One-on-One with Jason Richardson
Suns.com called guard Jason Richardson and forward Jared Dudley on Wednesday night, to get their reaction to the afternoon trade that will bring them to Phoenix.
The athletic duo was just sitting down to watch the Suns-Lakers game on ESPN from their hotel rooms in New Orleans, where their former Bobcats team is playing the Hornets. The Suns sent Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary to Charlotte in the five-player trade, in which the Suns will also receive a second-round draft pick in 2010.
The following is a transcript of the exlusive interview with "J-Rich," who is averaging 18.7 points and 4.1 boards a game this season.
Suns.com: Congratulations on the trade. How are you feeling about coming to Phoenix?
Richardson: Oh, I’m happy. I’m ready to get down to Phoenix right now and start working.
Suns.com: How did you find out about the trade?
Richardson: I was taking a pre-game nap in preparation for the game against the Bobcats and the general manager called me and asked me if I was ready to go to the West coast. I was a little confused at first because I was still half-asleep. He told me to get my running shoes on because I had just been traded to Phoenix. I got a big smile on my face because I knew what Phoenix had and adding me to that team could help out a lot.
Suns.com: Did you think you were still dreaming?
Richardson: I actually did. And then I held up the phone and thought, “Hold on. I just got traded?” I called my friends, family and fiancé to tell them. It was shocking, because I didn’t know I was going to be involved in any trades. I hadn’t heard any rumors so it was out of the blue. But it is one of those trades that you’re happy about.
Suns.com: I’m sure your teammates were disappointed.
Richardson: Yes, they were. I have a lot of great teammates here. We were all out in the (hotel) hallway and were talking. I let them know that I wasn’t going to the game tonight because I had been traded.
Suns.com: What are your thoughts on the Suns?
Richardson: There are high expectations in Phoenix. You can see what the roster has with Amar’e, Shaq, Steve. Those guys are future Hall of Famers. I’m very excited to play alongside guys like that for the first time in my career. I’ve never played on a team like this. I’ve always been on re-building teams. I’ve only been to the playoffs once. I’ve never really won anything, but I think I can bring a lot to this team and have a special season.
Suns.com: You played with Matt Barnes at Golden State. How do you feel about reuniting with him?
Richardson: Matt is a great guy. He called me today and said if I needed anything I should call him. I have a good relationship with him. It’ll be good to see a familiar face and to ask where to go, where to eat in Phoenix and all of those types of things.
Suns.com: What should fans know about you?
Richardson: I’m an exciting player. I do everything to win games. I have a lot of energy, I can dunk and shoot the threes. I give everything I can on the court. I’m not trying to take anyone’s spot. I just want to come in and do what is needed. I’ll fill the void where it is needed. Whatever it is – defense, scoring, rebounding, whatever it is. I just want to help the team to win and get deep in the playoffs.
Suns.com: What style of play is your game best suited for?
Richardson: Running, but I can play the halfcourt a little bit, too. Running fits my game perfectly, but I can also play the slow tempo, if needed.
Suns.com: Steve Kerr talked about your defense, as well as your scoring.
Richardson: People don’t give me enough credit for my defense. I can do a lot better job than what I’m doing now. I love challenges. Whatever the coaches and front office ask of me, that’s what I’m going to do.
Suns.com: What about Jared Dudley? Phoenix fans don't know a whole lot about him.
Richardson: Jared is one of those guys who is in the right spot at the right time on every play. He plays hard. He never takes the night off. He gives it his all. He plays defense. He can make shots. And he can definitely rebound.
Suns.com: Will you two be watching the Suns play the Lakers tonight?
Richardson: Oh yeah. I’ll definitely watch the Suns tonight to see where I can fit in and help the team. We’re the only two left in the hotel so we’re going to watch the game together (laughs). We went to dinner together earlier tonight and were talking about going to Phoenix.
Suns.com: So what’s the game plan for the next couple days?
Richardson: I’m going to head back to Charlotte in the morning and pick up a few things, and then will get into Phoenix on Friday. I can't wait!