Media Day Blogs 2006: Northwest Division
Posted Oct 2 2006 8:23PM
It's Media Day in the NBA. Do you know where your superstars are?
You can find them right here on NBA.com as we blogged live all day 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 Joe Smith on Oct. 2, 2006 at 3:20 p.m. ET
I had surgery on my knee in June, so Iíve been doing a lot of rehab on that, and just trying to get it right. Iíve also been doing some conditioning, a lot bike work, a lot of running up and down to just make sure the knee is ready for camp. Itís been a very productive summer for me.
Iím definitely excited to start training camp with the Nuggets. Itís a good situation for me; just going into camp is always exciting, especially when you are going into a new situation. So far my teammates have accepted me and accepted what I do, and that what makes it a lot easier going into training camp as well.
Iím very confident, Iíve been rehabbing the knee all summer and I havenít had any problems with it. In camp I just have to make sure I get into game shape. I feel that Iím pretty good shape heading into camp, but I definitely think I can be better and thatís what I will use camp for. Just try to get into better shape and make sure the knee is right.
I expect a lot. Iím coming into the season with a high level of confidence team wise about what the Nuggets can do and what we can accomplish as a team. Itís just about playing the right way and putting it together out on the floor. If we can do that on a consistent basis then the sky is the limit for us.
Posted by Andre Miller on Oct. 2, 2006 at 3:20 p.m. ET
Iíve been trying to stay in decent shape, and take some time to rest my body, and then pick it up around September time, and look forward to the season.
Yes, itís a new year and there are a couple new teammates, hopefully we will stay healthy and be able to improve upon last year.
I think we will just be better, and have more commitment. We definitely want to be more committed as a team, and build on that and move past what happened last year. I feel that with the talent we have the sky is the limit with this team.
Posted by Mike James on Oct. 2, 2006 at 2:20 p.m. ET
The main thing that I did this summer was that I boxed. It was the greatest workout I had in my life. I wanted to do something other than the normal shooting and other basketball drills.
I wanted to work on things like my balance and my left hand. What I found was that my left was weaker than I thought. Working with heavy bag and the speed bag helped me a lot.
I love the sport and I want to box a little bitÖbut I would be heavyweight and thatís the problem. I could not even beat a 50-year old Mike Tyson at heavyweight. I would like to fight at a lower weight but it's hard as I am a lot of muscle and it would be hard to lose all that.
As far as this upcoming season, I think for me the thing is donít change what I do keep. Playing with the Big Ticket (Kevin Garnett) is going to be great. I mean the whole team is a good bunch of good players. I truly believe that we can be better than any team in the NBA this year.
Posted by Ricky Davis on Oct. 2, 2006 at 2:24 p.m. ET
My summer was great. I got a chance to polish my game and meet the guys and work with the team. I was a little bit of everywhere this summer -- back in Boston, in Iowa and here in Minnesota. I just wanted to work on getting that chemistry together with the team. We have a good nucleus of guys. I wanted to be there for the young guys to be a leader. But I also was working on my game as well.
Our goal is to come out and win our division. Once you win your division stuff takes care of itself. Iím going to get a chance to show Minnesota what kind of player I am. I want to focus on my defense this year and hopefully have it trickle down to get everybody to play a little defense and see if we can stop guys.
I got to work with Foye and Craig. Them guys can play. Craig has a big heart and he comes out and plays hard and the kid Foye, he can play real good and also score points as he showed up in the summer. We have some great pieces. Mike James is here this year. Eddieís been here working out and getting in shape again. Everything is going great, man.
Posted by Raef LaFrentz on Oct. 2, 2006 at 6:50 p.m. ET
Media Day is wonderful. They are very organized and weíre going from station to station and having fun. I had a busy summer. Obviously, draft day I got traded so we had to sell the house and buy a new one and move all the way across the country. I was kind of busy, you know, but good change. We got out here, got our feet down and are getting accustomed to the area.
I spent most of the beginning part of the summer in Boston, so I got a good workout there. After the trade, my trainers came to Iowa where I spend a lot of my off-season time. I was getting good work throughout the entire summer, it was just in a few different places than Iím normally in.
