Monday, June 9, 2003 ... the Spurs talk about winning on the road in Game 3, keeping up the defensive pressure and other hot topics in NBA Finals 2003.

Gregg Popovich | Bruce Bowen | Tim Duncan | Manu Ginobili | Stephen Jackson | Tony Parker | David Robinson | Malik Rose

Gregg Popovich
GREGG POPOVICH

Q: You've made light of using the zone but it's been effective. What prompted you to go to that and what are you trying to take away from their offense?
Popovich:
Well, just a little pace, I guess. Keep people out of precarious situations. I think they execute very, very well, and the times we just get tired of guarding it.

Q: Do you think it's a fair statement that Tony has essentially outplayed Jason Kidd in two out of these three games?
Popovich:
I'm just a coach, I'm not a judge. That's what you guys write about.

Q: How do you balance teaching your young guys the game, versus letting them do what they did?
Popovich:
That's a great question. I've been forced just by common sense and my assistant coaches to let them go probably more than I would probably want to. Because it became obvious as the year went along that if I did rein them in more, we would get much less; that they are the kind of players that have to feel a little bit free out on the court. Like last night, Tony hit a few shots and then you saw him shoot one or two that probably he would like to have back. To get those first makes, I think I have to suffer the two that came afterwards, if you know what I mean.

So, if we keep that going, I think over time as the years go by, the bad shots will decrease because the judgment will improve on where that line is. So their talent is making me they let them go a bit, even though it means turnovers now and then.

Q: Yesterday you said after Game 2 that you wanted your team to hurt a little bit. You won Game 3, a lot of mistakes still made out there, how do you want them to feel today?
Popovich:
I want them to feel like they have got a lot that they need to improve on to win more games in this series. I thought that offensively there were a lot of things that we did poorly that we can be very humble about that we can go back to work on.

Q: Could you have expected Tony, given the language barrier and his age and the advance the level of the NBA game to be where he is now, and what else does he still need it get to an elite level, if he's not there yet?
Popovich:
Well, I'm not surprised at his play at all because we've watched him for two seasons now. As I've mentioned before, he's obviously talented, but he's very confident and he's tough. He's a tough young man. It was one of the main reasons why we drafted him. We could see he had some abilities, but we did certain things in our workouts and matched him up against certain people where he showed us a real toughness, a physical sort of toughness, a mental toughness, and I think that really serves him well. Whether somebody is playing against him well or poorly, he'll continue to persevere.

I think that's what allows him to do what he's doing at this level, that confidence and that toughness, given the base of talent.

As far as what he needs in the future, I just think he needs to mature decision-making-wise, understanding about where other people are on the court, and I think he's going to become a better distributor as time goes by. Right now I think he's more of a scoring point guard than he is a distributor. He has that ability, but he doesn't see that as much as we would like him to.

Q: It's my understanding you are not a big fan of the zone defense, so No. 1, how tough is it for you to use it in this series, and No. 2, since you've had some success with it, are you becoming a disciple and No. 3, why do you think it's been so effective?
Popovich:
Well, you probably don't have the benefit of the film. It might not have been as effective as you think it was. When you look at it, it's not just if somebody scored, but if they got a good shot, if they got an offensive rebound. There are other factors there that would make you not be so confident that it was so good.

Why we're using it, you know, I got that guy with me that used to be in college that he's making me do it, Carlesimo. He knows Boeheim too well or something.

I hate it. I think it's awful.

Q: They seem to be reaching in on Tim a lot and trying to strip the ball and take it from him. We all know he's --
Popovich:
They do it pretty well.

Q: He's a good fundamental player but is he holding the ball too low?
Popovich:
I think Timmy has presented the basketball a little too much, especially with Kenyon being so aggressive, you are exactly -- what you're telling him sometimes when you have a different voice, it makes more sense with the same guy every day.

Q: Just talk about your defensive effort against Richard Jefferson and also Kerry Kittles, they have not been able to get on track?
Popovich:
You know, I just think in general, what people have missed is that these are two good defensive clubs. We scored points against other people in the playoffs and this season and we ran a lot and scored points, so did New Jersey. They scored points against everybody else in the playoffs, not as much against Detroit but I think more than now. So now you've got two of the best defensive teams in the league. If you've you look at the stats for points allowed and field goal defense, we probably both rank, I don't know, second or third or whatever it is at the end of the season, and probably at the top of the list for the playoffs, along with Detroit. So you have these two defensive clubs going after each other, it's going to make the offense look a bit ugly so I don't think there are going to be a lot of guys consistently knocking it down and having 29-point games. It's not going to happen that often.

