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Hornets.com 1-on-1: Indianas Danny Granger

November 21, 2007

Hornets.com chatted with Pacers forward and Metairie native Danny Granger prior to Wednesdays game. Since Indiana did not play in the Big Easy in either of the past two regular seasons due to the schedule, Granger was making his first appearance in an official NBA game at the New Orleans Arena.

Hornets.com: Your stats have increased significantly over the past two seasons and youre leading Indiana in scoring. What have you been focusing on in your game during the past two summers?
Granger: It is a combination of both getting used to playing in the NBA and also working a lot in the offseason to improve all aspects of my game. Playing NBA basketball is a process that takes some time to get used to.

Hornets.com: How often have you gotten to come home to New Orleans since your NBA career began?
Granger: In the summers I come back, but it is hard to come back during the season. This is the first time Ive actually gotten to play here. It is always a special feeling to get to come back. I get to play in front of my home crowd and a lot of family and friends. I live kind of far away in Indiana, so they don't really get to see me play too much, so it is always fun.

Hornets.com: Did you have to get a lot of tickets for friends and family for the game tonight? Did any of your teammates help you out at all by letting you use theirs?
Granger: I'm on my way to try and find some more right now man! [laughs] That's all I've been doing the past 25 minutes! It's nice though that my teammates are helping me out. Whenever someone goes to their hometown we make sure to take care of them.

Hornets.com: What was the best part of growing up in New Orleans for you?
Granger: The food! (My favorites foods were) gumbo, po boys, you name it. All the stuff I don't get in Indiana! But growing up here was great because of the culture here, the Creole and French Quarter, there is just so much history. It was just a lot of fun growing up in the New Orleans area.

Hornets.com: What impact has new Pacers head coach Jim OBrien had on you individually or the teams style of play?
Granger: He has made a great impact. I think he's changing the basis of the way we approach games and the intensity in which we come out and play. He is really trying to get us to be a really hard-nosed defensive team and then open up the offense on the offensive end, so it is a great style of play.

Hornets.com: Since New Orleans did not have an NBA team when you were growing up, who did you root for?
Granger: My favorite team was the Bulls! Jordan and Pippen man. I chose the number 33 because of Scottie Pippen. I kind of molded my game after his. Those championships couldn't have happened without him.

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