Fresh off the Tar Heels trouncing last night of the Spartans, college roundball is still very much on our mind. Unfortunately, it's still a full 7 months until the NIT season tip-off in November. Ugh.

Thank goodness, though, for the Bitter Lawyer blog, which today ran a very interesting Q&A with ESPN hoops analyst Jay Bilas. Believe it or not, the former Duke basketball star is a commercial litigator in his spare time at North Carolina's Moore & Van Allen, which bills itself as one of the largest firms in the Southeast.

Here's is the bio page for Bilas, who is of counsel at the firm. It mentions one representative case in which Bilas boasts that he successfully defended a costume business against a trademark-copyright action brought by owners of the children's television character, Barney. Bilas ?posterizes' the purple dinosaur!

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Did you always plan on going to law school?

No. My father talked me into it. He thought it would be a really good education and a versatile degree. He was right. I have never regretted it.

So what's your law/basketball balance like these days?

I practiced full time with M&VA for about nine years, and worked with ESPN on the side. Several years ago, it became too difficult to do 50 games and studio work each year while carrying a full-time law practice. Really, I am now a basketball broadcaster who practices law on the side.

What's been your best moment as a lawyer?

My best moment as a lawyer came during a securities arbitration when cross-examining a witness. I knew the witness was lying, and I was able to lead the witness down a certain path with his lying, and trap him with his own documents.

What was your best moment as a player? Admit it, being a player is way more exciting, right?

As a player, my best moments were with my teammates in games and practices. I had a lot of really good games in high school, college and professionally -- and I played on some really good teams -- but the best moments were the time I spent with my teammates, on and off the court. The guys I played with are still my best friends in the world.

Of course, being a player is a lot more exciting and fun than being a lawyer. Nobody sits around with his buddies watching Court TV. They watch ball games.

Are any of your clients unaware of your basketball background?

Sure, plenty. But I have also represented clients that had no earthly idea that I played, coached or currently broadcast games for ESPN. They just think I'm freakishly tall. And, they're right.

‘Bitter Lawyer’ Talks Hoops With Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas - Law Blog - WSJ