“It ain’t no secret around the league that I struggle with my defense. My pick-and-roll defense is my weakness. And that’s mind over matter. I just gotta suck it up, get my ass out there, and do it…. On defense, I’m just thinking, OK, Al, you gotta be ready. Be focused. Here they come with the re-screen! Oh, shoot!”
- New Charlotte Bobcat Al Jefferson.
At least he’s honest.
“It made me feel so good that there’s a team out there that has so much belief in my game. I was like, ‘Done deal.’ And then when they started talking money, it was like, ‘Oh my god!’ It was icing on the cake.”
- Jefferson on receiving the big offer (three-years, $41 million) from Charlotte at the start of free agency. FYI – at the time there did not appear to be any other serious suitors.
Only in the NBA!
“Pretty much they just said, do you think Kim’s running the country…the Marshal, do you think he’s running the country? You know they want me to sit there and say all these things, you know ‘What did you see?’… And I saw one thing: a bunch of liquor, a bunch of girls.”
- Dennis Rodman on the debriefing he received from U.S. authorities after his April visit to North Korea.
“I gave [Kim Jong Un] a great indication of when I’m going to Beijing soon – that’s just a hop, skip and a jump from North Korea. So basically, you know, I’m pretty sure I’ll be talking to [Kim] soon. I will definitely ask for Kenneth Bae’s release. I will say, ‘Marshal, why is this guy held hostage?’ I could try and soften it up in that way. If the Marshal says, ‘Dennis, you know, do you want me to let him loose?’ and then if I actually got him loose – and I’m just saying this out the blue – I’d be the most powerful guy in the world.”
- Rodman on when he last spoke to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his plans to personally raise the issue of imprisoned U.S. national Kenneth Bae.
“When you look at KG, probably no back-to-backs, but those are just topics right now that are being thrown around.”
- New Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd on how he plans to handle Kevin Garnett.
I am skeptical that they’ll follow through on that but if they want to still be playing in late May/June then they must go this route (i.e. limit KG’s minutes/give him games off etc.)
“Dwight didn’t want to play with Kobe for 2-3 more years.”
- Lakers owner Jim Buss on Dwight Howard.
I don’t blame him.
“He was never really a Laker. He was just passing through.”
- Jim Buss on Howard.
“I had a problem with – if I’m a coach, I would want to have some say in the draft, I would want to have some say in the draft. These are all Sam Hinkle’s people who they drafted this year. He traded one of the better point guards in the NBA; yeah, I have a problem with the way the Sixers are running their organization right now. Listen, Howard, you know I don’t believe in that analytical crap. If LeBron James couldn’t spell cat, I want him on my team. I always tell people, give me a dumb guy that can really play. Don’t give me no smart guy.
The guy [Hinkie], he came from Houston. When did Houston get good? When they went out [and] paid James Harden all that money and [Omer] Asik, and now they went out [and] got Dwight Howard. That’s got nothing to do with analytics, that’s got to do with paying really good players to come to town.”
- Charles Barkley shares his thoughts on the Sixers and how to build a winner.
And he wants to be a GM? No idea.
“He said, ‘No, no. I want to play Jonny [Flynn] and Rubio [together]. They remind me of [Walt] Frazier and [Earl] Monroe.’”
- Former Minnesota assistant coach Dave Wohl recounting a conversation he once had with former GM David Kahn about Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn. Wohl conveyed his belief that one should be the starter and the other the back-up, but Kahn had grander plans.
“I seek out the best 2work out w/. No pro ams. In Texas 2work w/ a HOFer. How u gonna get better paying against scrubs”
- Indiana’s Roy Hibbert on Twitter, regarding his recent workouts in San Antonio with Tim Duncan.
Hibbert has vastly improved over the last couple of years and this sort of thing is probably the reason why.
“I think it’s time for the Nets to start running this city.”
- New Brooklyn Net Paul Pierce.
Didn’t take him long to get swept up in the New York hysteria.
“They’ll never run the city, we have New York on our chests.”
- New York’s Raymond Felton responds.
How old are these guys?
“I just look at him [Pierce] as a bitter person just getting out of Boston. He doesn’t really know what New York is all about. He’s been playing in Boston his whole career. He just knows, just know that his words have consequences and he’s going to have to pay for them.”
- New York’s J.R. Smith chimes in.
Ok, this is crazy now.
“My issue was self-loathing, it never was [being] bipolar. I wasn’t considered bipolar before my Desperado [carrying guns on a motorcycle] incident, as people like to describe it. From then on, a failed marriage after two months, lost some contracts and endorsements, and the center of everybody’s jokes. And the best player in the world, [LeBron James] — [I] allegedly had sex with his mother. Growing up in the hood, that’s the worst thing you could say is something about somebody’s mother. That would get you punched in the face. That hits home.”
- Delonte West, who is still without a team.
A sad tale but self-inflicted.
“We were out somewhere during a summer, and we were all out having a good time, and we had a little bit too many… and he asked me, he said ‘how do you keep your body is so good of a shape, and don’t get hurt, and stay always on the court?’ And I just told him for real, my coach George Karl didn’t let me practice. So that was it. I said ‘You have to stop practicing.’”
- Gary Payton revealing that he had a hand in Allen Iverson’s practice rant.
Well how about that.
“At his peak, I defy anybody that played against him, coached against him, played with him or coached with him, to tell me he wasn’t an all-time great. People are going to look at the lack of playoff success and say, ‘He wasn’t a winner.’ But so much of whether you win or lose in the playoffs is based on who you play with, who you play against, and health.”
