Leon Powe's Player Mailbox

On a Cavaliers’ team that’s as deep as any in the franchise’s 40-year history, minutes haven’t come easy for rugged forward, Leon Powe – who returned from knee surgery in late February. But when the 6-8, 240-pounder has hit the hardwood, he’s made it count.

Powe is widely recognized as one of the team’s true tough guys, but also as one of its most laid-back and low-maintenance players.

In this week’s Player Mailbox, Powe reveals what he listens to pregame, what rehab’s been like and, of course, his former squad, the Boston Celtics …

Comments: What was the hardest part of going through the rehab for your knee?
First Name: Kevin
City: Strongsville
State: Ohio

Leon Powe: Sitting out and watching games and just the slow, grueling part of doing the rehab. And for a while, you can’t do the things you could do before you got hurt. That was really frustrating for me, but I just had to stay mentally focused and get through my rehab.

I couldn’t walk for almost the first month. And after the first month, I couldn’t really do anything on it but try to build the knee up, strength-wise. I didn’t pick up a ball probably for another two months. And that was just to pick it up and just shoot.

It’s physically frustrating, and you can find yourself getting mentally frustrated too.

Comments: Is there a lot of trash talking in the NBA? What teams do you think are the worst?
First Name: Dave
City: Cleveland
State: Ohio

Powe: I know how my old team is. Everybody trash talks in this league and Boston is Number 1. It’s definitely Boston.

When I was there, they would talk a lot of trash to everybody. It’s just because we were winning and could back it up. And when you’re winning, you talk a lot of trash. The best thing you can do about that is just to go out there and beat them.

Personally, I don’t talk too much, unless someone is starting to (tick) me off. Otherwise, I try to concentrate on what I’m trying to do.

Comments: Leon, have you ever shattered a backboard with a dunk?
First Name: Dave
City: Akron
State: Ohio

Powe: No, I tried a couple times. I wanted to so bad! I think I loosened it up for my teammate. He dunked the ball and shattered the backboard right after me!

I was so mad! I don’t even want to think about it – I’m still (ticked) off!

Comments: Which is your favorite music and food before the game? Does the music help to concentrate or relax before for the game?
First Name: Ilir
City: Gjilan
State: Republic of Kosovo

Powe: I’ll listen to all up-tempo music, but there’s one particular song in there for my mom, who passed away. And I listen to that before every game. It’s the classic Tupac song: “Dear Mama.”

I try to listen to that to calm myself down and then I go out there and just get focused.

Comments: Is KG really the complete lunatic psychopath that he appears to be on the court, or is he actually a sane human being? What's he like off the court?
First Name: Jay
City: Fairfield
State: Connecticut

Powe: He’s really a sane human being.

On the court, he thinks he transforms into something – you know, like the Incredible Hulk transforms. He thinks he transforms like that on the court. But that’s good. That’s how he gets his energy up and gets his intensity up, too. He tries to psych people out, too. Sometimes, he’ll scare the young fellas. You really can’t scare the old vets.

But he’s a good guy off the court.

Comments: What do you miss most from life in the Bay Area?
First Name: Keshav
City: Cupertino
State: California

Powe: Just having fun with my family and friends. Being on the East Coast, I don’t get to see them much unless I fly them out here. And that’s only for like a week. Just having fun – seeing my brothers and sisters and doing stuff as a family.

Comments: Why did you choose number 44, is there anything that is important about that or was it just a random number?
First Name: Mohammad
City: Mentor
State: Ohio

Powe: I actually wear it because of Ice Man back in the day. Me and my brother both had posters of him – the one on the ice throne and the finger roll. I used to always finger roll back in the day, until I realized I could jump. Then I started dunking the ball.

But I still go with 44 because of the Ice Man – George Gervin.

Comments: Were you a Warriors fan growing up? If not, which team did you root for?
First Name: Michael
City: San Jose
State: California

Powe: I rooted a little bit for the Warriors. I’d go to some of their games and I wanted them to win.

But I was always a Sacramento Kings fan. They were exciting. And Chris Webber used to give me tickets and I go see him, go holler at him when I was young. I really looked up to Chris Webber when I was younger.

Comments: What accomplishment are you most proud of off the court?
First Name: Dan
City: Cambridge
State: Ohio

Powe: For me, just being a good person – handling my business in the right way. I don’t get in any trouble.

On and off the court, I try to be the consummate professional. That’s the only thing I can ask from myself, and that makes me proud.