Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM
| Feb. 18, 2005
Sonics guard Ray Allen and forward Rashard Lewis are already in Denver for All-Star Weekend. Before leaving, they spoke prior to Wednesday's game about the All-Star experience and SUPERSONICS.COM shares the best quotes.
On His First All-Star Appearance
Have you been thinking about the game?
Lewis: A little bit, but I'm trying to not think about it too much. I'm trying to play these games and get these games out of the way and I'll worry about that (Thursday). I do think about it because it's my first time being an All-Star, and of course I'm going to think about it.
Yeah, like the first day of school or something. I'm excited about it. I just hope I'm not nervous, I'm just comfortable and out there ready to play. I know I probably won't get too many minutes, but the minutes I do get, I want to do what I can do out there, show my skills.
On All-Star media sessions
"I'm excited about it. I just hope I'm not nervous."
Allen: I've sat in the media session with people from all over the world, and some people don't know who I am.
'So, you play center for the Milwaukee Bucks?'
Last year, a couple of people had me playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. You just have to be patient, because I don't claim to know a lot about everybody, and I don't want to make the assumption that people know everything about me and that, just because I'm an All-Star, they're supposed to come in and know. This is the time to put ourselves out there and teach the world about NBA players and show why we're the best athletes in the world and some of the things that make us who we are.
On the All-Star Locker Room
Allen: I think every year, from one year to the next, it does change. It will be weird for him (Rashard) because he'll probably feel like he doesnít belong, because everybody's talking and everybody's been on the All-Star team for a while, and it's like camp, every year you go back and see the same people. My first year, I'm looking around the room and I'm thinking, 'Let me just sit over here and not say anything. What do we do now? How do we do this and that?' So you kind of feel like, your first year, you don't belong. But for me, after I've been doing it over and over again, I walk in, sit down, see the same photographers, the media from all over the world and a lot of the people are familiar. You see many of the same faces.
Allen: We know everybody. It's not like the first day of school, where they're going to say your name and you're kind of nervous because the teacher says your whole name and you don't want everybody to know. We all know each other, players, so it's no big deal. Rashard will know (Shawn) Marion and all those guys. Amongst the elite, you know everybody in the locker room belongs, so you always have something to talk about.
Allen: The one thing that is the best feeling is, (making the) playoffs is not even a question, based on the first half of the season. Last year, I didn't even engage in that conversation. We always talk a little trash about whose team is doing what and beating certain teams. Last year, they had that conversation, and I was like, 'Where do you guys want to eat at tonight?'"
On Representing the Sonics
Allen: Rashard and I being there, representing the team, and Vlade (Radmanovic) and Luke (Ridnour), people have to say, 'These guys have been playing good basketball up in the Northwest and now we get a chance to see them and see what they look like.'
On the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootut
These guys have been playing good basketball up in the Northwest and now we get a chance to see them."
Are you nervous about it at all?
Allen: Since I've done it twice already, it doesn't matter. I know what to expect. When you don't know what to expect, I think you have a little bit of fear for it.
Did anyone ever say you couldn't win it?
Allen: Yeah, because they said my shot took too long to get off. You take somebody like - I don't know who I was competing with Ö oh, (Peja) Stojakovic. They said Stojakovic has a better chance because he can get his shot off quicker.
Do you change your shot at all?
Allen: Nope. You can't worry about the quantity of balls, you've just got to make those moneyballs and get some shots it. Just take your team and hit your shots."
On Vlade's chances
Allen: I would put my money on him if I were you guys. He's young, he's hungry, he wants to make a name for himself, and I think this is the time in his career where people know he can shoot, and until he wins competitions or participates in events and wins them, he doesn't really get his due for as good of a shooter as he is. Stojakovic, when he won it, he was 24, 25. [Stojakovic first won at 24, then repeated at 25.] That's when people started saying Stojakovic is the best shooter in the NBA. He did it in games, but then he put it on display. Vlade can go up there, and he doesn't even have to win it, but just to be able to get to the final round where the commentators talk about him and show clips of how well he shoots the ball.
Lewis: I would say Ray's, because my second year in the league, I was in the Three-Point Shootout and he was in it and I was competing against him and I saw him win the competition. He's been through it, he's won it before, so I'd say he's got the better chance."
On the Playstation Skills Challenge
Allen: Luke is in it? I think he's got as good a chance as anybody, because he can handle the ball, he's quick and he's smaller, so he's going to be very agile. Whatever obstacle course they put up, he'll be able to maneuver through it.