Media Day Blogs 2006: Central Division
Posted Oct 2 2006 8:20PM
It's Media Day in the NBA. Do you know where your superstars are?
You can find them right here on NBA.com as blogged live with All-Stars Shawn Marion, Elton Brand, Ben Wallace and Gilbert Arenas, to name a few.
On Friday, we'll get Shawn and Elton before they head off across the pond for Europe Live and on Monday, we'll have two players from nearly every team in the NBA and have their thoughts up online moments after speaking with them.
So, join us Friday and Monday as we talk to the playmakers and newsmakers from around the league. Why wait for the paper or your local nightly news? Get the scoop on the 2006-07 season now.
Posted by Ben Wallace on Oct. 2, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. ET
I had a lot going on this offseason, trying to find a situation that was right for me. I was looking for something that would suit my needs and the team. Talking to Chicago, what they were looking to do on the court fit perfectly with what I wanted so things just came together for me here.
It was both a little frustrating and also a good feeling to see how many teams were pursuing me before I ended up with the Bulls. I needed to make the right choice, but it was a great feeling to know how many organizations respected my talent and wanted me on their team. In the end it worked out great here in Chicago.
Iím hoping to come out and start performing at a high level right away for the Bulls. Our goals early are to zero in and start playing well together as a unit, and I canít wait to get started with that. Iím looking forward to this situation and this opportunity as it seems like a new starting point for me. I think this team is going to be very successful when we put it all together.
Posted by Kirk Hinrich on Oct. 2, 2006 at 7:59 p.m. ET
The summer was a good experience. I got to play with a lot of good players and against a lot of good players internationally. Iím very upset about losing, but overall I think it was a good learning experience for me. I want to be a lot more consistent this year. Our whole team was a little too inconsistent last year. And, I picked up a lot of confidence playing with all those guys
I definitely got some rest when I got back from Japan. I tried to relax a little bit mentally and physically because I knew the season was coming right around the corner. I was in Chicago but I didnít work out for a week or two. I just needed a little bit of downtime. I had been going there for a long time.
Expectations are high. We have a standard of the way we want to play and the way we have to play to win. We added some really good pickups in the off-season. Weíre going to be a talented team and one of the deeper teams in the league, and it should be a fun year. Weíre getting to know each other. A lot of guys were here the last couple weeks of the off-season, these last couple weeks Ö working out, playing pick-up, whatever. So weíre getting to know each other, but training camp and pre-season will be big for us since we have a lot of new faces and try to incorporate a lot of new guys.
We can definitely compete with anybody. We can challenge anybody in the league. Weíre going to be a defensive team again. We got a couple of great acquisitions that are going to fit in good for us and everybody is excited.
Posted by Donyell Marshall on Oct. 2, 2006 at 5:45 p.m. ET
Iíve been here in Cleveland, working out, and coming in to the gym everyday. Iíve been lifting weights, running, doing different drills. The guys have been back here since August and weíve been playing.
This is probably the most excited Iíve been since getting traded from Golden State to Utah. Just with going deep into the playoffs last year, we have most of our guys back and we are ready to start this year off. We felt that we should have gone deeper in the playoffs last year than we did, but we are definitely happy about where we are right now.
Obviously we feel that we can go deeper than we could go last year. The good thing for us right now, people are putting the Bulls ahead of us, and Detroit ahead of us, and Miami ahead of us, so we are still kind of considered an underdog here. Thatís good, because we are going to play with an attitude on our backs.
Posted by Daniel Gibson on Oct. 2, 2006 at 4:45 p.m. ET
I've been pretty much soaking up as much information as I can from the vets like Eric Snow, David Wesley and those guys and working as hard as I can to get ready for the season. I've been doing lots of weight training, but to be honest, the first time it really hit me about the preparation I'd be doing, was when I got my first look at our playbook.
