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Catching Up With Adonal Foyle


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One of the most inquisitive minds the NBA has ever seen, Adonal Foyle played 10 seasons for the Golden State Warriors. The 6-foot-10 center was the eighth pick in the 1997 NBA Draft and he went on to rank in the NBA’s top 10 in blocked shots four times between 2001 and 2005. Throughout his career, the franchise’s all-time leader in blocks (1,140) became known for his community and political endeavors. He founded the Kerosene Lamp Foundation to help serve children in his native St. Vincent and the Grenadines and he also created Democracy Matters, a non-partisan student organization that aims for campaign finance reform. A 2009 inductee into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame – the ninth NBA player to receive such an honor – Foyle is truly a Warriors great whose outreach extended far beyond basketball.

Warriors.com (DotCom): How do you like working in an NBA team’s front office vs. being a player?
Adonal Foyle (AF):It’s been pretty interesting. You go from playing to being in the front office and it’s subtly different. I find it to be a challenge trying to figure out some of the mistakes I have made and trying to make sure that a lot of our players don’t make the same mistakes, so that is kind of interesting.

DotCom: What are some of the challenges you face in your role with the Orlando Magic?
AF: There is no denying that players are coming into the league younger and younger. It behooves us to try and make sure that they develop not only in terms of what they do on the basketball court but also the mental part of that as well, and making sure the mental matches up with the physical … I’ve been interested in finding people that can make that happen a lot easier for those guys.

DotCom: When you were drafted by the Warriors, did anything surprise you about the NBA?
AF: The high level of competiveness … When you’re in college, you might have one really good game, maybe twice a week. There’s not really a lot of people in practice who can really compete with you if you are a big-time player. But I was getting my butt kicked in practice by Felton Spencer, Terry Cummings, all those guys. They were much older than me and they were beating me up and teaching me the rules at the same time. You learn that every night is a battle, you learn that every night is a competition. Even on your team, you have to compete for minutes and compete to play on any given night.

DotCom: What about the cultural differences you encountered when joining the Warriors?
AF: I remember the first year, I had not finished my degree at the time, so I remember going onto the plane with six or eight books and I was reading and everybody is just looking at me as if I have 20 heads or something. As a rookie, I didn’t really get a lot of friends doing that kind of stuff. I was able to deal with, “That’s just Adonal.” When you get your teammates to say that, that’s always a good thing because then you could be odd and I could go to the back of the plane and talk to the other guys, the older guys anyway.

DotCom: The Warriors struggled for much of your time with the team. Did that wear you down at all?
AF: I think it did. When I look back at my career, I think that the one thing that I never really had a chance to get was the consistency of a coach that really wanted to develop me over time. In the 10 years I was there, we had nine coaches or something to that effect. It’s like a wheelhouse … So there was never any consistency in really trying to create an atmosphere of winning or a culture of winning. There wasn’t anybody there long enough to do any of those things. For me, to be there when Nelson came in and see us have the opportunity to beat Dallas in the first round, I was more happy for the fans because we had been losing for such a long time. That was more exciting than even the opportunity to play.

DotCom: Can you describe what it was like to be a part of the 2007 “We Believe” team?
AF: It was really special. I think the fans believed before we did. They pushed us to really find ourselves. Nelson had an unorthodox style of bringing guys along, but the fans truly believed we had a chance to do it. You can almost see their chanting physically lift the team up and take us over the hump. It was extraordinary.

DotCom: What do you think about the group of personalities that filled that locker room?
AF: I think we went out and we signed the most creative, unorthodox, crazy, fun, silly group of people you could fit in one room. It was unbelievable. I have never laughed and really enjoy a group of guys, and at the same time you wanted to fight all the time. It was so much fun.

DotCom: You had a chance to play with Cliff Robinson. What did you take away from that experience?
AF: He was incredible. He would sit on the bench and I would know exactly what he wanted me to do. He had great hands, he gets low, he moves his feet, he taught me quite a bit. I think my game changed fundamentally when he came to Golden State and really became part of the coaching staff there.

DotCom: What do you think about when you think about your career with the Warriors?
AF: I found a home there. When I came out to the Bay, I wasn’t sure that I was going to fit in there. I have to say that the people of that community embraced me and made me one of them. Every single summer, I have to go and spend some time in the Bay Area. I can say that I found a home away from home. For as long as I am around, I will always call that one of my homes. I love the community, I love what they stand for and I love the passion they have about the world.

Listen To The Full Interview With Adonal Foyle
YEAR
G
MIN
FGM
FGA
FG%
3FGM
3FGA
3FG%
FTM
FTA
FT%
REB
AST
STL
BLK
PTS
AVG
97-98
55
656
69
170
.406
0
1
.000
27
62
.435
184
14
13
52
165
3.0
98-99
44
614
52
121
.430
0
0
---
25
51
.490
194
18
15
43
129
2.9
99-00
76
1654
193
380
.508
0
0
---
34
90
.378
424
42
26
136
420
5.5
00-01
58
1457
156
375
.416
0
0
---
30
68
.441
405
48
31
156
342
5.9
01-02
79
1485
171
385
.444
0
0
---
37
93
.398
384
41
36
168
379
4.8
02-03
82
1787
185
345
.536
0
1
.000
70
104
.673
490
37
40
205
440
5.4
03-04
44
572
59
130
.454
0
0
---
19
35
.543
167
17
6
46
137
3.1
04-05
78
1700
156
311
.502
0
0
---
40
72
.556
429
56
26
159
352
4.5
05-06
77
1824
152
300
.507
0
0
---
41
67
.612
424
33
44
125
345
4.5
06-07
48
475
48
85
.565
0
0
---
11
25
.440
126
19
11
50
107
2.2

TOTALS
641
12224
1241
2602
.477
0
2
.000
334
667
.501
3227
325
248
1140
2816
4.4




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