Kings Q&A: Carl Landry
Catch up with No. 24 as he provides insight into his rehab process, his upcoming trip to China and the 2014-15 season.
How has your offseason gone and how hard it is to battle back from injuries?
“I’ll be honest with you, it has been going well but it’s not easy trying to come back from a major injury. Being patient is probably the hardest part with the rehabilitation process. And that’s what I’m going through right now – just being patient, but still trying to do the right things on the court.”
Has your offseason revolved completely around your rehab, or have you been able to work on specific aspects of your game as well?
“I’ve been [rehabbing] pretty much the whole summer. I couldn’t do much following the injury – just light rehab, which I did twice a day. Now, I’m doing a little bit more – I’m in the weight room, I’m on the court, and I’m doing that twice a day – one workout in the morning and one in the afternoon. So, I’m staying at it and I’m gradually getting better. This whole summer I’ve basically dedicated myself to redefining my basketball game and my body.”
When you say redefining, what do you mean?
“Sometimes in life – no matter what it is, but especially in basketball – you [can] have a mindset of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. I didn’t get a chance to play a full season last year – only 18 games – and sometimes people forget about you. One thing I’ve dedicated this summer to is making a statement and letting people know that Carl Landry is a good player and the Kings did make a great decision on signing me.”
If you had to give a percentage on where you are at in the rehab process, what would you say?
“Right now, I’m trying to get back to 100-percent and I would say that I’m almost there – I’m very close. So before I can improve anything in my game, I have to get 100-percent healthy. Obviously, time is of the essence and training camp is approaching.”
What was it like for you to spend time with the team this past summer in Las Vegas?
“It was good. Just being around your teammates is great. I think chemistry is hard to teach – it’s not just getting 12 or 15 guys together and telling them to get along. But, when you’re outside the gym, outside the city of Sacramento and you’re somewhere else, you almost have to get along. It was a great opportunity for myself and my teammates to use that time to develop chemistry.”
Have you been in contact with any of your teammates since mini-camp?
“Besides Vegas, when I was able to talk to guys like DeMarcus [Cousins], Rudy [Gay], Reggie [Evans], and Darren [Collison], we had a players association meeting about a week or two ago. That gave me another opportunity to interact with some of the guys again.”
Some of the players you mentioned have been new additions, what are your thoughts on the team’s offseason moves thus far?
“To be honest, I’ve really just been focusing on my rehab. I have a lot of faith and trust in [Kings Owner] Vivek [Ranadivé], as well as our GM Pete D’Alessandro and his staff. So without a doubt, I’m sure every move that they made has been the right move for this team. Obviously, we drafted Nik Stauskas from Michigan and picked up [Eric] Moreland from Summer League and picked up Collison – we made some great moves. But my job is to be a basketball player and their job is to put the pieces together to make a good team. I’m more than confident that’s what they are doing.”
Have you had a chance to speak with anyone from the Kings front office this offseason about the team’s vision or where they would like to go in the future?
“Without a doubt. One of the things they talked about before signing me and even when I was on the team last year was changing the identity and the culture of the team. Obviously, this team hasn’t been to the playoffs in a while, so you have to change the identity and the culture of the team. …That’s not going to happen overnight, but we have to continue to take steps in the right direction.”
You’ve been to the playoffs four times and three of those stints were with different teams. Do you think this Kings team has what it takes to make the playoffs?
“I think any team that has two potential All-Star players or two players who are representing the United States [on Team USA] definitely has a chance to make the playoffs. If you get a supporting cast around those two guys that can help out and carry the team on those nights when those guys don’t have it, then without a doubt we can have an opportunity. The West is loaded, but I think we have the tools and the talent to be a great ball-club and push for a playoff spot this year.”
You mentioned the caliber of talent on this team – What have you taken away from your time with players on this team like Cousins?
“I always think there’s room for improvement and I’ve always got my eyes and ears open. I’m somewhat like a sponge – I just try to learn as much as I can from the guys around me. One thing about Cousins is that when he steps on that hardwood floor, he brings it. Being a young player or even [a veteran] you can take that from his game and add it to your game. I don’t think it’s just certain guys. As a professional and as someone who takes pride in their craft, you have to take a little bit from everybody and create who you are.”
What type of feedback have you received from the coaching staff this offseason?
“For me, the first and foremost thing they are looking for is for me to be healthy. We also have to continue to push forward. We cannot get comfortable – we cannot settle. I think Coach Malone’s staff and the front office has done a good job of that – doing everything they can to turn the culture back around to what it used to be.”
Have you had a chance to look at the preseason schedule yet?
“I have – it’s bananas.”
Any thoughts on traveling to China and Vancouver?
“It’s a lot of traveling, but it comes along with the game. I do fine on planes – I’m approaching my eighth year in the league, so this isn’t anything new to me. You just have to understand how to take care of your body to the best of your ability – relax on the plane, read a book or enjoy conversations with your teammates. Now we have wi-fi on planes so you can talk to your family members over the phone – that’s one way to make the time go by.”
What are you most looking forward to next season with the Kings?
“Just staying healthy. Last year was so tough for me – that’s all I can really think about. But with the Kings, the team is headed in the right direction. We have great fans, we have a great organization, a good owner, a new stadium and we want to give these fans something to come to the game and cheer about.”
What are your thoughts on the new arena in the fall of 2016?
“I hear that it’s going to be really nice, but that’s two years down the line. Right now, I’m just looking forward to having a good year in Sleep Train Arena.”
You have done a lot of charity work in the past, do you have anything lined up this year?
“The week after next, I will be on tour in China for the shoe that I wear. The shoe is called Peak. It’s a Chinese shoe brand and I’ve been wearing it for a couple seasons now, so I’ll be over there for seven or eight days on tour, opening up schools, stores and teaching kids how to play basketball. I’ve done this trip for about six years and it gets better every time.”
What kind of impact does that have on the local community?
“It means a lot to them. Most of the time, we’re looking to open up schools in rural areas. We also show them how to play basketball and give them an opportunity to play basketball by supplying a court and basketballs for the kids. It gives them something to do, keeps them out of trouble and it lets them know that they can make it. It’s fun interacting with them, even if it’s just to put a smile on a kid’s face.”