Media Day Blogs 2006: Southeast Division
Posted Oct 2 2006 8:30PM
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 Josh Childress on Oct. 2, 2006 at 5:22 p.m. ET
It's good good to be in training camp. It's one of those things that you wait all summer for. You work on your skills all summer. I worked a lot on my shooting, shooting off the move. I worked on my ballhandling because I had to play some point last year because of injuries.
I had a pretty busy summer. I went to Copenhagen, Denmark and then Basketball without Borders in Shanghai, China. I really enjoyed it. That was the first time I got a chance to be a tourist and see the country, have fun as well as the community service aspect. It was an outstanding trip.
I think the biggest expectation for this season is to build on last year. We can add easily 10 wins and we'll fight for the rest from there. With the loss of Al Harrington, I think I need to make that jump after averaging 10 points a game in my first two seasons. That's 18 points a game we need to make up for. It's one of those things, you have to make it happen. Al brought a lot to the table. He was one of the guys that did a lot. I think we are capable of doing it. We learned from Al as well as other players. We're just going to have to make it happen.
I look forward to helping rookie Shelden Williams with the transition to the NBA. The biggest thing is just learning the game, learning players' tendencies, learning to get your shots off. Those are things you have to learn in the NBA. You can't learn in college. I didn't have anybody my age to help me with that. It's a little different for him. You can't be discouraged. It's so easy to get discouraged in this league. You can have a bad game, but you have one the next night. It's pretty easy to bounce back.
Posted by Zaza Pachulia on Oct. 2, 2006 at 5:40 p.m. ET
I had a good summer. I definitely needed to rest after last season. I took two months off and then I started working out in August with the Georgian National Team. It's a very big honor to play for your country, especially when you're an NBA player you should do something for your country. Last year I did the same thing. When I go over there, of course I'm playing for fun but I'm trying to be serious too. I had lots of fun and I'm ready to go.
As soon as I got in the league, this is the first place I've been in for a second season. I spent one season in Orlando and one in Milwaukee. Now I think I've found my spot. I bought my house, I have good teammates, I'm looking forward to the season. I'm getting pretty used to Atlanta. It's Georgia. When people ask me where I'm from, I say Georgia. Whether it's the state of Georgia or the Republic of Georgia, I have two homes.
I think we've gotten better as a team. We had a big loss in Al Harrington. We're going to miss him a lot. We have a lot of younger players who are ready to step up. I was talking to Charles Barkley the other day. He mentioned that everybody has a chance to make the playoffs. I don't see any team, any player that doesn't want to be in the playoffs. I haven't been and would love to get there.
Posted by Adam Morrison on Oct. 2, 2006 at 4:36 p.m. ET
I spent most of my offseason just hanging out and working out a lot. Itís been a very interesting time, but I found a place in Charlotte and Iím settling in and getting very comfortable in this city.
Iím looking forward to getting into camp with this team, with our guys healthy we just need to improve on whatís already been building here over the last couple years. We just gotta show up and work hard and look to improve on what we have already in place. Just look to improve the record every year.
Posted by Raymond Felton on Oct. 2, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. ET
I was around here for most of the summer. Basically just chilling with my friends and family. I went to Chapel Hill to spend some time with former North Carolina teammates Sean May, Marvin Williams and Rashad McCants. I worked on everything this summer. I'm not going to focus on one thing. I'm going to work on everything. I don't have any real individual goals this season. If you win as a team, the individual stuff will come.
I learned a lot my rookie season, basically just how to take care of your body, just eating the right things because it's a long season. You can't eat burgers every day. I'm definitely looking forward to making the playoffs this season. We just have to finish off games. We were in a lot of games last season that were close til the end.
Posted by Gary Payton on Oct. 2, 2006 at 1:22 p.m. ET
I got everything from the championship framed this summer. All of us got one shoe from everybody else, we framed all that. I went on a lot of trips and went to a lot of weddings of all of the guys in the NBA. Itís been nice. I took my daughter to her college of choice. She chose LSU because of Shaq so sheíll be going there next fall. It was short, but I was was with the family a lot so it was a good time.
I have a personal trainer to stay in shape. I donít really try to play much basketball in the off-season because I think thatís a way of getting hurt or having a freak accident. I work out one-on-one with my trainer. I do a lot of shots, a lot of cardio. I try to get myself in shape when we get to practice with my own team because there is better structure than going out and playing basketball with other people.
Itís going to be a different feel this year. Teams are going to come at us. We donít expect nothing. We have our whole team coming back; itís going to be fun. Iím glad to get back with the guys. Itís going to be another nice ride for us. When Coach Riley said he was coming back, it was a big part of my decision to come back. I donít think I could have went through another coach, especially a new coach taking over a team thatís a championship team. We wanted to be on the same page for the same ride.
Posted by James Posey on Oct. 2, 2006 at 1:40 p.m. ET
Iíve just working out for the most part, and getting ready to get back in the swing of things. Iím very much excited to start training camp, and Iím looking even more forward to the season and defending our championship.
