Tyreke Evans Press Conference Transcript
Dell Demps: “We are thrilled to have Tyreke here today and for him to join our organization. When we signed Tyreke, and when we acquired him, our group talked about it and we think he’s a big guard that has versatility and with his ability to attack the basket will fit in with our group. As we continue to build this team we are excited to bring him in to this organization, not only him as a player but him as a person. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Tyreke Evans. Welcome to the Organization. Also, I’m going to present him with a hat today because we don’t have jersey’s ready yet to give him.”
Tyreke Evans: “I just wanted to say I’m glad to be here. It’s been a great process for me, going through this whole process with my brother and with my agent. I’m here to start my life in my new home and I’m happy to be here. I’m excited to get started with the new players; it’s a good group of guys, all young guys. Looking forward to playing with these guys and being coached by Coach (Monty), I’m ready to get this thing on the road.”
Monty Williams: “From my standpoint, I think it’s always important that we not only bring in talent, like Tyreke, but also that we bring in somebody that wants to be here. That’s something that’s paramount for me as a coach, he’s not somebody we have to continue to sell on why to come here, he wanted to come here. That spoke volumes for me. I’m excited about that. Also, obviously I like to have guys on our team that scare me when I would’ve played against them. Certainly, I would never have been able to figure out how to stop him from getting to the basket, knocking down big shots, or stealing the ball on the weak side. I could go on about that and there are a few things I’m going to have to help with about weak side defense and getting down in a stance. I’m going already, but we’ll deal with that later. Like Dell (Demps) said we are excited about who he is as a player and as a person, and I can’t reiterate enough that he wanted to be here and that’s enough for me.
Q: “Did acquisition of Jrue Holiday make New Orleans more attractive?”
Tyreke: “When I heard about the trade for Jrue (Holiday), I’m actually really good friends with him. I played AAU basketball with him and we played in the same McDonald’s (All-America) Game. The group of guys they (New Orleans) have is a group of guys that plays together and wants to win and I really wanted to be a part of that.”
Q: “What do you anticipate your role being and what position do you plan to play?”
Tyreke: “I don’t know yet. It’s a new process. We have a good guard lineup and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing?”
Q: “Do you have any qualms about playing small forward?”
Tyreke: “I have no problem with it at all.”
Q: Monty, how do you envision using Tyreke as far as rotations and positions?
Monty: “Right off, you want to just throw him out there and let him figure it out but I think that puts too much pressure on him. I would like to see how to see how he plays with Eric (Gordon) and Al-Farouq (Aminu), as well as all the other guys that we plan on signing and then make assessments in October. I’m not hesitant to play him at small forward. At the same time, he will play some point guard as well because he’s done that most of his life. Shooting guards will have to deal with him in the post in that Clyde Drexler spot. His size on defense, which is most important to me, allows us to switch and that’s a big key for us. Guarding a (small forward) and having to switch to a (power forward) concerns me more than the offensive side. I think offensively, guys just figure it out. Defensively, that’s where I’m more concerned. You have to switch in certain situations and guard bigger guys. When we play Oklahoma City, that switch is from (Kevin) Durant to (Serge) Ibaka, and that’s tough on the weak-side when you have to rebound the ball. Offensively, guys just figure it out and I’ll help him with that. Defensively is where we are going to have to really work at it and find out how to stay out of those situations.”
Q: How did the Jrue Holiday trade affect your decision to come here?
Tyreke: “It attracted me. I’ve known Jrue and we’ve been around each other for a long time. It wasn’t like I was going to back down once he was coming here. I was willing to still come.”
Q: Dell, do you see yourself making any more moves throughout the offseason or do you feel like you have all of your pieces now?
Dell: “We’re going to keep our eyes open and see what is available. The main core of the roster right now we feel comfortable with, but you never now. Right now, the majority of the group we believe is going to be our core going forward. You never know what could happen in the coming days, weeks and months.”
Q: Did you identify all of these pieces you’ve added as soon as the season ended?
Dell: “Yes, in a way we did. First of all, I want to thank Mr. Benson for making all of this possible. He gave us the resources to go out and acquire Tyreke and other players. We sat down, Monty and I, and we talked about certain situations and players, and Tyreke was a guy we identified. He was the first guy we went to go see in free agency. This wasn’t plan B, plan C or plan D. This was the guy that we wanted. We wanted to be the first team to meet with him and give him our pitch about who we are. The thing I’ll say, when I talked to him and I showed him our core group and our plan, he just kept looking at the group of guys he would be playing with throughout the whole process. He would ask questions about some of the guys and the coaches, and he wanted to speak with Coach Monty (Williams) and that was all great. The whole time I was talking to him he would listen, but he kept looking at the list of guys and I could tell that he really saw that the guys he would be playing with (and he wanted to be a part of that). We like to call those guys young veterans, guys who have been in the league four or five years yet are still under the age of 25. They’ve already been through their learning curve. They’ve been bumped, beaten and hit so now is their time to shine. I think there is going to be so many guys coming in that it’s going to take some time for them to learn to play with each other. That’s where I think it will be fun. They’ll have some growing pains, but I think that’s where it will be fun to watch them learn together, play together and grow together.”
Q: You’ve always said that you were never satisfied with the team, what’s your level of satisfaction with the roster as it stands?
Dell: “I don’t know if I’d say never satisfied. I think that we feel like we want to see how this group performs and get them together. We have the upmost confidence in our coaching staff, Coach Williams, and the things they’ll do together but the key is going to be them learning each other and managing expectations but at the same time growing.”
Q: As for managing expectations, and this is for you or Coach Williams, there are obviously now expectations significantly higher than having a bunch of young players and draft picks you’ve been talking about young veterans like Tyreke, and Jrue, and Ryan Anderson, do you like the fact that there are expectations to potentially push for a playoff spot this season?
Dell: “I like the position that we’re in right now, I do. I think we want to keep this group together and watch them grow. That’s the plan.”
Q: Coach, can you talk about this team’s offense and the publicity it makes… more exciting offense you have Tyreke who can drive obviously, and… Ryan Anderson… can you talk about this team as far as the offense and how exciting it’s going to be?
Monty: “I’m not worried about excitement. That to me is for you guys to judge and put it in its proper or whatever place you want to put it in. I’m more worried about being effective and efficient and I think when you have dynamic guys at a number of positions it gives you the chance to score more points. I think we can push the ball more than we have in the past two years. We just haven’t had the kind of athletes on the wing or health that would allow us to push the ball. I think we can do that more now with Ryan on the team the floor is always spread and Eric and Tyreke being able to shoot the ball and attack. As far as expectations go, I think that’s what you want. You don’t want to be in the position where nobody expects anything from you. We’ve got to manage all that but this is a young group that we feel like is ready for that. It’s just going to take time and a lot of hard work. I don’t think they know the kind of work that we have to do is probably going to be the toughest thing that they’ve done thus far because we do things differently here. I’m sure they’ve heard about it, and I think if there is excitement, that part is exciting to me just plugging away and working and getting away from all this stuff and just doing our work. It just takes a lot of character and commitment to just dial it in and do that every day.”