Most people around Michigan who are familiar with Mateen Cleaves know that he’s spent the past year and a half or so immersing himself in a new career as the owner of a record label and promoting the career of Flint hip hop artist Jon Connor.
Cleaves recently did an interview with the site Lost Lettermen, discussing what he’s up to now and also why he decided to move on from the game
After my last year in the D-League … And I was playing in the D-League because I like to play basketball. I like to compete and I enjoy basketball. That’s my heart, that’s my love, that was my life.
Last summer I just thought that it was just time. A perfect time to go all in with Jon. Put everything I had into it and get out here and push him. And that’s what I’m going to do because I’m a hard worker in everything I do.
And I just thought it was a perfect time to get out and push Jon and just jump out. Jump out there. A lot of people thought I was crazy for passing up basketball and jumping into a new arena but I’m really excited about it and I thought it was the perfect time this summer just to go all in. All or nothing.
Cleaves is always a great interview, so the whole link is worth a read. Along with Connor and basketball, Cleaves also discusses his relationship with Mark Ingram and with Plaxico Burress, who played football at Michigan State while Cleaves was on the basketball team.
– Patrick Hayes