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June 30, 2009

Dwight's Blog and Quotes for the Curious

Courtney Lee and Tony Battie

With Courtney Lee and Tony Battie meeting the media today, we spent a few minutes with each, and -- as always -- there are lots of leftovers. But first, a word from Orlando's All-NBA center, Dwight Howard, who blogged his thoughts on the trade, and had this to say about the three incoming Nets:

I really grew close to Courtney and kind of took him under my wing. The night he was drafted, we texted for about an hour. I would always tease him that he was a rookie, but he was still a few months older than me. Hes going to be a great player in this league and its hard for me to think about him playing somewhere else. But in Jersey, hell have a bigger role now and get more shots.

Tony was like my older brother here in Orlando. Hes been here five years, the same as me. Hes always been in my ear, giving me advice on how to handle things. He was always in my corner, no matter what happened. Im going to miss him.

Skip to My Lou helped us so much last season. Hes a legend, man!!! We wouldnt have gotten to the Finals without you Skip. All three of those guys we traded, those were good dudes.

That said, here's Courtney ...

On finding out he'd been traded:
"It was definitely a shock after going all the way to the Finals on a good team. I was just expecting to regroup for next year and make it back to the playoffs again, and then to get the news that Id been traded was a shock. But its one that I have to live with."

On coming to a developing team from a Finals contender:
"Its definitely hard to cope with that, but knowing the plan of the Nets and them still having Devin Harris and getting a good draft pick this year and next year, its just a moving forward process."

On his potential role with the Nets:
"They traded away their starting two-guard, whos also a 20 point scorer a game. I dont want to put a label on my role at this point. The best I can do is let time tell and keep working hard."

On starting for the Magic as a rookie:
"It was definitely a goal, but early on my goal was to get in there and continue to get better and help the team in any area they needed help in. Gaining that starting role, I just wanted to continue to stay in that spot and continue to work."

On his miss at the buzzer in Game Two of the Finals:
"You hear about it every once in a while. People ask, How do you feel about the layup? or say, You guys were right there -- a couple of possessions couldve turned the series around. But I went through all that during that process; I really dont think too heavy on it."

On whether he'll wear the mask next season:
" Aw, nah. [Laughs] Once I go back and get the other CAT scan and Im cleared, then I put that thing away.

And now Tony B ...

On what he took away from guarding Dwight Howard in practice:
"Theres different lessons, especially with a guy as big and strong as he is. Youve got to start playing defense on him before he gets down the floor, before he gets down the block. Instead of letting him ctach it on the block, push him out on the floor a little bit. Just certain quirks and schemes that you develop over time, because if you let him get it down low, youre going to pay for it."

On what advice he'd give his 'little brother':
"Just continue to do what hes doing. You really have to know him to understand him, but hes a big kid at heart. Tremendously smart guy who just kind of freelances and does his own thing and can give you 20-20 any given night. I dont think Ive every played with a guy who has the phsycial presence and dominance that he ahs. And hes definitely just scratching the surface of where he can be."

On his new teammates:
"You know the guys, you just dont know them on a personal leve. You havent been in the trenches with them, but you know theyre competitiors and they love the game, just like you do. its just finding a common bond, which is basketball and the rest of it takes care of itself."

On Courtney being included in the trade:
"When youre getting an All-Star, youve got to give up something. Im not saying what they shouldve done or what anybody shouldve done. It just happens. I wouldve thought that he was a very important piece to what they had going on. But I think their thought process was, 'This is a young guy still developing his game, and we want to win now, because our window for winning the championship is right here at this present moment,' which makes a lot of sense. But thats for the GMs to decide; thats why they get paid."

On what it took to foster a defensive mentality on his old Celtics teams:
"I think at that time Jim O'Brien was the head coach and Dick Harter was our minister of defense. And we bought into his scheme. It was a partnership deal with OBrien where if we clamped down on defense, and stopped some guys, he pretty much gave us the freedom on the offensive end to let guys do their thing. We knew if we really wanted to win, it had to happen on the defensive end, because there are nights when the ball isnt going into the hole. But you can still stop a team on the other end of the court and get out of there with a win. And if you look at the stats in front of you, you have to be a good defensive team to win in this league."

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