So I think it's pretty logical that we look as ugly as we both do on offense at times.

Q: Can you talk about the evolution of Tim? He's leading your team in assists right now you ran the break yesterday and again seven assists last night and passing on double teams, how did he become a better all-around player?
Popovich:
Timmy has learned through the years that people are going to try to take him out of games, and he needs to find ways to still be effective. Fortunately for me, I'm dealing with somebody who is highly intelligent, very team-oriented and has very good judgment and understands the game intuitively. If that happens, he knows that he's got to hit the boards at both ends harder. He loves getting the rebound and pushing the break himself. It keeps him involved, it attracts attention, and on the post involving teammates is important. Just like when he is double teamed out on the floor, he had to learn to trust the Steve Kerrs and Paxsons of the world, and Tim he's learning that as well. That's really the evolution of his game and he obviously has great capacity in that area, and without that, we would not be much of a team. If he didn't have that kind of judgment or wasn't willing we would be in trouble.

Q: When Malik is playing well, what is he giving you more of, energy, effort, defense, points?
Popovich:
I think he gives us energy, that's true. He hates that. He hates when people say he's an energy guy; that he's got more to offer. But energy comes in a lot of ways. Last night, energy can mean going to the board, running the floor, playing D, but he also reads situations pretty good. He knew how he was being denied, knew how he needs to get to the hole, shots were not falling. To his credit he figured out he'd better take it to the rim and he did that a few times for us. His play is really key for us because when he's not having a great night, we're going to be a little bit more limited in the big area.

Q: It's one play but the dunk over Mutombo, does that have any carry-over effect?
Popovich:
I don't know if it has a carry-over effect but it had effect in that game. I think it he elevated our aggressiveness and confidence and that was a big play in the game. But when Wednesday comes, that's so far away, everybody will start from scratch again and each team will try to execute and to see if they can score a point here or there.

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Bruce Bowen
BRUCE BOWEN

Q: Why has Jason Kidd not been able to dominate Tony Parker?
Bowen:
We have a good defensive team and we cover each otherís backs. Sometimes when he breaks one guy down, thereís another guy stepping in to go where the other guy lost him. Thatís been part of it. Jason is still doing what heís supposed to be doing. If you look at their team, it doesnít go unless heís in there. The times we havenít played well, heís been leading the charge with the way he pushes the ball.

Q: Do you think the way Tonyís played in the series will silence the talk of your team looking to sign Kidd?
Bowen:
I donít know. Thatís something theyíre going to decide. Tony canít worry about that. He just has to go out and play, and let the chips fall where they may.

Q: How much have you guys talked about neutralizing Richard Jefferson?
Bowen:
We talked about it a lot. We understand heís very good in transition. If you want to have a chance against this team, you have to slow them in the halfcourt because they are so good in transition.

Q: If you were guarding yourself, how would you describe what you were doing to you?
Bowen:
Thatís tough, because the guys I guard are usually featured players. What I mean by that is that they continue to get looks. Itís not just a spot up here or a spot up there. I think defending me is different than defending guys like Richard (Jefferson), Kerry Kittles and guys like that, only for the simple fact in their offense, theyíre constantly being used. They donít have a big man they just feed it to and spread the floor out. I just try to wreak havoc, so to speak. I try to make each shot as difficult as I can. I donít want to give up anything easy. My thing is, if Iím allowing them to get something easy, thereís no sense in me being out there.

Q: What have you to slow down Jefferson?
Bowen:
I just try to get a hand up on each and every shot. Try to beat him to a spot where heís penetrating and try to get a hand up.

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Tim Duncan
TIM DUNCAN

Q: In this league we see a lot of top scorers be willing to take 30, 35 shots, whatever it takes to get their points. Where did you make the decision somewhere along the line to play such an efficient game and to have the conviction to stick with it the way that you do?
Duncan:
It's what works, honestly. If I just go out there and force shots, it's not going to work to my advantage. My percentage is going to drop and it's going to hurt the team.

So I take what the defense gives me. Passing to my teammates, these guys have done a great job all year long of making shots and I can make the right decision. There's no way to win this entire thing by yourself so you have to rely on your teammates, and I have a lot of confidence in these guys.

Q: Was there a point in your career where you figured that out?
Duncan:
I don't know any specific point. That's hard to pinpoint. It's just over the years, just learning, learning to play and making a transition into the NBA and finding a way to win.

