On Saturday night, Joel Przybilla and Dante Cunningham played their first games versus the Trail Blazers as members of the Charlotte Bobcats. Here is what some of the players and coaches had to say about going up against their former teammates just 10 days after the trade.
On being on the visiting team in the Rose Garden
“It’s different. I didn’t know what to expect, but this is my job, my profession. I’ve played a lot of basketball games, and I just came here focused and trying to get the win.”
On the reception from the crowd
“It was great. I don’t know what to say. I’ve had a couple receptions when I came back from injury, and this one. I’ll remember this until the day I die.”
On the crowd chanting his name toward the end of the game
“At first I was wondering if they were chanting. It’s kind of wild. It means a lot to me and my family. The time and effort I’ve put into this organization, people respect that. We’ll see what happens.”
“I love both guys. They were good for us. I love what both of them bring to the floor. They come in and they work the same way every day, regardless of whether it’s practice or games. It is kind of strange to see them over there.”
“Yeah, it’s fun whenever you play against a guy that I had dinner with for five years, so he was just talking to me. It was just fun to be out there with him. It just felt weird, you know?”
What’s it like playing against Cunningham?
“Like practice. He’s a good defender, he can guard a number of positions. It was good to see him get some playing time tonight.”
On playing against Przybilla
“It was kind of funny seeing him at shoot around in different warm ups. It seemed like he’s in good spirits. I’m just happy that he’s happy right now. It looks like he is playing good, he’s moving around pretty good.”
"It's too hard, no? Because one week ago we play together and right now we have different goals, different teams. It's tough, but it's better for them probably play more minutes. For sure we miss them but this is a good experience."
Did Joel seem nicer than he would usually be to an opposing team?
"Yeah, I think Joel play long time here. Sometimes it's tough come back to you're home like seven years and play against friends, because we have a very good relationship with Joel and Dante. I think for Joel probably more special game for him."
On not getting a chance to dunk on Joel
"He got a chance to dunk on me, almost."
On dunking on Dante
"Yeah, I feel bad about that. I know. He knew the plays! Come on. He knew the plays. He should have got out of the way."
On playing against Przybilla and Cunningham
"It was weird, weird to play against Joel. I think for everybody. Coaches, for us, for the crowd to see Joel and DC, because everybody loved them. Everybody loved them. They are very nice guys. I wish them the best."
Was Joel a bit nicer than usual?
"Joel was like a big brother for us, for everybody, so we've got respect for us. We've got respect for him too. He knows that. Did you see what happened with Free Throw Guy? When Joel tried the free throw, (Free Throw Guy) was like (Batum stands completely still). Joel got a lot of respect from everybody, even Free Throw Guy."