Postgame Quotes: Suns vs Lakers Round 3, Game 6


Head Coach Alvin Gentry

Steve Nash

Amare Stoudemire

Goran Dragic

Channing Frye

Jason Richardson

Phil Jackson

Kobe Bryant

Ron Artest

Lamar Odom

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Head Coach Alvin Gentry

I guess first of all, I'd just like to say, I'd like that congratulate the Lakers. They've had a phenomenal year. They played a great series. I mean, what can you say about Kobe? I don't know if there's words. There's an intense game going on and you almost have to laugh at what he does. I mean, I thought we played great defense on him. He just made tough shot after tough shot. You know, I wish them well. Obviously, we'll be pulling hard for them. They're a Western Conference team. We have this in that case of losing to the champs quite a bit when we get this far. Hopefully they'll win another one for the west. On what he told players after the game:
I just told them to me, you know, it's been the most enjoyable year of my coaching career. It was fun pause we had really high character guys. We had great leadership, when you think about what Steve and Grant and Amar'e brought to the table. I was real proud of where Amar'e has come. He has worked hard to get better defensively, worked hard to become a better teammate. He's worked hard on his game. Steve has become a great leader. More vocal than he's been in the past. Grant, just lead by example of what he's done. We have great guys that are willing to be led. I think in order to be a great team, you have to have leaders, but you have to have guys that are willing to be led. I told them I appreciate everything they've done. We played extremely hard. We played extremely hard tonight. We couldn't quite get over the hump. Every time we got it close, Kobe made an incredibly tough shot that was well defended. For that there is no answer. You have to give them credit. They came in here, understood the urgency of the game. I thought it was a well played series, I really did. On what he is most proud of:
Well, I just think we still believe that we would win the game tonight, go to L.A., have a chance to win and go to the NBA Finals. I think we're a very confident bunch. I think the thing we talked about all year is we'll lose as a team, we'll win as a team, but we have to stay together. I think there was a chemistry that developed with this team that was a real positive thing. You can see that there's games where the starters didn't play, and the bench didn't play very much at all. But it was easy to do that because we had such great guys. I mean, I really have not been around a team like this that had the chemistry not in my 22 years in the league. On Kobe Bryant's shot:
We guarded him. I thought Grant was going to block the shot. That was a fall away three pointer with a hand in your face, off balance. You know, that's who he is. That really is who he is. I said, Good defense to Grant. Said, Not quite good enough. You know, it was a well played series. The one thing that I said to our guys, and I said this today even at shoot around, we should enjoy this. We're in a situation where we're playing a game that means an awful lot. You know, contrary to what anybody thinks, we earned our way here. We beat a really good Portland team that was decimated by injuries, but played hard and very difficult. We beat a very good San Antonio team that we've had a lot of difficulty getting over the hump. Then I thought we were very competitive in this series. We happened to run into a team that was the world champs and is going to have an opportunity to win another one. I think rather than have any negatives, and I told our guys, there is no negatives to anything that happened to us in the last month. This is a really good thing. We gave it our all. I think I would be really disappointed if we didn't play extremely hard and was very competitive. We did. We happened to play a team, they were just better than we were in this series. You have to give them credit. But for us, it's still going to be a real positive. I refuse to have anything be negative about the season. On whether Kobe said anything to him after the shot:
No, he just patted me. Hey, I've known him all his life, since he was about 16 years old. I've always been a big fan of is. He knows that. I always thought he was the best player in basketball. He didn't do anything in this series against us to make me think otherwise. As a matter of fact, he probably solidified my thought process as to he's the best basketball player right now. On whether Kobe is better than Jordan:
I'm not going to get into that. I might have to work for the Bobcats someday. I'm not saying that, no (laughter). I'm saying at this time right now he's the best player in basketball. And I don't think it's even close. Thoughts on Ron Artest:
Ron played great. He shot the ball extremely well. As I said, you have to make a decision when Kobe is on the floor. Sometimes you have to leave guys open. Once again, you have to give Ron credit. Did a great job, stepped up and made shots. That's the way we played him the whole series. You're going to have to either leave Kobe in a one on one situation, which is not a good idea, or leave somebody open in the rotations to try to make shots. We chose to leave Ron. He stepped up and made shots. You know, you have to give him credit. He did a very good job. But you have to pick your poison. You can't leave Kobe on an island one on one. We chose to try to get the ball out of his hand. We played a lot more man defense tonight. They shot the ball so well in the first half, you know, going 8 for 14 from 3, we were forced to just play man and tried to Gordon them.

