When Desmond Mason was a rookie in the NBA during the 2000-2001 season, he was summoned to the league’s Midtown office for a sudden meeting with then-commissioner David Stern.
Nervously, the 6-foot-6 player for the Seattle SuperSonics headed into the pooh-bah’s office.
Turns out, Stern was interested in the baller’s burgeoning art career — and had read a Sports Illustrated article about Mason that ran while he was a senior at Oklahoma State, where he played small forward and studied studio art.
“I was really the only artist-athlete at the time. He thought it was interesting,” says the Texas native, who went on to win the league’s Slam Dunk contest in 2001.
Stern asked to buy one of his drawings featured in the magazine — a portrait of Al Pacino in “Carlito’s Way.”
“Is he the consigliere of the Gambino family? What is going on?” Mason