A lot of the guys were in about September 1st, so Iíve been playing pick-up and working out. So, Iíve got to meet a lot of the guys through this entire month. Iím excited. Itís a new, fresh year. As far as finding out what everybody is all about, and finding out what this team is gonna be, I think thatís yet to be determinedÖwhen the serious games starts and the pick-up stops. We havenít even had a real team meeting yet. I think those will be determined later as we work our way through this pre-season. I just want to win games and be in a situation where youíre around good people and youíre winning basketball games. If you can accomplish those two things, youíre having a good time.
Posted by Nick Collison on Oct. 2, 2006 at 6:45 p.m. ET
I've been working real hard on my strength. Getting stronger has been a big focus.
Basketball-wise, I've tried to improve my mid-range game, putting the ball on the floor and facing the basket. For the most part, I stay in Seattle, I have a house here and I work with the Sonics coaches. But I also worked out at Kansas for about a week when I went home. Strength helps so much in the game itself, but also it helps you avoid injuries, the chronic stuff.
We want to win our division and we have a team capable of doing that and making the playoffs. We want to play up-tempo and attack as much as possible. And of course, we'll work on our halfcourt sets and try and make the most of those opportunities too.
Most importantly, though, I think we need to improve defensively. Defense is mostly about your mindset as a player and as a team. You need to communicate and trust your teammates. There are so many guys in the league now who you just can't guard one-one-on. You have defend as a team, as a cohesive unit, and I think if we can do that, we can compete with the best in the league this year.
Posted by Earl Watson on Oct. 2, 2006 at 6:45 p.m. ET
I finished last season with a wrist injury so I had to let that heal, so I did drills with less contact, but lots of reps and running and shooting. I stayed in shape and then I worked on shooting and handling to improve my point guard play. I was in Kansas City for a bit over the summer, but I spent most of my time training over the summer at UCLA.
The goal for our team is to mature. We're young and we need to learn how to handle adversity and bounce back from losses and not let them grow into extended losing streaks. On the other hand, our strength is our youth. We are young and athletic.
Coming from Memphis, I know that a young team has lots of positives. Young teams have young legs and lots of enthusiasm and that can help you win alot of games. But down the stretch, you need to have that maturity to get the big stops and make the big buckets needed to win games. It's a balance of the two things, maturity and youth, that we need to take advantage of.
Posted by Andrei Kirilenko on Oct. 2, 2006 at 1:55 p.m. ET
I was working with a trainer from IMG, working on my shooting and lots of lifting weights and working on my core. I've been having troubles with my back, missing some games because of back spasms. I don't want this to become a chronic condition, so I've been working real hard on strengthening my core.
It's very tough, actually, working on your core. We really need it though, there are so many motions and twists and turns on the court, which really affects your core. Almost every pro basketball player has some type of back pain, or side pain, or abdominal pain, so this is really the new thing. I feel real good, having worked on it. But, this is just additional, I need to get on the floor and shoot and run and get playing and then I will see the results.
Our goal is always to make the playoffs and then make a run when we get in. The last few years, we've fallen short of the playoffs and we need to get over that hump and make the playoffs, for our fans and our organization. We are a team that other teams don't like to play, and that's good. We provide difficulties for other teams. But now, we need to put it all together and really win games and make the playoffs.
Posted by Carlos Boozer on Oct. 2, 2006 at 1:55 p.m. ET
The off-season has been great. I spent time in Miami, running the track, lifting weights, playing pickup, and getting extra shots up, about four or five days a week. My health is terrific, everyone has been asking questions about my hamstrings, and my hamstrings are great, my body feels terrific. Iím going to knock on wood right now and hopefully Iíll stay that way throughout the year.
I couldnít be more excited. With the acquisitions the front office made this summer we have a more versatile team. I think Coach Sloan and the staff have the opportunity to be really flexible with the lineups, we can go small, we can go big, we can mix it up a little, and it should be good to see this year.
Absolutely Iím thinking playoffs. We have the talent and makeup to be a playoff team. Barring any injuries or any setbacks, if we stay healthy and stay focused we can be as good as we want to be.