- Jeff Van Gundy on Tracy McGrady, whom he coached in Houston. McGrady recently retired.
He’s bang on.
“The guy that always gave me the most problems, actually, was Tracy McGrady – Tracy McGrady, man. He had all the skills, all the athleticism, but he was 6-9. And he was really, really tough to figure out.”
- The Lakers Kobe Bryant on Tracy McGrady.
Coming from Kobe, that’s a pretty big compliment.
“Oh no. Hell no. Don’t even go there. Look, there’s no template for winning in the NBA. … Dirk’s got to be healthy and he’s working hard. He’s been in the gym every single day looking great. Then we’ve got to come together as a team. We’ve got Samuel Dalembert, Monta Ellis, Wayne Ellington, DeJuan Blair. We brought in a lot of really good players and now it’s up to Coach Carlisle to make it all work together.”
- Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban when asked if this is a rebuilding year.
The question I have is this – when Dirk leaves the Mavs as an unrestricted free agent next year to sign with a contender (all his comments over the last year point to this) what is Cuban going to do with a team that features Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon as its best players? Screwed.
“I’m gonna be [Dirk's] sidekick.”
- New Dallas Maverick Monta Ellis.
It won’t end well.
“I don’t think we [Spurs] would have come up short if I would’ve played but, hey, keep that out there.”
- New Dallas Maverick DeJuan Blair on the Spurs’ Finals loss.
I like him and I think he was underutilised as a Spur, but that’s a bit much, DeJuan.
“I would say he is beyond toxic at this point. Just going by what he is giving you on the court, he would have been a risk anyway, maybe someone you give a partial guarantee to just to see if he can turn things around. But with the circus that’s around him off the court now, no way. I think that’s the end of Lamar Odom in the NBA. It’s a shame.”
- An anonymous general manager on Lamar Odom.
Yep, he’s finished.
“Regarding the future of Brooklyn I am absolutely calm. Two years from now, when our payroll will clear, we will be even stronger. I cannot reveal the names of the stars, which, having become free agents will want to go to Brooklyn. For such things, the NBA would fine me. But, believe me, there are such people. Our front office does not sit around and wait for the future.”
- Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
You’d be ‘calm’ too if you had his bank account.
“You’re going to see a whole different player. I definitely have to change my game. The things that I was doing in Milwaukee, I won’t have to do here, take all the bad shots. Now, I can just actually be myself and be who I was five years ago when I was in high school, playing AAU basketball….We could bring the Lob City to Detroit this year.”
- Detroit’s Brandon Jennings.
On a better team he could surprise.
“The cool thing about playing for the Heat is when you’re LeBron’s teammate and you screw up, nobody gets mad at you for missing a shot or turning the ball over — they get mad at LeBron for passing to you in the first place.”
- Miami’s Greg Oden.
He’s not wrong.
“If LeBron decides to get another ring, I get one too, now.”
- Oden again.
“The surgical procedure was different, and because of that the recovery has been different. The normal timetable for recovery from an Achilles, we’ve shattered that. Three-and-a-half months I can already walk just fine, I’m lifting weights with the Achilles just fine and that’s different. So we don’t know what that timetable is going to be. It’s kind of new territory for us all.”
- Kobe Bryant.
No doubt, he’ll push the limits.
“If I could give a suggestion of how to learn the language quickly, find a girl. That’s the best way to learn it.”
- Phoenix rookie Alex Len.
“No excuses. It’s definitely possible. When I’m in the game, I’m not really thinking, ‘I’m tired. Let me milk it on defense.’ I’ve just got to dig deep. That’s what you prepare in the summer for, to battle through fatigue like that. So I think it is possible. I’m not going to be defensive player of the year. But hopefully I can be top 10 (among point guards) and be able to disrupt some of the best point guards in the world.”
- Golden State’s Steph Curry when asked if he can make an impact on the defensive end, despite his offensive load.
I like the attitude.
“Paul Allen [Blazers owner] has never wanted to rebuild. He does not want to take three steps backward in order to take four steps forward. So we decided we were just going to have one foot in, and one foot out…… Something like 45 wins is OK with a young roster, starting a bunch of rookie scale guys, and when you have all this cap room in 2015. But if you’re capped out with no flexibility, hovering around 45 wins? That’s not acceptable.”
- Portland GM Neil Olshey.
This guy gets it.
“There’s a fairly small group of guys who are just going to be successful wherever they go and in whatever system they’re in. I mean, they’re just so talented or so versatile or whatever it is that, wherever you put them, they’re really going to be successful. But I think a great majority of the league and probably some guys that are in and out of the league, it really comes down to getting in a place where you fit what’s going on. So my first year here, we had Keith Bogans and Mo Evans splitting time as the starting 2. And they were both really successful. Courtney Lee started as a rookie the next year on a team that goes to the NBA Finals.
If you want them to do things that aren’t really going to fit their strengths, then they’re not going to be as good. And I think that’s why some teams don’t like a guy because he doesn’t really fit what they’re trying to do. And then he goes somewhere else and plays well and people’s first reaction is, “Team A made a bad trade in giving the guy up!”
Well, maybe not. He didn’t really fit what they were doing. I think that fit is so important for, I don’t know what percentage, 80 percent of the players in the league.”
- Stan Van Gundy when asked what aspect of his coaching was he most proud of.
Interesting, and he’s probably right.
Tags: Quotes of the month