Q: You guys are developing something very special with your high screen and roll, do you get a sense that it's developing, that you are finding out more and more about it and what kind of trouble it gives people as things go along?
Duncan:
Yeah, it's something that worked great for us all year long. I think Tony is incredibly comfortable in that position. He loves that screen and he loves the opportunities to turn the corner and be able to use his speed against the big fellow in front of him.

He's just matured. He's making decisions better and better. He's still at times missing people somewhere, but you tell him one time and the next time on the floor, he understands what he's missed and he can make that adjustment. It's worked effectively for us all year long and it's been getting better and better.

Q: It's pretty clear that you have input in some of the personnel decisions that the Spurs make. Has Tony's play in this series affected your thinking about where you want to see the Spurs go in terms of the future of the point guard position?
Duncan:
I'm worried about what happens this year and that's about it. We need two more wins to get where we want to get and that's about as far as I go.

Q: They seem to be attacking the ball when you get it down and everybody knows that you're a really good fundamental player, but are you keeping it down too much?
Duncan:
Yeah, a little bit. I'm getting the ball knocked away a lot. Those guys, between Kenyon and some of the Kerry Kittles and Jason coming out, those guys have quick hands and I have to protect a little more.

Q: Can you talk about the efficiency of scoring? NCAA Tournament, Western Conference Finals, Nellie, high-scoring games, is that part of your strength?
Duncan:
Especially this year, we played Phoenix where it was low-scoring and Dallas where it was high-scoring and L.A. somewhere in the middle. It's kind of a flaw but we kind of play to our opponents a little bit and we kind of get into their rhythm and play games at their rhythm. But we are capable of scoring in the 100s, and at the same time, we are comfortable keeping people to 80 and scoring right around there, too.

Q: When you are at the most comfortable pace from your advantage point, when you are scoring 100 points?
Duncan:
I think we are more comfortable keeping it under 100 and making it a defensive game, trying to keep our opponents under 90.

Q: They have not shown a lot of zone, if any this year, do you anticipate that with your success that they might finally go to a little zone?
Duncan:
I don't think so. I think the last two games they have done a pretty decent job against me. They have collapsed a whole lot, they have clogged the middle and it's come down to our guys hitting shots. I think a lot of our guys have made some great plays that kind of stretched them out a little bit. Tony went on his little run there and he had a couple 3s in a row, he had a couple wide-open shots, he made one or two tough ones, but those are shots we're going to have to hit. I think they are going to stay with what they have right now.

Q: Since New Year's, you've only lost two in a row one time, and that was in the playoffs against L.A. You only did it three times earlier in the season. How do you explain that level of consistency?
Duncan:
We are just great on the comeback. We get really motivated, especially in these playoffs where if we lose a game and we are able to go back and see what we did wrong. I think the guys are really good about understanding what we did wrong, accepting what we did wrong and changing it and coming out with a little better focus next time.

Q: Can you talk about the key for you guys stopping the Nets' fast break and just overall defensively what's been the key?
Duncan:
These guys, that's a big part of their offense and we understood that coming in here. One of our main focuses was getting back across the halfcourt. We are not sending a whole lot of guys to the offensive lines. The big fellows are really trying to crash and every once in a while we have another guy go, but all in all when the ball goes up we are really trying to get back in front of them because we feel if we can get back in front of them and make them run their offense and use some time, their percentage goes down tremendously.

Q: Tony has had a lot of success against Jason this series, how much of it is Tony's quickness and his ability to just outplay Jason and how much is it the pick and roll?
Duncan:
Pick and roll is huge. But I think Tony has done a great job of controlling our team, controlling the pace of the game, and attacking Jason in spots.

Jason's a very good defender, so you need that screen to get an angle on him, and I think Tony has been using those angles very well. Once you give him an angle, with his speed and with his ability to finish with his floater, you give him an angle, he gets in the middle, he's just great at finishing that shot.

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Manu Ginobili
MANU GINOBILI

Q: Is this just the start of players coming from South America, like Europe was five years ago?
Ginobili:
At least three or four Argentineans can already can play here. But some problems with the contracts, probably some of them will come. Itís just the beginning.

Q: It seems itís been play South America, play the European leagues and then come here. Might we get to a point where players just from Argentina come right to the NBA?
Ginobili:
It happened with (Ruben) Wolkowyski who was playing in Boston this year. Itís not usual. The Argentinean league is having some problems. When you are young and you want to succeed, you go straight to Europe. After that, once you get better there you have to have better competition, then you have a chance at coming here. Itís not usual to go straight from Argentina (to the NBA). I donít think itís going to happen many times.

