Give-and-Go: Carl Landry

Thursday, June 21, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

This is the latest edition of “Give-and-Go,” a periodic Hornets.com feature with Hornets players. In this installment, New Orleans power forward Carl Landry directly answers Twitter questions sent to www.twitter.com/Jim_Eichenhofer. We caught up with the two-year member of the Hornets at his youth basketball camp in Mandeville. The 28-year-old will officially become a free agent on July 1 (Landry season review article).

Before we get into the series of fan questions, how have you been spending your summer prior to this week?
Landry: It’s been busy. I went to China for two weeks with (the program) NBA Nation. I just came back from Dallas three days ago, helping one of my former teammates in Houston, Mike Harris, with his basketball camp for a couple days. Before that, I took a little time to recuperate from the season and make sure my body was intact for workouts in the summer. It’s been a little bit of everything. The NBA Nations thing was basically teaching Chinese kids how to play basketball and the fundamentals of basketball.

What made you decide to host a basketball camp in the New Orleans area this year?
Landry: I just thought it was something that was definitely needed. A lot of times basketball camps are put on, but there isn’t an NBA player interactive and involved with the kids. I felt like I could be that person who could get out there and work with the kids one-on-one, to help them develop into better basketball players. Not only that, but help them develop as people.
It’s a ball. Seeing them improve every day brings a smile to my face. Some of these kids come in, and they can’t make right-hand layups, or can’t dribble with their left hand, but by the end of the camp, you see a tremendous improvement. That definitely is fun to watch.

What was your reaction to yesterday’s trade with the Wizards, in which the Hornets acquired Rashard Lewis and the No. 46 pick for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza?
Landry: It’s tough to see friends go. Obviously they’re my friends first. I wish them the best, and understand that this is a business. Sometimes moves have to be made. But they were a big part of this team, did a great job of helping us get to the playoffs two years ago and taking the Lakers to six games. Trevor Ariza is a class act, a professional, as is Emeka Okafor. It’s definitely tough.

What’s your perspective on how important contract details have become in the league? It seems like that can be a much bigger part of the discussion than the actual ability of players.
Landry: Yeah, it’s become like a numbers game. That’s how it is sometimes. Sometimes teams try to trade players to cut salaries so they can pick up other players and make moves. At the end of the day, they’re trying to do what’s best for the organization and the ballclub. Hopefully it helps you win games.

OK, on to some Twitter questions from fans. From @qi_26: Do you still want to be a Hornet?
Landry: Definitely. I’ve played here for the last two years. I love the city, the food, the weather, the people, the coaching staff. They are heading in the right direction and the team is going to be here for 12 more years (due to the team’s lease extension). We’ve got an owner who wants to win. So I definitely want to be here.

From @patrickclay10: If you re-sign, how would you fit into an already crowded power forward slot (Anthony Davis/Jason Smith/Gustavo Ayon)?
Landry: I would just go out there, work hard and earn my minutes. I feel like I can definitely be an impact player on any team. I’ve been in situations before where there is a crowded lineup (at one position), but the coaches figure out a way to make it work, and put the best talent out there on the floor. They can make it work.

What are your initial impressions of Anthony Davis as a player?
Landry: Good player. Definitely the number one talent in this draft. He’s a big guy who can move his feet and is very mobile. Everybody knows he can block shots, but one thing I think he can do better than he gets credit for is that he can shoot the ball. He can shoot the 15- to 17-foot shot. That’s one thing that’s going to help him if the Hornets do decide to draft him. That, along with a little bit of (added) weight and a low-post game… I definitely think he can be a dominant player in this league.

Any thoughts on the unibrow? Thumbs up or down?
Landry: [smiles] That (unibrow) is him! Thumbs up. That’s a big part of his identity.

From @twu42: Does that gunshot wound still have any effects now? (Editor’s Note: Landry was a random victim of a shooting in Houston after a game during the 2008-09 season. He was struck in the left leg but not seriously harmed)
Landry: No, it doesn’t have any effect. I was back on the floor (after the incident) in two weeks. I probably could’ve played the very next game, but since it was an open wound, they decided to keep me out for a couple days. (The bullet) didn’t hit anything big, like a nerve or a bone, so I was OK.

You made your NBA debut in 2007 with the Houston Rockets at age 24. What do you think it would’ve been like for you to come into the league at 19 like Davis?
Landry: It would’ve been tough and a lot of pressure. Going to college for four years, it helped me a lot. Obviously I matured and I understood the game a lot better. Sometimes when a player comes into the league at 19 or 20, it takes them some time to get used to the pace of the game and understanding it. It definitely benefited me to go to college and come in at 24.