Unheard and Unseen Cuts from Wizards Media Day | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Unheard and Unseen Cuts from Wizards Media Day

Updated: October 3, 2009

Last Monday’s Washington Wizards media day seems like such a long time ago.

In addition to me being there, blogging about DeShawn Stevenson’s new tats, the musings of Gilbert Arenas, and the ‘consistent’ goals of Andray Blatche, there was a ton of great coverage from Hoops Addict, Wizards Insider, Wizards Outlet, and Bullets Forever.

Now, after transcribing all of my interview recordings, I wanted to share some of the quotes/pictures that have been relatively unheard/unseen.

{Note: I will be in Richmond for training camp on Saturday and Sunday. There’s limited media access, but I’ll be updating some of the goings-ons via Twitter}

Antawn Jamison

Question: This team needs to improve defensively, where does that start?

“It starts with each and every individual. We know what we have to do. There’s no need to talk about it. I think that guys have to be accountable. Guys have to work hard. Work at it, apply it to what the coaching staff is trying to do, and just take it from there. Don’t think we can outscore everybody and just be an offensive minded team because we see where that gets you – that gets you to the first round of the playoffs and then you’re home after that. For us, it’s all about trying to win championships, and in order to do that, you have to play better defense and be successful at it.”

Javaris Crittenton

On his retirement from Twitter (July 18, 2009):

“There’s just a lot going on and I  wanted to stay focused on what I needed to be doing. Sometimes, the Internet, FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, that can take away from your concentration on something that’s more important. And as soon as I got off, some of the players started getting in trouble … you have to watch what you say on there. I think the best way to avoid that is to just not be on there, so I got off.”

On the one thing that can separate him from the pack and earn him minutes:

“Be a consistent shooter and be able to run the offense. Set up the offense and run it with a purpose. Get guys the shots … we got a lot of scorers on this team, and me, I have to play something different. I can’t try to score. I gotta play defense, set up the plays, and make sure everybody gets their shots off. But be able to knock down shots when I have to opportunity.”

On leadership and being vocal:

“That’s something that Flip also stressed. The point guard should always be the leader, no matter how young you are. Not that you should disrespect anybody, but just be a leader. And that’s something that I found myself, not battling with, but I was so young when I came into the league, I had to learn how to lead.

It’s a different level now that you’re in the NBA. I definitely think that’s something I’m going to continue to improve upon, my leadership and being much more vocal this year.”

Mike James

On the challenge of changing his game from being more of a scorer to being more of a facilitator in order to earn minutes:

“Just play the game the right way. I think we have a lot of weapons on this team this year, we have a lot of scorers. And so, when we’re playing the game, we have to figure out how to put people in the right places, and I definitely have to be a facilitator. That will definitely be one of my jobs.

But at the same time,  I won’t turn down any shots. And I don’t think Flip wants the type of offense, or runs the type of system where he wants you to turn down shots. He just wants you to go out there and play, and put the team in the right situations.”

On if he’ll be a vocal leader because of his experience and his championship ring:

“This is 2009-10 season, I won a ring in 2004. A lot has happened since 2004, and I’m not even focused on what I did. It’s about what I’m doing and what I’ll do. It has nothing to do with what I did. My respect comes from the basketball player I am, not from what I’ve done in the past.”

Suggested Reading:

Nick Young

On his work with Sam Cassell and if he’s learned any veteran tricks of the trade:

“Sam was a smooth player, he knows the inside game very well. I grew up watching him, especially when he played for the Clippers. He’s taught me a lot … post moves, and how to stay under control.”

Fabricio Oberto

On leadership via his championship experience:

“I’m just trying to help the team. I won’t put anything on it, like ‘yea, let’s do this’. That’s happens when you start practicing, start working out, when you start getting to know each other … you know, trying to help with my experience. When you go through many years playing for different teams, you know how to get it done. And I’m that’s what I can bring to the team.”

Brendan Haywood

Fitting In With Flip:

“I think I’ll fit in fine. If you look at Flip Saunders’ system, big men have always fit in well … as far as Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Rasho Nesterovic … even guys like Dean Garrett did well in his system.”

It’s A Contract Year, but Does Brendan Know His Role?

“I know my role and I know what I’m supposed to do for this team. I know who the scorers are and I know what they’re supposed to do. And I think as a team, we know that we’re supposed to do.”

On Oberto and Defense:

I think Oberto helps us defensively because he’s a guy, you don’t have to tell him where to be, he already knows. That was part of our problem last year. We had a lot of guys who didn’t really know where to be. He’s not going to be apart of that problem, so that’s definitely an added bonus.”

More on Defense:

“We have to figure out what our defensive identity is, and we have to have guys in the right position. It’s one thing to get beat by your man, but it’s another thing to not know where you’re supposed to be. We have to have guys who play good position defense. The best defensive teams, teams like the Spurs, they play great position defense. They’ve taken guys who have been traditionally poor defenders, like let’s say a Mike Finley or a Brent Barry, integrated them into their system, and they’ve done just fine because they play good position defense. We have to get to the point where everybody knows, this is how we’re going to play, this is where I need to be, and you can count on your teammates to be there.”

Defensive Potential:

“I think we can definitely become a good defensive team. Maybe not last year, but the year before that, with the addition of Randy Ayers, I thought you saw us become a better defensive team. It doesn’t happen overnight, but we definitely became a better defensive team.

In previous years, defense wasn’t stressed … if you could score, you played. And now it’s a little bit different. Now it’s ‘what can you do on both sides of the ball’, because you have to realize that offense isn’t the only side of the basketball.”

On Failure vs. Success:

“Failure will be not making the playoffs, or losing in the first round. I think DC fans probably got tired of that.”

“Success will be making it to the second round, making it to the conference finals, NBA finals … anything past the first round. So, it’s a process, but I think we can get there.”

On his trainer Idan Ravin, ‘The Hoops Whisperer‘:

“He has this one drill that’s like 15 minutes of constant basketball movement. And it’s crazy, I’m like, ‘when am I going to be moving for 15 straight minutes?’ It’s very tiring and frustrating, but at the end of the day, it gets you in shape and gets you ready.”

On Blogging (and if Gilbert has passed the torch to him):

“I’m not sure if he handed to blogging torch over to me, but it’s something I just did this summer. YardBarker asked me if I wanted to do it, I figured it’d be fun. I had a little bit of fun with it. I think I’ll continue to do it during the course of the year. It’s gets you closer to the fans and gives them a little insight into what you’re thinking and what you’re doing.”

On If Gilbert Needs To Change:

“I don’t think he needs to change. I think you have to be who you are. When we were winning, and he was doing all his antics and actions, everybody loved it. But when we started losing and they tried to blame him, I don’t think it was him needing to change, I think it was him being injured. I compare him to Chad Johnson. When the Bengals were winning, all that stuff was funny. When they started losing, they blamed him. It wasn’t his fault. Carson Palmer was hurt. They weren’t going to win anyway. Everybody is always going to need a scapegoat, and he can’t let people on the outside determine who he is.”

Haywood At Attention

Jamison’s Blue Steel

Wiz Media Day Scene 1

Wiz Media Day Scene 2

The Faces of Tuff Juice

Waiting For Gilbert

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.