Recent additions discuss arrival in New Orleans

Monday, September 27, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Within the past five days, the New Orleans Hornets acquired three players with a combined 16 years of NBA experience. The Hornets added seven-year guard Willie Green and two-year frontcourt player Jason Smith in a trade with Philadelphia, while also signing seven-year guard Jannero Pargo, a key contributor to the franchise’s only division-winning championship team of 2007-08. Here are some of the Media Day quotes from Green, Smith and Pargo – along with July trade pickup Marco Belinelli – on their reaction to the news that they were coming to the Big Easy for the 2010-11 season:

Willie Green
“Initially, my first reaction (to the trade) was I was a little shocked, a little surprised, because the timing of it was so late in the offseason. But I think I’m coming to a great situation. Obviously there is a new coach and a new GM. They’re putting a lot of pieces together. I’m excited to be a complement to the pieces that are already here, such as Chris Paul, David West, Emeka Okafor and Peja Stojakovic. People don’t know this, but I played my first year in the NBA with Monty Williams. He was one of my veterans who always put his arm around me and showed me the ropes. It’s a good opportunity to come back and play under him.”

Jason Smith
“I was surprised, excited. It’s a better situation for me, and I think it’s a better situation for Willie (Green) as well. I was more surprised than anything, because there were no trade rumors. There was no, ‘Oh, you might get traded.’ That day someone from the (Philadelphia) front office told me, ‘We made a trade today and you were in it.’ I was like, ‘Oh, OK…’ It was five days before training camp. That was a big surprise.”

Jannero Pargo
“I’m very excited. This is where I got my first opportunity to actually play (significant minutes) in the NBA. It feels great to be back. I loved the fans here, and to see people wearing my jersey in the crowd was something I always wanted. It was unbelievable. Every time I’ve come back to New Orleans, the fans have always been like ‘come back – we need you.’ So it feels great to be back. I’m happy.”

Marco Belinelli
“I was happy. This is a good situation for me, to really play and be an important player for this team. That’s my mentality. I’m the kind of guy who practices hard and wants to prove (myself) every day. I want to be a complete player. First and foremost, I’m a shooter. But at the same time, I like to create something for my teammates… On offense, I want to do everything. I want to be a good defender.”