Q: How does the pressure of the NBA Finals compare to the big international games youíve played for Argentina?
Ginobili:
Thereís not so much difference. The main thing is the same, you want to win, and you want to succeed. You want to get the trophy because you work so hard for it, so you feel the responsibility to do your best. Over here, the media and so many people watching probably adds a little bit. But I think that pressure is a lot about each person, so if the Italian League was so important for you. Itís the same pressure over here.

Q: What about international play, like when you guys beat the States, last summer?
Ginobili:
That was huge. We didnít have pressure that game, we had pressure in the other games. We felt great. We had a great group of players that played together for a long time. There was pressure there because we had a lot of responsibilities too because they were saying that we were the best Argentinean team ever. It wasnít easy to make other people happy, and we needed to win.

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Stephen Jackson
STEPHEN JACKSON

Q: Is this a welcome back home for you?
Jackson:
Itís good to be back here. I had a lot of fun here. But Iím here on business now. Itís nothing personal.

Q: A lot of smiles on your faces today.
Jackson:
Considering how we played the second game, it just feels good to bounce back because guys were kind of worried about how we played and how we were going to come here with the focus. Itís definitely hard to win here and to come in and show the poise and composure we had last night feels good.

Q: Was this an ugly game? Is there such a thing as an ugly win?
Jackson:
Yeah, you could say it was an ugly win, but in the books itís still a win. Thatís what we are more concerned about. But like I said, the thing we are happy about we arenít playing our style of ball and we arenít playing as well as we know how to play, not even close, and we are still able to win.

Q: Richard Jefferson said you are a big reason he is not playing well.
Jackson:
I think the way we play basketball is that we stay man-up and we try to make guys drive and try to finish up with Tim and Dave. Thatís been our defense all year. Richard Jefferson is a great player. Heís been great all year, I wouldnít take anything from him. And I appreciate him saying Iím doing a great job, but I just think we are doing a great job of trying to make them finish over our big guys.

Q: How much easier is it when Jason Kidd isnít scoring 30?
Jackson:
Itís definitely easier, because when Kidd is scoring 30 points, he gets everybody else going and then we have to worry about him scoring instead of passing the ball and thatís what you donít want to do because I think heís a better passer than scorer. When he starts scoring, guys have to collapse and leave their man to help on Jason and other guys start getting buckets. When he starts scoring, they are definitely a tough team to beat and you donít want that.

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Tony Parker
TONY PARKER

Q: Did you envision yourself being this type of scorer in the series?
Parker:
It's hard to predict what you are going to do, especially in the NBA Finals. I just say to myself, I try to be aggressive and I can't predict what I'm going to do.

Q: What through the course of the first three games has become available to you offensively that maybe wasn't there at the outset of the series?
Parker:
I don't know. I don't know. I just tried to do a little bit of everything. When you get a guy like Tim Duncan inside, you've got a lot of stuff open, wide open shots. You know, you can penetrate and try to get some wide open shots for your teammates or for yourself. When you play with a guy like Timmy, it helps a lot.

Q: Going back to the build-up before the war with Iraq, have you gotten any hostilities either on the road or at home from people because of your nationality?
Parker:
On the road a little bit, but at home not a lot. Fans at San Antonio, they are great. They never say nothing, because I'm French, they never say nothing. On the road a little bit when they call your name, they say, "Tony Parker from France," They kind of boo, but that is okay. They forget that I'm 50 percent American, I'm 50/50. My father is from Chicago, my parents, uncle, everybody is American.

Q: Pete Babcock, who used to be the general manager of the Hawks, said he would have drafted you but he said he could never get you to a work-out, can you shed light as to what was going on there?
Parker:
Hawks at that time did not have a first round pick, it was just second round pick. I did work-outs for every team between 15 and 28, and so when Boston and Orlando told me they were going to pick me at 21, 22, I figured I don't need to do a work-out for a second round team because Boston told me they were going to draft me, and Orlando, too. But they never drafted me because they said I was too skinny and no European point guard will make it in the league. I was happy San Antonio picked me. Pop showed a lot of confidence in me.