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Steve Nash

Going into the series, I thought they were the better team, but I thought we had a chance to do something special. You know, I don't know. I think the last four or five days, I've been questioning who the better team is, and have had a lot of belief that maybe we were, or at least maybe we could find a way to win the series regardless. I think that's a tribute to my teammates, their attitude, commitment. This is about as special a group as I've been a part of, to be picked anywhere from seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 in the west, to go through a stretch in the middle of the season where we weren't very good, and to really finish up so strong and get ourselves to a place where we were almost an overtime away from being up 3 2 coming home. You know, I got to say, it's a great source of pride for me to get a chance to play with these guys. They're just, you know, such great, great people, great teammates. They've committed absolutely to what we're trying to do. You know, you want to say we overachieved until you think about it and say, We're a good team. We had a real legitimate chance to beat the Lakers and go to the finals and play for a championship. I'm sort of rambling praise about my team, but I'm really, really proud. You know, I'm excited I got a chance to have a year like this with these guys. On keeping the team together:
You know, after everything I just said, yeah, it's pretty clear I'd like to keep the group together. I mean, it's phenomenal to come to work every day with the group of guys we had, everyone fighting for the same thing, you know, proving when you commit to one another and to what we're trying to do, you know, you really can all the clichés really are true. You can maybe be greater than, you know, the sum of your parts. It was a lot of fun. I'd love to keep it together and keep going. On Kobe's shooting:
I'm not sure those are shooter's shots. Those are scorer's, best player-in-the-game-type shots. You know, he is incredibly skilled, talented. He's a great competitor, clutch. What can you say? He deserves an incredible amount of praise for his ability. On Alvin Gentry:
Alvin is incredible. You know, it says something a little bit about the nature of our business that he's on his fourth I think job, one of the lowest paid coaches in the league, and he probably did as good a job if not the best job in the league this year. He's a phenomenal coach as far as his understanding of the game and ability to put his team in a position to succeed at both ends of the floor. He's even better at, you know, handling his players and building a team, understanding, you know, who he's coaching, the dynamics of the group, the individual, how to make it fun and at the same time how to hold everyone accountable so we improve all the time. He was phenomenal this year. On how many more chances he has to win a title:
Well, who knows. I mean, it was a phenomenal run and we fell short, and it hurts, you know. It hurts a lot. We'll worry about next year next year. The attitude is that you stay in the moment, you stay in the journey. I know it sounds cliché. I don't want to pretend to be Zen or anything, but it's the truth. Especially when you're my age, it's a pleasure to get to this point and have a chance. Next year I think we're gonna have another steep hill to climb to get back here, but we can do it if we really work hard. You know, I know everyone makes a deal out of I've never made the finals. You know, maybe I won't. But if I play with teams like I played with this year, the guys I played with, you know, I'll be satisfied with that. It's phenomenally rewarding to be part of a group like this. I think some of the years we made the Western Conference Finals, truth be told, it was the final. Our teams in my career here, the last six, seven years, has been rewarding even though I haven't got to the finals or won a championship. We have no one to blame, but on the other hand we were phenomenal. We have a lot to be proud of. There will be a lot of disappointment a lot of sting. Really proud of my teammates, coaches, staff, organization, fans, it was great.