I'm close friends with TJ Ford and Mike James and they gave me the heads up that the NBA was gonna be way, way harder than the college game, where you have maybe four or five key plays you keep running. But once I saw our playbook, it really hit me. There is so much terminology and so many different sets. It's definitely a big challenge, but I really look forward to it, being a point guard who needs to memorize that playbook, and look at tape, so I can learn all the plays and help my team win games.
We want to win a world championship this year. You can tell by how everyone is behaving and acting here that winning a world title is the goal, not just the playoffs. Again, I look at this as a wonderful opportunity, playing with guys like LeBron James and Larry Hughes and challenging teams for a world championship.
Posted by Chauncey Billups on Oct. 2, 2006 at 7:15 p.m. ET
I'm excited to be back. I had my third daughter, Cenaiya, on June 28th and have spent most of the summer with her and the family. A lot of sleepless half-nights, but it was beautiful. I've been looking forward to training camp. But I wasn't trying to rush back. I was burned out, I was tired after last season. We want to get back to The Finals, win the East and have a chance to win it all. That's going to be hard to do. We have the talent and we have the coaching. It's feasible.
We're going to miss Ben Wallace. I wish him the best in Chicago. That's professional sports. Guys move on and guys take advantage of sutuations.
I think the guys will be a lot more comfortable with coach Flip Saunders this season. I've been comfortable because I knew Flip from when I was in Minnesota.
Posted by Al Harrington on Oct. 2, 2006 at 4 p.m. ET
Iíve had a very hectic offseason. It was really busy trying to get a deal done, but once I signed with the Pacers I just started working on my game and getting settled in back in Indiana. When you get as old as I am though, thereís not any specific thing to work on. Iíve been around for a long time so Iím just trying to sharpen all my skills.
The best part about being back in Indiana is the expectation of winning. Weíre not talking about trying to make the playoffs weíre talking about being title contenders here. My family moved to Indiana when I was a rookie, so I have them all here, so the goals for this season are very simple: Iím looking for us to be the top team in the East. Iím just ready to get going and get out on the court.
Posted by Stephen Jackson on Oct. 2, 2006 at 4 p.m. ET
My offseason has been very busy. Iíve been getting my school, the Stephen Jackson Academy, set up and running, so that took up some time. Other than that Iíve really been trying to find myself and get back to my roots of my game. Now I just want to get into camp and start going with basketball again.
Itís great looking at our roster and knowing that weíre more talented now. Bringing back Al Harrington and bringing in a guy like Marquis Daniels we now have seven or eight guys who we can put on the floor and can all lead this team in scoring on any given night. We have the talent to make it a long way. Now Iím just looking to get the season started, itíll be good to get out there and bang around with other guys instead of just teammates in camp every day.
Posted by Charlie Bell on Oct. 2, 2006 at 1 p.m. ET
The summer was great. This was the first summer spent where I had a guaranteed contract for the next season so it was very relaxing. Every year before, I had to work out for teams or I would have to sit by the phone waiting for a call for a workout.
Now I was not worried about whether I was playing overseas or not. This year though, I got to work on specific things for myself and the team. I was relaxed and I got to spend some time with my family.
The whole team seems to be excited about this season. We've just been playing some pick-up games but you can tell the difference already. The defensive intensity already exceeds last season.
The new uniforms, which I love, reflect our new attitude. The material is a shiny material and the red in the uniform is upbeat and I think that matches what we want to be on the court, which is up-tempo.
Posted by Andrew Bogut on Oct. 2, 2006 at 1 p.m. ET
Playing in the World Championships was tough but a great experience. I think we accomplished a lot as not many expected us to be a top-16 team. I struggled with the double-teaming but I think we are a young team and there is a lot to look forward to.
One disappointment this summer was I was a big fan of Steve Irwin and what he did for Australia was amazing. He was such a great man who gave all his money to charity and conservationist groups like Greenpeace. He will be regrettably missed.
As for last season with the Bucks, I was up and down. I was pretty inconsistent. But this summer, I took a lot of jump shots and worked on taking what the defensive gives me and being more versatile.