Matt Bullard won an NBA Championship with the Houston Rockets during the 1993–1994 season. The 6’10” forward played in the NBA for 11 years, spending most of his career with the Rockets, where he set the season franchise record for 3-point shooting percentage at .446. He also had stints in Charlotte and Atlanta. Today, he is a broadcast analyst covering the Houston Rockets and the NBA. He also represented the United States on Team USA 4 times while in college, “winning 2 gold medals and 2 silver medals for USA Basketball in international competitions around the world.”
At almost 7 feet tall, Bullard might seem to be an unlikely candidate to fit into a Tesla Model 3, but he does and enjoys the vehicle very much. Bullard answered some questions about his Model 3 for CleanTechnica.
You are almost 7 feet tall — how well do you fit in your Model 3, and have you taken any road trips in it yet?
I fit in the Model 3 better than I do in the Model S or the Model X. The cross member in the roof is farther behind my head in the Model 3. My head touches the cross member in the S and X. I have enough headroom in the 3 to wear a helmet and plan to do so at a track sometime soon.
At almost 7 feet tall, I don’t fit in many cars comfortably, the Model 3 is the most comfortable car I’ve ever owned. The amount of space in the 3 is impressive and the seats are amazingly comfortable.
I haven’t taken any road trips yet. But autopilot has been a game changer for my 80-mile round trip commute. Now I arrive at work fresh and relaxed. The drive home after work is now a serenity experience instead of draining me of every last bit of energy.
In the video, you said you waited 2.5 years to get your Model 3, and when you got it, the car was better than what you expected. What is better about it?
I’ve owned a few cars that had adaptive cruise control and they were underwhelming at best. Jerky and not smooth at all. So when I was waiting for my Model 3 I was trying to temper my expectations to what I had already experienced. Model 3 is a huge step forward in automated driving. It’s much smoother than I was expecting and continues to get better with each software update.
The drama-free full-throttle acceleration still makes me giggle every time I have enough open road to drop the hammer.
You also mentioned the Model 3 has more head space than the S, so you fit more comfortably in the 3 than the S? Did you also drive an X?
I drove both an S and an X. I was thinking about perhaps leasing one of those while I waited on my Model 3. Ultimately, I decided to just wait on the Model 3 and I’m very glad that I did. It fits my needs perfectly.
Why were you interested in a Tesla Model 3 instead of the other cars on the market?
I saw the Model 3 as the tipping point for Tesla in particular and electric cars in general and I wanted to help push us past the tipping point by purchasing one.
How long have you been interested in Teslas, and how did you first hear of the company and its vehicles?
I’ve always been a car guy and I pay attention to the worldwide car market and what products are out there. When I first learned about Tesla cars, I was excited about them. Then I rented a Tesla S for a day and fell in love. The driving dynamics of an electric car with instant torque and prodigious thrust is something that really appeals to me as a driver. Autopilot really appeals to me as a commuter in a big city with heavy traffic.
How important is it to you to drive an all-electric vehicle that has no tailpipe emissions?
I’m aware of the positive environmental impact of electric cars. It’s urgent that we wean ourselves off of carbon emissions and I hope that my advocacy for Tesla cars helps push us towards a sustainable future. Solar panels and a Powerwall are next on my agenda.
How many miles have your driven your Model 3 and what are your impressions so far?
I’ve driven 4,000 miles so far and I will never purchase another internal combustion car again. It’s such an obvious leap forward in automotive technology. And continues to get better via software updates.
What other vehicles do you own?
My wife drives a Porsche Macan. Although, it’s staying in the garage much more than it used to. Driving it after driving the Model 3 is like taking a step backwards. It’s a terrific car, but it’s undeniably old technology now. It’ll get replaced with a Model X someday. Or, in my dreams, a Roadster.
Will you eventually have only electric vehicles?
My family is definitely transitioning towards all-electric transportation as quickly as possible.
When did you begin to have a strong personal connection to the outdoors and nature?
I have always enjoyed outdoor sports, snow skiing, waterskiing, and surfing. I’m always happier when I’m outside having fun. The connection I feel with mother nature is very important to me. I want to preserve that for generations that follow.
How important is it to you that your children understand what sustainable transportation is?
My kids are in their 20s now, and are making their own way in life. However, I’ve been educating them on what’s been going on with our environment and they are fully on board with sustainability. In fact, my son works at Tesla. It’s so cool for him to be working for a company on the cutting edge of technology and then be able to teach me all about it.
Do you see other NBA players buying Teslas?
The Tesla Model X is the new “Baller” car. It’s becoming quite popular around the league and I’m seeing some with incredibly cool looking wraps in NBA arena parking lots.
My colleague and former teammate, Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, just bought a Model X P100D. He loves it so much he doesn’t drive his Rolls Royce anymore.
Image Credit: Matt Bullard
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