What have you been working on this offseason to improve your game?
I just got in better shape. I lost a little bit of weight. Mainly during the summer time I just try to get a lot of shots up, thatís just my main focus. I think everything else will take care of itself. Just making my jump shot more consistent would help me out a lot more.

This upcoming season will be the first time in your career youíve entered the year with the same coach from the previous season. Howís that affected your development as a player?
I think itís tough, man. When you have three different coaches in three different years, they all want you to do three different things. So itís been alright, but itís just something that you gotta look through and I think Iím handling my situation pretty well. Weíll see how everything goes this year.

Entering your fourth season, have you spoken with Joe Dumars or Coach Kuester about emerging as a leader on the courtóespecially if the team trades away a vet like Rip Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince?
Yeah thatís one thing Iíll be doing a lot more is being vocal, I think itís just something that I have to do a lot more. Thatís just something that my team needs me to do so I think Iíll have a bigger role being more vocal and being a leader on the court.

Have you done anything differently to prepare for that?
No, the only thing I can do is, once stuff happens, I just gotta speak my mind and say what I gotta say so the team can hear me. So itís just all about me opening my mouth and saying what I have to say and thatís pretty much what I want to be doing this upcoming year.

Did you pick up anything from Chauncey Billups when you played together?
Yeah, Chauncey was a great dude. He was just an excellent guy not just on the court but off the court. He was always telling me to play my game and to be aggressive. Every time I made a mistake he was telling me ďstick with itĒ and stuff like that, which was really good. Overall he was just a good guy. I wish he wouldíve stayed a little bit longer but thatís part of how the NBA is I guess. Itís a business so it is what it is.

Are you helping out any of the young players out? You guys have quite a few this year.
Yeah we got a lot of young guys I think our young guys did pretty good in the Summer League, watching Austin [Daye] and DaJuan [Summers] and Jonas [Jerebko] and [Greg] Monroe and Terrico White. They all did a pretty good job so you know weíre gonna be a really young team. Hopefully we just come in with the mindset of just work. And hopefully if we stay healthy I think weíll be all right. On paper we have a pretty good team.

Were you down in Las Vegas for the Summer League?
Yeah I was down there with the team just practicing with them and working out and stuff like that.

What impressed you most about first-round pick Greg Monroe?
Heís an excellent passer. His IQ for the game is really high. Heís a big body, 6-10, 6-11 so thatís what we needed. Heís only gonna get better as a player and I think once he starts with Arnie [Kander, the teamís strength-and-conditioning coach] to get his foot speed up and all that stuff heís gonna be a pretty good player for us.

What do the Pistons have to do to get back into the Playoffs?
Like I said on paper we have a good team. Me, Rip, Tay, Charlie V, Ben Gordon, you add in all the young guys, we got Ben Wallace. If we just come together and play together as one and play on the same page then weíll be all right. Trying to get our chemistry right and mesh it all together is gonna be the most important part to see what we can all do with it. I think weíll be all right.

Whatís it like taking it to the hole against Ben Wallace in practice?
Ahh usually Iím on his team so I donít have to worry about that [laughs]. But Iíll tell you one thing about Ben Wallace; heís just a good guy. Last year was my first year playing with him. Itís crazy. I donít know his situation and I donít know if other teams didnít want him or not, but the guy can still play, man. You guys saw last year. For how old he is, heís grabbing 8, 9 boards a game and plays excellent defense. Why wouldnít you want that on the court to help your team out? So Iím just happy to have him on our team because without him last year I think we wouldíve lost some of those games that we won. Itís that fire and that work ethic. Heís just a good guy overall.

Thereís been talk of Chris Paul wanting to team up with a superstar. Are you a fan of this or do you think it hurts the integrity of the game?
I just think thatís probably what a lot of teams are gonna start doing now since they have the power to do it, I think why not do it. But yeah I think it hurts. I just think that if youíre one of the best players in the NBA I wouldíve always thought that you would want to compete with the best players in the NBA. I could see you teaming up with like one superstar at the most. Itís just everybody trying to get on the same team is just too much. But thatís what you could do nowadays. It is what it is.

