As the Wizards players left Verizon Center for the final time this season, after their exit interviews with team president Ernie Grunfeld and coach Randy Wittman, they stopped for a moment to share a few thoughts. Here are a few of the highlights:
“I was just coming back (to the Wizards) I didn’t know what was going on, but after the New Jersey game, it looked to me like, (my teammate were thinking) what’s going on, who is this guy who just came back?
“They teased me sometimes but everyone knows that I’m not the kind of guys that’s going to decline, you know. Every year I get better. Andray Blatche said “he went to China and got himself a jump shot, they’ve got everything there.”
“Yeah, he did say that. I just worked on my game. I spent more than a hour, a hour and a half a day working on mt jump shot with the coach that was over there, just working of different parts of my game because China is different than the NBA. Over there, it’s a lot more physical, a lot more dirty play, and they pack the lane over there. I used to be a slasher, so I had to develop a jump shot to be able to do more things. Once that opened up for me, everything just became easy. Right now the NBA is easy to me.”
“The last 12 months have been up and down. Its been a journey, definitely. But its been all good. Its all been positive for the most part. I’m blessed, man. Its a blessing to be here where I am and to finish where I am. Going to China, it gave me confidence.”
“The first (NBA) games, to see the full gyms and to see all those players was really fun for me. From the end of the season, I start to play more, and get more confidence on the court. I was a great experience to play against Dirk Nowitzki. He is from overseas, and he is my position to it was nice experience to play against him and get some experience.
(Will he develop a jumper like Nowitski’s?) I hope so. Of course, I need to work on my outside shot so that’ll be the first thing that I work on.”
“I went undefeated. I was 6-0. Hold onto that. I’m not going to say anything, but we did go undefeated in the Morris Almond era. I’ll let you put 2 and 2 together. “
“It’s the little things. Even though it was 10 days, I was appreciative as I was the day I got drafted, so it was a good way to end the season for me. You know what? Everybody sees (ESPN analyst Mike) Wilbon bashing the guys on PTI, and the (Wizards) record and what not, but it was a total opposite of what I actually came here.”
In part 2, we’ll hear from John Wall and Nene, and Jordan Crawford tells us how every player in the league can improve.