Craig Brackins quotes with NOLA media

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

New Orleans rookie forward Craig Brackins was introduced to the New Orleans media earlier today. Here are some of the highlights from his discussions with local television and print reporters:

On coming to the city of New Orleans:
“It’s been great. I’ve been eating a lot of good food. I got to walk around a lot over there by Canal and Bourbon Street, getting a little feel for New Orleans. I can’t wait to actually be here full-time, getting ready for practice and everything.”

On learning Monty Williams’ system in Las Vegas:
“I thought it was great. Even though he didn’t coach us, he was hands-on with us, right after practice, giving us his insight into what could help us. I looked at it like, ‘Wow, he knows what he’s talking about.’ And he can still get up and down (the court) and move with you. Like he said, we played (against each other). If you’re doing something wrong, he’ll get on the court and show you what’s right.”

On one area where he needs to improve:
“Strength. If I’m going to guard some (power forwards) in the NBA, strength is something I’m going to focus a lot on before the season starts. Also ballhandling a little bit, getting more comfortable on the wing, just in case if I get the ball out there, or if I have to play some 3 (small forward). I don’t know what they have in store for me yet, but that’s what I feel like I need to work on.”

On his shooting range:
“I can shoot it from as far as I need to. That’s probably my weapon – shooting the ball… It’s something a lot of guys my size don’t have, so I really take pride in that. Having a guard like Chris Paul, being able to open up the floor for him, he’s always going to be able to create and find the open player. I can’t wait to get affiliated with him in practices, because he’s one of my favorite players. I think he’s the best point guard in the NBA.”

On fellow Hornets rookie Quincy Pondexter:
“He just goes hard, all the time, 120 percent. He plays defense, (has an) offensive game and he’s a natural-born leader. It’s good to have that. I’ve known Quincy for a few years now, and we played USA Basketball last summer (in Serbia), so I got to stay with him for a couple months overseas. I’m glad he’s my teammate and I’m ready to start something great here.”

Quincy Pondexter quotes with NOLA media

New Orleans rookie forward Quincy Pondexter was introduced to the New Orleans media earlier today. Here are a few highlights of his discussion with television and print reporters:

On playing in Monty Williams’ system at summer league:
“I like his system. Being an older guy, a veteran in college basketball, I think you can adapt to any system really fast. I just can’t wait until the regular season and playing with other great players like Chris Paul and David West and really get a feel for them.”

On his four years of NCAA experience:
“One of the benefits of drafting me is having a guy who is experienced and knows how to play. I’m one of those players who is still getting better. I think I was the safest bet at the pick… It’s a definite advantage. I learned a lot from Coach (Lorenzo) Romar at the University of Washington. I got a great education and got my degree. It helped me mature a lot. I’m going to have a different maturity level than a lot of guys who enter this league.”

On summer league:
“I figured I could’ve played better (but) I took a lot away from that. There are a lot of (aspects of the game) I have to get better at. I’m going to work on that throughout this offseason until we start training camp.”

On his strengths:
“I’m going to play with extreme passion every night. I think that’s something this organization needs. On the defensive end, I’m going to get after it. I’m going to add a real spark to this team. Hopefully that helps us win more games.”

On the status of the small forward position on current Hornets roster:
“It’s definitely an opportunity, but at the same time, those players (Peja Stojakovic, Julian Wright) aren’t going to give me anything. They’re going to come out and try to kick my butt every day in practice. I’ve got to learn from Peja; I’ve got to learn from Julian. I’m going to do whatever it takes to earn minutes and to earn wins. That’s my main goal. If I don’t play a single minute, as long as we win, I’m happy.”

On fellow rookie Craig Brackins:
“He has a lot of ability. Being that size and having the knack to shoot like he does… he’s very athletic as well. He has a lot of tools on the offensive end. We’re going to grow together and work hard together on the offensive end.”