Keeping it old school, thatís what we like to hear.
I just think back in the dayóyou guys have been reading what MJ and those guys have been sayingóa lot of things just are different nowadays.

You have a little D-Wade in your game, is he someone you look up to and try to model your game after?
I donít really model my game after him but coming out of college he was my favorite player. I just loved watching him play. I think heís just a tremendous player. Heís really athletic, versatile, and really aggressive, thatís why you know who he is today.

Is that where the number came from?
Yeah thatís why Iím #3, itís my favorite number, too.

Growing up, who did you like to watch?
My era growing up it was the Chicago bulls era so I was watching MJ.

Do you consider yourself a true point or more of a combo guard?
Man, I just like to play basketball. I think nowadays thereís no such thing as a true point guard. It really doesnít matter. If I need to play the 1, Iíll play the 1. If I need to play the 2, Iíll play the 2. Iím just a combo guard; it doesnít really matter to me.

Whatís the feeling in the locker room about the possible lockout of the 2011-2012 season? Are guys talking about it at all?
No we really havenít been talking about but I think we all have heard about it and weíll just wait until that time comes. We have one more season to prepare for it. Hopefully it doesnít happen. Hopefully we can come together and figure something out and I think we will.

Does that place a larger emphasis on this coming season?
I think every seasonís important, you know you try to go out and prove yourself. I think each and every season you try to improve and get better so I think every seasonís important.

What are some of your pregame rituals?
It all depends on the schedule but, wake up eat breakfast, go to shoot around and then come home and sleep. And then I usually wake up and eat some kind of chicken or some seafood or some sort. Thatís pretty much it, man. Oh I gotta eat pineapple before every game.

Gotta have that fruit.
Yeah I donít know why, I love pineapples.

Howíve you spend most of your free time this offseason?
Yeah pretty much just working out. My hometown is Seattle. Iíve been back home you know working out chilling, spending a lot of time with the family. I got a little daughter thatís 5 so I try to see her as much as I can. Because sheís getting to that age where sheís about to start kindergarten so itís gonna be little bit tougher to see her throughout the season. Thatís pretty much it. Itís been a lot of work. Spend a lot of time with the family, relax, you know the seasonís a grind so you gotta relax as much as you can before it starts.

So thatís your favorite part of the offseason, just getting away from it all?
Yeah just relaxing and being lazy, and spending time with family and friends.

They say you look like Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent.
[laughs] Man I get that a lot. Been getting that since I was in like high school [laughs]. People say I do, I do. I actually met him once heís a pretty good guy. Really good guy.

Got any other NBA/Celeb look-alikes off the top of your head?
Man thereís probably a lot. I donít know there is some though [laughs].

Can you give us one?
Letís see. You think Shannon Brown looks like Chris Brown?

All right fair enough.
Yeah...you could see it a little bit.

Whatís the worst pun someoneís made about your last name? No oneís ever called you something like Rubber Stuckey have they?
Ahh. Let me think. Nah to tell you the truth no oneís really said anything like that about my last name.

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Offseason Chat: Rodney Stuckey

Jul 29 2010 4:27PM

By Phil D'Apolito #14

NBA players spend their offseasons differently. After a long grind and preparing for another, they all take time to chillax, but anyone worth the NBA uni they don make it a point to get some work in preparation for the upcoming season. In a series of offseason conversations we'll be having with NBA players, we'll see what some of them are up to between June and October. This week we talk to Rodney Stuckey of the Detroit Pistons.

With 16.6 ppg and 4.8 apg in 67 starts for the Pistons, Stuckey had a bit of a breakthrough third season for Detroit. Much like the man who drafted him out Eastern Washington University, Joe Dumars, Stuckey is a combo guard able to fill the basket or guide a team. With his less-than-stellar .405 field-goal percentage and 2.2 turnovers per game, Stuckey has some things to work on in both areas. He's putting in the hours this offseason to better areas of his game and promises improvement in '10-11 from himself and his Pistons.