You know we just have to take things one game at a time, and we know we have to continue to put ourselves in a good situation for the long haul. We have to be proud of being the defending champs, and we have to be ready to defend our championship. Itís a spring and not a marathon. We have to be patient and continue to get better as the season goes on.
Posted by Dwight Howard on Oct. 2, 2006 at 2:37 p.m. ET
I was a little disappointed at the end of the summer. I had the feeling that us, as a team put in a lot of effort to win the gold and to come up short was kind of upsetting. But you know, Iím just glad that I got a chance to play. It was a great experience for me because I was the youngest player on the court mostly at all times. Just to be able to step out on the court and play with some of the guys I was playing with was awesome.
God has blessed me in my young career. Iím going to keep giving him the praise and the glory for everything in my life that has happened as far as basketball and off the court. Being somebody to keep the flame going for basketball, especially NBA basketball, is a great honor for me. I take that honor with pride and try to do the best I can to represent the NBA.
I tried to get a little bit of rest after the World Championship but when I got back I had to do some more traveling and some more appearances. It was real tough to sit down and not do anything because I knew that a couple weeks ahead I was going to have to get ready for training camp.
I think weíre going to have a great year this year. Weíre going to do something special. By me and Carlos and Darko overseas playing basketball, weíre learning things about each other that we might not have learned by just sitting down and taking a break off from the season. My main goal this year is for our team is to make it as deep as we can in the playoffs. And for me, just to try and dominate every single game and try to be the best I can every night. Iím not really focused on numbers or trying to get 30 rebounds, stuff like that, but just focus on doing whatever it takes for our team to be successful. I learned that going out there and playing hard is something that the successful guys do every day in practice, even when itís a day when thereís only three guys in practice, you have to be out there playing hard.
Posted by Jameer Nelson on Oct. 2, 2006 at 2:40 p.m. ET
This summer, I just had a couple guys come to Philly, just to get together and play, go out to dinner. I just stayed close to home, hung out with my family a lot. Now that training camp has started, it's good to be around your teammates again, the guys you go to battle with.
It was great to win all those games at the end of last season, making a run at the playoffs. Hopefully it will carry over to this season. We expect to come out and win a lot of basketball games. I think going into this season, there's a buzz around here in Orlando. I think they're excited because we're young again. Coach Hill is back. He's loved here in Orlando. Keith Bogans is back. We've got all the pieces to the puzzle.
I feel as though it's my team this season, but you've got to go out and act like it, prove it.
Posted by Caron Butler on Oct. 2, 2006 at 12:32 p.m. ET
My summer started with some traveling with the family, but overall it consisted of a lot of working out. I took three weeks off at the beginning of the summer but then I started back in the gym. I worked out in Washington and Racine, where Iím from. I stayed in the gym a lot. Gilbert would stop by sometimes too. I would always be in the gym at least two times a day this summer.
I just want to win, and the personal stuff will come with it as long as we win. Everybody has dreams of being an All-Star and upping the ante. I had a career-year last year and I want to top it and continue to improve. We donít want to be just happy going to the playoffs. We want to go to the Eastern Conference Finals and anything can happen beyond that point. Thatís when your leaders take over. We have Gilbert, myself, ĎTwan and so many other guys that have so much experience that we feel that all the pieces are in the right place and we just have to go out and perform every night.
Posted by Gilbert Arenas on Oct. 2, 2006 at 12:50 p.m. ET
Whatís poppiní Pippen? When we had a break during the Olympic try-outs out in Las Vegas I went to do a promotion in L.A. and I got a tattoo of a tigerís face on my chest. I had the original eyes, nose and mouth and I just decided Iím a stronger tiger now than I was before when I first got it, so I got it filled out.
My summer also included going to a boot camp out in San Francisco for a week, probably the hardest workout Iíve done, ever. It was a lot of running up hills, sandy hills, and running on soft sand on the beach. I also got the Colorado altitude tent put in my house. Itís not the hyperbaric chamber; itís the altitude tent so Iím always above sea level. Right now altitude is at 21 in Washington, and Iím sleeping anywhere from 15-12. It pumps more blood, and gets your blood thicker. The tent company came to our facility and I liked their presentation very well, so I had to have one. I also got into video gaming now. I hooked up with a company called MLG and Iím trying to be, not the David Stern, but a big head in the organization. I sponsor a team called Final Boss, they are the number one Halo team in the world.
My individual goal this year is to become a defensive player. To actually stick those scorers out there, the Kobe Bryants of the league, the LeBron James and Dwyane Wades. Iím going to take the challenge this year. For team goals, weíve been to the playoffs. We have to do better. We have to go deep. We have to go to the Eastern Conference Finals, we just have to get there. First and second round is no good anymore. Itís the same cast with the addition of Songaila and Stevenson that actually helps us in scoring and helps us on defense.