What do you think about playing with Dirk Nowitzki so far?
It has been off-the-charts. He is great. He makes the game so easy for his teammates, including me. All you have to do is get him the ball and he understands the game so well and definitely knows what to do with it.
What about his work ethic?
Oh, man, now that is off-the-charts. Being on the other side you never get to see the full effort of what a guy is doing to prepare for a game. Now working with him I can see how extremely hard he works at his game.
You played with Steve Nash in Phoenix. Did you know then that he was going to turn out to be such a great player?
I knew Steve worked extremely hard and that he was a gym rat. I knew he had the qualities to become a very good player, it was just a matter of... will he get the minutes. When he came to Dallas I knew that would give him the start to become the player he is today.
When was the first time you thought you might actually make it into the NBA?
It's funny because when I was in high school I got to play with the Warriors a lot. I was playing with Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, Billy Owens, and all those guys. Maybe I wasn't playing at their level at that time, but I felt like I could compete against them and that just gave me the confidence and the drive to make it to where those guys were playing.
Who was your favorite NBA player growing up?
Is there any player from your neighborhood that you idolized and thought was the best player you had ever seen but no one has ever heard of him because he didn't reach the NBA?
Well there was this guy named Hook Mitchell, but they did a documentary on him a few years ago, so some people might know who he is now. Hook was from Oakland and he had way more talent than myself, Gary Payton, or anyone from Oakland for that matter. Unfortunately he just never made it.
Who had the biggest influence on your basketball development?
I would say my high school coach, Frank Laporte. He put me at point guard as a freshman on the varsity team. I think he knew before I did that I could become the player that I am.
How tall are you barefoot?
Big question, might be personal, but everyone wants to know... can you dunk in a game?
Can I dunk in a game? Well, it's funny. I tried this year when I was playing for New Jersey against the Lakers, but Kobe came from behind and tipped it at the last second. I probably would have dunked it, and I probably could dunk the ball in a game, but the moon and the stars have to be aligned just right and it definitely has to be warm outside.
When was the first time that you dunked it?
I dunked for the first time messing around in practice when I was in 8th grade. Once I did that I wanted to dunk it every time up the court.