Sorry. It was just too long for one post, IMHO. Carry on …
Would you call the Warriors a soft defensive team? – Eastern Europe Warriors
“They were ‘til I got there.”
Win now or build for the future? – Mr. B
“Win now because tomorrow is not promised to nobody.”
MY FOLLOW-UP: Their offseason moves suggest the Warriors are building for the future. You happy with management’s direction?
“I’m definitely happy because we’re better than last year. Obviously when you have a season like we had and we didn’t make the playoffs, obviously the team needs to get better. We’ve made strides every year from the time I got her until now. The stuff that the management’s done this summer has done nothing but make the team better. As long as we keep going up and not going down, I can’t complain.”
Is Monta ready to be the spokesman for the team both in and out of the locker room? – Petaluman
“Vocal leader … That’s not his personality. That’s my personality. I think Monta’s ready to be the leader on the court as far as being the point guard. I think he’s ready for that role. But as far as the vocal leader, that’s not his personality.”
MY FOLLOW-UP: Can a team thrive without the point guard being the vocal leader?
“Yes. I can name a couple teams that was successful without vocal point guards. Dallas, the year they went to the NBA Finals. The Lakers. Rondo with Boston. Their vocal leaders were Paul and Kevin Garnett. So the vocal leaders don’t have to be the point guard, but at the same time, (point guards) have to be leaders on the floor. That’s what Rondo is. Rondo’s a leader on the floor.”
MY FOLLOW-UP TO MY FOLLOW-UP: What makes you think Monta is ready to play point considering he’s never done it at this level before?
“I’ve been with him all summer. That’s what he’s been doing all summer, working on his point guard skills. He’s naturally a scorer, but I think with the ball in his hands, it’s going to be good for us because we need him to score and we need the ball in his hands. Being a point guard will just come naturally. And not having B.D., he should embrace that role of knowing that he has to step up more. Monta is a competitor, he’s young and he’s happy now that he’s got his contract. So we should see a good year from him.”
As the veteran leader, what do you feel are your most important contributions? – Petaluman
“I have to be stronger this year. I know my minutes are going to be more. And I know that – if they can go up any more (laughs) – and I know my body is going to take more of a banging knowing that B.D.’s not going to be there. So I’ve got to get stronger, man, get mentally tough. It’s not anything I’m not prepared for. I’ve just got to get used to it.”
Favorite album of all time? – No Fillin
“Super Tight. UGK.”
How is your freestyle flow? – Thurston Hunger
“I’ve been contemplating doing an album. I really feel that I’m better than at least 30 … 40 percent of the rappers out now.”
Who from around the league would you put on your “ultimate teammate” starting five? – Thurston Hunger
“Starting point guard … I’mma say guys I played with. Point guard I’mma say Baron Davis. Two guard, I will say Manu Ginobili. Three guard, I would say Al Harrington. Four I would say Tim Duncan and five David Robinson. So it’s three from San Antonio. That’s a good team right there!”
How do you remain motivated and driven when you don’t know from one year to the next what team you’ll be on, who your teammates will be and what your role on the team will entail? – JustPuked
“I think that comes from your love for the game and not playing for yourself, but playing for your teammates. That’s how easy it is to stay committed and stay focused on the main goal, and that’s winning. If everybody on the team has the same idea, that winning is the only thing important, than it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Are you friends with Bun B (of rap group UGK, from Port Arthur)? – Dennis
“That’s my (play) uncle.”
Given the changes to the roster, what do you see as your role on offense this year and what can you do to bring the team together? – Phil
“Instead of going into the season with three captains, its one now. Instead of having another guy with balls to hit big shots, I’ve got to take more of the big shots now, which I love. As far as making plays, I was second in making plays on the team behind B.D. So I have to take more of a role in not only being a scorer but making plays for other guys, because that was a big thing that Baron did. Baron was close to getting a triple-double almost every night. I’mma have to pick up more assists. I just put it like this: I’m going to have to average five more points and about three more assists to make up what Baron did.”
MY FOLLOW-UP: How are you preparing for that increased role?
“I had less of a vacation this summer. I worked out a week after we loss. I went back to the Arena and worked out. I think total I took off about a month-and-a-half this summer. I’ve been working all summer. I played in Houston Monday, this tournament in Houston where all the pros play. I’ve never played in that. I went to a tournament with 36 teams in Louisiana. I did that this year. I hadn’t done that in three years. I just took less time off and took more time to work on what I need to work on because not having B.D. is going to take a lot of work and a lot of energy and I’ve just got to come in camp in better shape.”
Are you healthy? – Niners in 2009
“Yes. This is the first year in four years that my season was over early. I didn’t have to play (in the playoffs), so my body had time to heal. My injuries were nothing big where I needed surgery or anything. My injuries were all nagging injuries from the years and years of playing basketball. So I think I just needed the time off and I think it helped.”