the toughest player I ever had to guard personally was Michael Jordan.
HA: Could you possibly describe how it was guarding him?
Doug: I always say that whenever I played against Michael Jordan at the beginning of the game I would shake his hand and then I wouldn’t say anything else to him because I knew that he plays the game with his mind at the same time like he will defend you and then scorch you for 40 points. I would never say anything and I think that I gained the utmost respect and ultimately he gained respect for me because we would battle and push and hold and he would never say anything to the ref. He was the ultimate from the standpoint that he would go to the free throw line, gain rebounds, dominate you on the defensive end and he had a mid range game, he could hit the 3 pointer and ultimately he always won. Not always but about 80% of the time he was winning the game. He just did everything on the floor and when you look at that as a basketball player, he is the hardest to guard.
HA: What were some of the hardest temptations to resist while playing in the NBA?
Doug: I would probably have to say first and foremost is just staying focused on the game of basketball because the game is so big it engulfs the city when it comes to the city and you have to stay focused on and off the court. Of course you have the extracurricular activities from partying, hanging out with the guys to not getting enough rest on rest days. I would say that out of all of those probably the rest aspect is the biggest because it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing if you’re not getting enough rest when you hit that court it could be a big problem.
HA: Which player or coach (at a young age) had the most impact on your career?
Doug: I would say the player that had the biggest impact for me at a young age was Charles Oakley. He worked so hard and when I got to New York he took me under his wing and said “look, hang with me and I will show you the ropes”. That was coming in early, leaving late, and always pushing you to the fullest.
From a coaching standpoint I would have to say Rick Adleman. He really showed me the game, Pat Riley was in there but his was really all about hard work. Rick was about hard work but he was always teaching you, showing you, tinkering with your mind.
HA: I am from Toronto so I have to ask this question – what was it like playing for Toronto?
Doug: My experience playing for the Raptors was fantastic. It came at a point in our life where my wife and I just got married so we were going to a new country and it was a fantastic experience even though we lost a lot. I developed a lot of friendships there from Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady, and Vince Carter and there were a lot of different shifts in the organization and when we look back on it it was really fun. We had a good time!
HA: This question is for Jackie. I know that you have your own fashion business. What do you want to accomplish in the fashion world with your company?
Jackie: I would definitely like to bring fashion to the masses in a way that Isaac Mizrahi has done in Target. He has brought in high fashion clothing at a reasonable price so everyone can afford.
HA: How do you keep your marriage strong?
Jackie: I would say first and foremost the dedication we have to our marriage and to each other. Family is first with me and Doug; we have the same ideals and values. We kept it together by keeping that on the forefront and ignoring the extra stuff that is out there. We keep focused on what is important to us.
HA: Was it hard knowing you guys were separated by thousands of miles for several days at a time?
Jackie: It was hard sometimes but at the same time I traveled with Doug a lot while he was playing over the years so we kept our relationship close. We have a lot of business together so we were able to go and do his basketball but at the same time we could enjoy talking about our business or houses that we were building and different things like that. Our relationship remained close because we made sacrifices to do that. Even though we remained away from our kids, my mother lives with us year round and she was able to offer a stable environment on those days that we were out of town.
HA: How is life after basketball?
Jackie: I would say for me it’s exciting but at the same time it’s depressing sometimes for my husband because he really has the itch to go out there and compete. He is in great shape and now that he is in the best shape of his life he really wants to get out there on the court.
Doug: I would say for me, like my wife said I want to get back out there and play. But at the same time it’s fun cause everyday my wife and I do all of our business ventures but that’s not as big as being able to see the kids on a day-to-day basis and spend time with them right when they get up in the morning.
HA: Have you ever thought about getting into coaching or holding camps for young kids?
Doug: My wife always tells me that she would love for me to get into coaching but she thinks that I would be a little bit hard on the guys. We have done camps before, we had an organization, and it was called Christie’s Bridge to Kids. We held the camps at my old high school and we wouldn’t let the kids pay for the camps as most of them were underprivileged so we would get some garbage bags and there would be 300 kids going around and cleaning up the neighborhood and that would be their payment to come to the camp. By all means I love teaching kids and hopefully someday coaching them as well.
HA: Your book is called “No Ordinary Love”. Would you say that this best describes your love between you and Jackie?
Doug: I would say that, the words “Infinite Love.” We talk about it in the book where it best describes what we have and that’s obviously infinity mixed with love and that’s what always carries us through from the day we met to here talking and it’s a beautiful thing that we share as soul mates together.
Jackie: You have to be best friends and have each others back and in saying that no matter what happens. A lot of people attacked me through Doug’s career. I felt bad about it but not for myself because I have been taught that sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt me. For Doug I knew that it was going to affect his career if we didn’t try to explain that all we were guilty of was loving each other and respecting each other. It just goes to show how deep our love is that we were able to remain solidly married and having each others back and being each others soul mates.
HA: What is the most important message you would want readers to get from your book?
Doug: I would say the most important message that we would want them to get is that love is definitely alive and that you can be married and this day and age and be happy and respect each other and still have a great marriage at the end of the day.
HA: What is it like to have your own TV show?
Jackie: It’s exciting because this year we are executive producers so we going to have a lot of say so with the content of the show. This year we will be able to involve a lot more of what our life is about as far as our foundation and everything else goes. It is extremely powerful and you can definitely a median to get your message out there and for people to get to see you and know you instead of what they may read or hear from other friends.
HA: Do you feel that your show is genuine and not over acted to the cameras?
Jackie: I would say I feel that it’s all natural. Sometimes the producers would create scenarios and they would want a natural reaction. With Doug and I it was all natural reactions.
Doug: It was kind of different after it was cut to see yourself and can’t believe that you acted a certain way but then again to realize that “this is me”.
HA: What message do you want to send to the average viewer that watches your show?
Jackie: The message we would want to send is that no matter what relationship you are in, boyfriend, girlfriend or married, you live once. Be respectful and have fun.
HA: One final question for both of you, I will start off asking Doug. What’s one word to describe Jackie?
Doug: Can I mix a word like faithfully loving?
Jackie: (laughs) One word Doug.
Doug: I would say true. When I say true I know that my wife will be there for me. She’s true! I know that my wife loves me. She’s true. I know she loves our children. She’s true. I know that every day she is striving to do the best for our family. She’s true. I know that day in and day out what she is trying to do I am trying to do. She’s true.
HA: Jackie, one word to describe Doug.
Jackie: I would say strong. I would say that for all the hits he has taken and all the stuff people have said about him throughout his NBA career. He still remains a wonderful husband and father. He is strong as far as teaching our kids and just everything that he stands for, Doug is strong.
HA: Well I do thank you for your time to talk to HA about your professional and personal life.
The Christie’s are both certainly Strong and True.