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Chris Douglas-Roberts Q&A: Building on the Beginning
May 12, 2009
By Ben Couch -- NJNETS.COM

East Rutherford, N.J.Nets swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts was waylaid by a sprained MCL three games into his rookie season, and when he returned a month later, minutes were at a premium. Douglas-Roberts spent 26 of the next 48 games with "DNP-CD" notations following his name on the stat sheet. But with 15 games to go, Nets coach Lawrence Frank sought a second-quarter spark against the Knicks and subbed in Douglas-Roberts.

Explosively driving to the bucket time and again, Douglas-Roberts scored or assisted seven consecutive baskets, on his way to career-high totals of 14 points, seven assists and three steals. He remained in the rotation for the final 15 games, averaging 9.5 points in 22.2 minutes per game during that stretch.

With the season complete, Douglas-Roberts took time to chat with, discussing his adjustment to the NBA, the coolest play he saw on-court, and what fans should expect after the summer. Looking back on the year, what was the biggest adjustment you had to make at the NBA level?

Chris Douglas-Roberts: Just the game, and me thinking too much, thinking like, Oh, this is the NBA and these are the best players in the world. Which they are, but I was giving them a little too much credit, you know? Youre supposed to respect them, but youre not supposed to bow down to them. I just had to put everything to the side, get out on the floor and just play. What helped you change that mindset?

Just time. When youre a competitor and youre in the NBA, youre playing against other NBA players and it shouldnt matter whos out there. Were there any plays from this season another player made that didn't seem like they'd be possible?

CDR: You see a lot of those every game. You see a lot of them. While I was on the court, I seen Wilson Chandler make a play (for the Knicks), an under-the-rim dunk. It was here -- I think it was the second game we played em -- and it was unbelievable. I looked around like I was seeing all this on TV. That was a play that I really admired. What was it like joining a team with fellow Detroit native Maurice Ager on the roster?

CDR: That helped a lot, man, because thats the guy Im usually with on the road. A lot of guys dont come in and know somebody immediately, and I did. It helped a lot, it really did. It helped a lot, especially off the court. What about Mo's personality off the court helped so much?

CDR: Hes a Detroit guy, so we automatically got along. We have the same mentality when were doing certain things. I was able to kick it and we clicked instantly.

Chris No doubt. What part of your game do you feel improved the most this year?

CDR: Just the pace of my game. I was always confident in my ability, but the game was going a little too fast at first. Was there anyone in particular who helped mentor you? What did they focus on?

CDR: Keyon Dooling and Doug Overton. They'd get lectures in, in between the workouts, but its been everything. Basically just getting my shot up and mastering the midrange game. This summer, Im going to master the midrange, Im going to do a lot of stuff this summer. Yeah? What's the specific workout plan?

CDR: Just live in the gym, man. Just live in the gym. Im going to get a couple of my boys from Detroit, from my neighborhood back home down here, just have them rebounding with me, waking me up, living down here. That must be a big change from last summer in Memphis.

CDR: Yeah, we had summer school and stuff I was still a student-athlete. But now Im a full-time athlete and I can just go as hard as I want at that. Is that freeing?

CDR: Definitely. Definitely. School is a whole other monster. We had to do our schoolwork at Memphis, so it was a whole other story. Speaking of Memphis, how do you think the program holds up now that Coach Calipari left for Kentucky?

CDR: Hopefully it stays steady. But its hard, because Cal was a huge part of that program, and a huge part of getting players into Conference-USA. Its gonna be real hard, man, but I wish Memphis the best. Thats still my alma mater and I love the school and Ima always be a Memphis Tiger at heart. But its going to be hard over there. How did he help prepare you for playing in the NBA?

CDR: He makes you mentally strong. Hes going to yell at you, hes going to pick at you, hes going to try to get under your skin and get in your head. But through all of that, he still lets you play. Looking back on the year, you really broke through at the end of the season, finishing the year as a starter. What made that possible?

CDR: I had an opportunity, thats all that was. You get an opportunity, you just have to seize it, and thats all I did: just seized the opportunity.

Chris Is that encouraging heading into next season?

CDR: Yeah, yeah. But you know, like I said the other day, Im not content with this; I want to build on this, I want to build on everything Im doing. And thats what I plan on doing. I know you said you'll be living out of the gym, but do you have any vacation plans?

CDR: Yeah, yeah, of course that, of course that. But Im really focused on this basketball thing. Im really focused on that. Did you get any good advice on improving that midrange game?

CDR: Just shoot. Repetition: same shot every time. Thats pretty much it -- shoot, shoot, shoot. One more - you're a big tattoo guy. Any new ink we should anticipate?

CDR: Yeah. Thats going to be a surprise, though. Next season, Im going to have a lot more.

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