Actor Marc Blucas needs to make a phone call.
He wants to do a little bragging: He's working on USA Network's "Necessary Roughness," while his buddy is not working -- for now.
"I'm out there every day doing my thing and my friend is just sitting home," said Blucas, who plays the potential love interest of the lead character. "I need to make that call."
That friend happens to be NBA superstar Tim Duncan, whose sport is locked out with no return in sight. Blucas and Duncan played together in 1994 for Wake Forest University.
While Duncan made it to the NBA, Blucas tried and failed. Then Blucas took off for Hollywood, this time trying and succeeding.
"Every kid who plays basketball wants to make it to the NBA, but I was a tweener: more of a shooting guard in a point-guard size body," said Blucas, who is about 6-foot-2. "I knew it wasn't going to happen. So now I live vicariously through Tim. I'm a Spurs groupie."
And Blucas, 39, has been a successful working actor since 1995. He landed his first major role in 1999 as Riley Finn in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and appeared in several movies, including "First Daughter," before appearing on "Necessary Roughness."
"Because of my sports background, I can offer assistance to the writers to help the storylines appear more authentic," said Blucas, who is the New York Hawks athletic trainer on the show. "I'm a sounding board, almost a tech adviser. I'm just doing my part."
Once people on his movie/TV sets find out Blucas previously played major college ball, they want to play pickup games. And Blucas often declines.
"In one game, I had shot 19 free throws. One time I received eight stitches. And one time I was on crutches," Blucas said. "For some reason, these Hollywood types love to take the game so seriously!"