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Amare Stoudemire

On the game:
“We gave it all we got. We didn’t give up at all and played extremely hard and went after it out there. We played extremely, extremely hard, honestly I felt like I was going to pass out for awhile there. Give it to them, they played well and Kobe hit some tough shots down the stretch. “ On Kobe Bryant:
“I think those guys down the stretch hit tough shots. Once we went on a run Kobe was able to bail them out. Kobe had energy down the stretch. We had energy, we gave it all we got, we fought back in both games, we were able to make a game out of it but just down the stretch that 18 (point lead) gave them just enough to get over the hump.” On his future:
“Still not sure what the future holds right now so I’m just going to take a couple days, enjoy the family and enjoy the rest and start figuring out what the next move is.” On whether he is still 50/50 on returning to the Suns:
“Absolutely. Absolutely still there but I’m pretty sure there will be a conversation between myself and the organization and my family and figure out what the best scenario is and make a smart decision.”

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Goran Dragic

On altercation with Sasha Vujacic:
“I was just close to him and he hit me but that’s all. I know he wants to help his team and I want to help my team and that’s it. I’m not mad at him and I hope he’s not mad at me but I want to say that I wish him good luck in the finals.” On his season:
“It was a great year for me but still I have to work hard to get better every year. But, like I said, it was a great year and I’m really happy to be with the Phoenix Suns.” On Kobe Bryant:
“You know Kobe. He is going to hit shots. One shot Grant Hill hit him in the face and he still scored. He is just an unbelievable player.”

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Channing Frye

On Kobe Bryant:
“When Kobe gets it going you have to throw the kitchen sink at him. He was hitting shots when me and Grant Hill did a great job on him and there is nothing much you can do. If one of those doesn’t go in it’s a different ball game. So, give credit where credit is due, they are a good team and he (Kobe) hit big shots all fourth quarter.” Message to the fans:
“I have to say thank you guys so much. I think at the beginning of this year we were kind of counted out as underdogs and the fans stuck with us. I have to say you guys helped us win a lot of games and make this place what I remember it was and make this place tough to get a “W”. I can’t thank you guys enough for supporting me through thick and thin even when I wasn’t doing very much. For the future this is a team you definitely want to stick with. We have great guys. There is nothing more you can ask of a professional team. You have great guys, you have unselfish guys, you have guys around the community and for us it’s just a chance to be a part of something special and for them too.”

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Jason Richardson

On the game:
“You definitely can’t find a way to dig a hole especially against those guys, they are too good, they know how to win games and with probably one of the greatest players to ever play this game, Kobe Bryant, they know how to finish games and you could see in his game that he just wanted to close it tonight.”

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Phil Jackson

: I haven't watched them all the way through the playoffs. Got surprised by Portland at home court early in the playoffs. Then they just went into another gear and played great ball. I thought they played great against Portland and finished it off against San Antonio to sweep them. They looked like they were a live team defensively. We were fortunate to be able to figure out some things about them defensively in the first couple games. We came back, I thought they covered their home really well, moved into playing the zone about probably 35, 30 minutes of the game. It was a way to ignite their offense, get them down court quickly and get things going. We figured out the zone, played well against it. They started finding their way in the offensive end at times to give them those bursts they're known for. They had one with two minutes to go in Game 5. Obviously tonight they were ignited by an incidental play in which Sasha got involved in a flagrant foul. It really sparked their team. They really jumped into the fray after that, got back in the game. I thought they were pretty dead in the water at that particular time in the game. But they played behind that spirit of their home court and they made a game out of this.

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Kobe Bryant

We're good. We're good. We're playing a different style of ball now. We've had three series here, which every single one of them have been different. Now we're going to this series where the level of intensity and physicality is going to be at an all time high. They still do a great job of getting out in transition. This series prepares us well for that. But we're not looking at games that are 115 or 110 point range.

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Ron Artest

I think you saw us relaxed and playing together. We made shots and Pau was aggressive. Kobe was letting us build our confidence and everybody pitched in.

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Lamar Odom

I told Hubie Brown that Kobe is so good he makes incredible normal for us, those that are around him. There’s a couple plays where he trusted us and we didn’t come through and he decided to take the game over. He spins away from a double team, leans back and hits those medium range jumpers. He uses his footwork to free himself while he’s being double teamed. There’s not too many players ever in the history of the NBA that can make those plays. I always commend Kobe for his competitiveness, his preciseness, the way he studies the game and his goal as far as being the best player ever. There’s not too many guys that want that responsibility but time and time again he embraces that moment and that’s what makes him so good.

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