Q: Most young players when they come into the league, 19, 20 years old are sort of babied in a way, they are brought along slowly. It doesn't seem like Pop has taken that path with you, he has expected you to produce in a major way from the beginning. How has that helped you?
Parker:
Well, he showed a lot of confidence in me since the beginning. He's the one that gave me the chance to be in the starting five. We got a relationship a little bit like father and son, he's very hard on me. He's always screaming on me, sometimes he's kind of crazy, he hurts my ear, he screams so hard. But it's good for me because when you're young, you've got a tendency to be lazy in practice, so he's always behind me to push me and try to get the best out of me. It's just great, even if sometimes it's hard, he just keeps screaming and screaming, you do something good and you're still screaming. I think it's good for me.

Q: You were just being honest earlier in the series when you were asked who gives you more problems, Stephon or Jason, and it seems like you were right that, Stephon gives you more problems. In the first three games of the series, can you explain again why that is so?
Parker:
People, they didn't understand when I say that. But I think Stephon Marbury is a very underrated point guard. He's a tough guard. Every time I play against him, he scores 30 points. It was pretty hard for me.

Against Jason, he's a tough, tough guard, too. He's very hard to guard. He can do a lot of stuff. He can pass the ball, he can score, rebound, he's very tough. But when I play Stephon, every time, that outside shot, it's going in.

Q: Is that the major difference is that Jason, his outside shot has not been on?
Parker:
Yeah, Game 2, his shot was on and he scored 30. He played great in Game 2. He still played great because even if he don't score, there's a lot of stuff he can do, pass the ball, rebound. That's why he's so great.

Q: Even if as you said last night, there are no assurances in the NBA, do you feel like you're winning yourself a job in San Antonio, a permanent job?
Parker:
Well, we'll see after the Championship. Like I said last night, the NBA is a business. You can never know what the staff is going to do. So, we'll see.

Q: Did you just see the high screen when you came to this country or was it something that you played as a professional in France, is this something you've learned here?
Parker:
I did it in France, too. We played a lot of pick and rolls in France, too. The national team, they give me the ball a lot, too, with high screens and play out of it. So in France I was doing it a lot, too.

Q: Because you think about an older player as being, like a John Stockton, being able to execute, but you have the experience at your age.
Parker:
Yeah, I learned a lot in France because I started playing professional when I was 15, so I was used to different defense on the pick and roll, so it helped me when I came here.

Q: Jason was in here earlier saying that they need to make you go east/west instead of north/south, in other words, sideline to sideline instead of baseline to baseline. What do you anticipate defensively from them and how do you keep going baseline to baseline instead of sideline to sideline?
Parker:
I'm not going to anticipate nothing. I'm just going to try to play and see what they are going to do. I'm not going to try to change anything. I'm just going to play whatever they do, I'm going to do opposite. That's it.

Q: Can you talk about how you got your fearless mentality, a lot of times you go in there and it looks like these guys are going to toss your shot and even when they do, you go back. Where did you get that mentality from?
Parker:
Well, in France, I was the No. 1 option. I had all the box and double team and they was always fouling me in France. That's why I got used to it. Even here they foul me and sometimes they don't call the fouls but you still have to play hard. They can hit me like 10 times but I'm still going to come back. Kenyon, he fouls me pretty hard but I'm still going to come back. In France, they was doing the same thing; they fouled me every time.

Q: When Jason compared himself to you and at your age, he said that you are further along than he is. What do you think of that compliment?
Parker:
That's always a nice compliment from one of the best point guards. It makes me want to work harder and I want to try to get better.

Q: With the best point guards probably being in the West, did that prepare you mentally for the challenge of going up against Jason in the Finals?
Parker:
Definitely. Because you know, in the West, the first round I had Stephon Marbury and that was tough. Then Lakers in the second round, Derek Fisher, who is very good and then Steve Nash. In the West, you have no rest. They are all good. There are a lot of point guards that are good in the NBA. Maybe the point guard position and the center, they are the toughest positions in the NBA, and especially in the West, I got no rest. Every night there was a big challenge for me and it definitely prepared me to play against Jason, because you know, Steve Nash is a tough matchup, too, Marbury, they are all good.

Q: I watched you play with the national team of France against Israel and didn't have a good game, you weren't that big of a star in Europe, are you surprised at being drafted in the first round and being so successful so fast here?
Parker:
The problem with the national team, I was playing five minutes a game, because I was the young guy. They never played me. The coach, he didn't have confidence in me. I was playing in Paris, I was 18. That's why nobody knew me.

But a couple of big teams knew me but I decided to go play in the NBA at 19. That's why in Europe, nobody knew me that much. Even if we won the European Championship, you know, the junior national team, we won the gold medal, with the big national team I was playing five minutes; they was playing the other point guard.

