Carl Landry Interview
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com
February 24, 2011
Its been a whirlwind few days for New Orleans Hornets trade acquisition Carl Landry, who began this week as a member of the Sacramento Kings. While the Kings were in Miami for a game Tuesday, Landry learned hed been traded to New Orleans, so he headed to the Crescent City on Wednesday. He was initially expected to practice with the Hornets on Thursday, but had to be held out of activities because Marcus Thornton had not completed his physical with Sacramento as of Thursday morning.
Following an introductory press conference and interviews with the New Orleans media around 1 p.m. Thursday, the 6-foot-9 power forward then quickly headed to the Hornets team flight to Minnesota, where they will play Friday evening against the Timberwolves.
During the fourth-year NBA veterans interaction with New Orleans reporters, he answered a range of questions about his outlook on his career and new team. Here are several of the most noteworthy Q&A exchanges:
Hornets.com: Whats your excitement level right now, to go from a team that wasnt in playoff contention to one that is in the race?
Landry: [smiles] Its awesome. I was in that situation in Houston, where we battled every night for a playoff spot. There was one (streak) where we won 22 games in a row, trying to fight for a playoff spot. It definitely feels good knowing every night we have something to play for. There are going to be guys out there going the extra mile to win games.
Hornets.com: Is that the way you see yourself, as a player who goes out and hustles and does the little things?
Landry: Well, obviously I wasnt a lottery pick or anything like that. Nothing was ever given to me. I had to work for everything I had. I have that mindset now. If I want something, I have to continue to work and prove myself out on the floor. Im going to try to do that every day.
Hornets.com: Do you see yourself playing some center here for the Hornets or will you be exclusively at power forward?
Landry: They havent really told me (yet) about (playing center). I just feel like Im a player. I just want to go out there and, wherever Coach puts me, the 4, the 5, it doesnt matter. Even if he puts me at the 1. [smiles] I just want to go out there and help win games.
Hornets.com: You have been productive when youve gotten playing time. Do you expect to play significant minutes here?
Landry: Im sure theyre going to try to ease me into things. I havent had one practice yet. I dont know any plays or terminology yet, because I just got here. But Im sure theyll ease me in. I want to be a sponge who soaks up everything and is prepared for this final stretch.
Landry: I wouldnt necessarily say Im the missing piece, because this team has already had success. Theyre already in the playoff hunt. But I definitely think I can be a great addition to the frontline and a great addition to the locker room, and even in the community. It definitely is a bonus, I think, for this organization. Im happy to be here.
Hornets.com: What was your feeling as the trade deadline approached while you were with Sacramento?
Landry: My role in Sacramento kind of changed a lot. I went from starting (last season) and averaging about 18 (points) and eight rebounds, playing 35 minutes, to this year some nights playing 10 minutes, some nights playing eight minutes. I was always trying to figure out my role. But when the opportunity presented itself there, I tried to make the best of it.
Hornets.com: Did you sense that the Kings wanted to give rookie DeMarcus Cousins more playing time as their 2010 lottery pick?
Landry: Yes. Its a business and its a part of the game. I understood that. They wanted to play the draft pick in DeMarcus a little bit more and they kind of liked (the lineup of) DeMarcus and Samuel Dalembert on the floor at the same time, to go big. I understood its a business. I kept working on my game. If the day came where I had the minutes to play or a trade came, I made sure I stayed ready.
Hornets.com: Are you auditioning for a big contract this summer, if you can have a good stretch run and great playoffs?
Landry: I wouldnt necessarily say that (its an audition). I think right now, after not having the first half of this season go the way I wanted it to, Ive got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. I want to prove to the world that Carl Landry still can play. Hes still that guy that you saw in Houston. I wouldnt necessarily say that I have to play for a contract. But I want to prove for the world I still can play.
Hornets.com: As a second-round NBA draft pick, has it always been kind of an uphill fight for you as far as getting recognized as one of the better players in the league?
Landry: Definitely. People always try to find holes in a player. They say Im undersized, not athletic enough, this, that and the other. But thats just fuel to my fire. Im a second-round pick. (People say) he wont stay in the league. But I play with a lot of heart and a lot of energy. I think sometimes hard work, commitment and determination is better than talent. Thats what I have. I want to go out and give 110 percent and do the best I can.
Hornets.com: You went to Purdue University and obviously New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees did as well. Do you know him personally?
Landry: Ive never met him. But one of my favorite meals at Purdue was the Drew Brees Breakfast. It was at a small restaurant in West Lafayette (Ind.) known as Triple X. But if I ever get a chance to meet him, Ill tell him that.
Hornets.com: Whats in the Drew Brees Breakfast special?
Landry: Im sure they probably named it after him because he ate there when he was at Purdue. Its steak, eggs and potatoes.
Hornets.com: Does your family have any historical ties to Louisiana? Because Landry is a very common name here and they all tend to be related.
Landry: Yeah, well we own all of the Landrys restaurants. [smiles] No, Im just messing with you. Actually my grandmother and my dad are from Donaldsonville, Louisiana. When my grandma heard that the Hornets were one of the teams in the mix (to acquire Landry), she got really excited.
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