The would-be NBA star who wishes DC had a better reputation

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Chuck Todd once dreamed of being a point guard in the NBA.

He knew the odds were against him. “Why wouldn’t that be a realistic goal for a kid who, on his best day, was not going to be 6 foot? Hey, if Spud Webb could win a dunk contest, anything seemed possible.”

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It didn’t happen. But Todd, who turned 42 on Tuesday, is now somewhat of a point guard for NBC News. He covers the White House, runs the network’s political bureau, writes First Read for NBCNews.com, and hosts MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.”

We wanted to know more about Todd, so we asked him these questions.

Grew up in:  Miami

College attended: I went to GW [George Washington] here in D.C.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?Really thought I could be an NBA point guard. I mean, I just tore it up in 6th grade on 8-foot hoops.

Favorite hobby/activity:Slowly trying to build complete sets of every Topps baseball card series from 1952 to today. And doing it for no more than 25 cents on the dollar based on book value of the cards. Been working on it for years and will continue to for years. My kids now help me. 

How you unwind after a long day:Put mobile phone away. If it’s sunny outside, then playing catch with my two kids and practicing their fielding skills. After they are in bed, feet up and some real mindless sitcom TV (probably reruns of “Seinfeld” or “Modern Family”) while doing NYT crosswords.

What you’re reading:I have been fascinated by Lincoln’s Boys by Joshua Zeitz. Just a reminder that “spin” and “legacy protection” is not new.  

Favorite band:Changes yearly. Right now, I love everything Imagine Dragons is doing. Old staples for me though are also U2, Queen and Led Zeppelin.

What you like and dislike about D.C.:Love the fact D.C. has four seasons. I grew up in Miami where we have summer for six months a year and “sweltering summer” for the other six months. 

 I hate the fact our politics and the D.C. institutions are so hated.

A household chore that you can’t stand:My wife would claim all of them. But if I had to rank them, then I think it is picking up after the dogs in the back yard.

Favorite saying/life philosophy:Most obituaries do not include the phrase “and they were survived by X number of co-workers.” Point is, when the chips are down, as much as work seems like your life, it is family that is there at the end. 

A turning point in your career:The decision to leave The Hotline for NBC.  I actually hesitated to make the jump and even passed up an interview the first time. But a lesson in life is don’t be too comfortable, and I was simply passing up the NBC opportunity because I was comfortable. So I rolled the dice.

Something that few know about you:I love musicals and show tunes. As a high school and college French horn player, my favorite gigs were playing in pit orchestras for musicals and learning the words to every song in the show. To this day, I think, with just a rehearsal, I could sing the lead (probably not well) to “Brigadoon.”