Q: Who was it?
Parker:
Laurent Sierra.

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David Robinson
DAVID ROBINSON

Q: Did you expect this Tony Parker-Jason Kidd matchup to pan out the way it has so far?
Robinson:
Actually I did, he has had some really tough matchups in the playoffs so far starting off with Marbury who was playing as well as anybody at that time. That team was playing well; Phoenix was doing a great job and Marbury was really the key. And after the first two games, I really saw Tony step up to the plate and play great. So I expected him to climb that learning curve quickly and heís done a great job.

Q: How has Tony Parker managed to play so well with all the talk of Jason Kidd possibly coming to San Antonio?
Robinson:
Heís staying focused. I give him a lot of credit. For a young guy in this situation, his composure has been fantastic. He doesnít seem to let any of the talk of Kidd coming to San Antonio Ė itís never really been an issue. He hasnít made a big deal out of it. The games are just games to him. He comes out and everyday he just seems to be getting better and better. I give him a lot of credit for maturity.

Q: Were you as mature as Tony Parker when you were 21-years old?
Robinson:
Iím mature in a different way. Iím older mature. (laughter) In some ways, heís a little more wordly than I was. Heís been around quite a bit and heís seen probably a lot more than I did at that age. But I probably had a lot more responsibility than he did at that age. Itís kind of a little different thing. He is Ė heís very mature for his age. When he came in he was 19 and I was shocked at how he handled everything. Heís done a phenomenal job in two years really getting a understanding of the game and dealing with the pressure of having to lead a team like ours.

Q: With two good defensive teams, wouldnít you expect an ugly game like last night?
Robinson:
Yeah, a little bit, yeah you do. But our team this year has been a better offensive team than we have been in the past. If you look at our í99 team, it was a good defensive team and the games were going to ugly, I donít care how you look at it. Our team this year doesnít have to make games so ugly. We can score. We can put the ball in the basket. We can make big runs. Weíve got guys who can shoot threes. But when weíre missing shots and making turnovers like we do, it just looks ugly. It doesnít look like itís supposed to look. We didnít expect to make a whole bunch of threes with the last team, but with this team we expect to make shots and get to the rim and make buckets. With the way Tim has been playing Ė Tim has been playing great Ė we expect to score. When we donít itís a little frustrating.

Q: Having said that, do you think you guys should be dominating this team?
Robinson:
We should be playing better than we are. Thereís no question we should be playing better. But itís the Finals. Those guys are a very good team and theyíve played well. This is their second year. Theyíre experienced. Itís not like youíre going to just run over guys. We expect to be playing better than we are, yes. The competition is there. I respect those guys. Jason Kidd has given us fits from day one, I donít care what team heís been with. Heís just a phenomenal player. He makes a lot of things happen. He makes all those guys really good. So, we expected it to be tough.

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Malik Rose
MALIK ROSE

Q: Talk about your dunk in the fourth quarter.
Rose:
That was just a play for Timmy. I was supposed to pop on the wing, catch the ball and Timmy was supposed to come across the lane and post. There was nothing really that big; you guys are making a big thing out of it. But I caught it. Martin overplayed and I just went baseline. I saw him and I thought that I was just gonna try and take it over him.

Q: What was it like to go over Dikembe, the biggest guy on the court for them?
Rose:
Iíve been thinking about our guys Ė Tim, me and Dave Ė we were kind of thinking that somebody had to get him. He wanted to play so much, and Dave almost got him in Game 1. When I saw him I was thinking that I was just gonna go as high as I can.

Q: What did that mean to you, especially after the second quarter?
Rose:
Thanks for bringing that up. I felt good, man. I was having a lousy game, missing shots that I normally make. The game just had a weird feel to it, an ugly feeling. That one going down for me kind of got me going and my team going.

Q: Did Pop say anything to you in that second quarter, when you put your foot on the bench?
Rose:
It was just, ďOh.Ē It was nothing big. I knew I was playing bad.

Q: Anybody think of doing this (wagging his finger) when you dunked on Mutombo?
Rose:
Guys on the bench were. I didnít want to do that. I like Deke. Deke is cool, and I wouldnít disrespect him.

Q: How has the Ducks-Devils game affected your practice routine, having to practice here?
Rose:
I donít really know whatís going on with that. Iím really pissed at the Devils; they whipped up on my Flyers a couple of times this year. Iím just hoping that they win it. I can predict in that series, Iím predicting the Devils.

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