Press Conference Quotes: The Player, The Coach and the General Manager
On July 11, the Portland Trail Blazers introduced four new players during a press conference at the team's practice facility in Tualatin. Here is what the general manager, the coach and the players themselves had to say about joining the Trail Blazers for the 2013-14 season.
"... I'm just excited to get out there with the guys and play. I've played against Portland, obviously, in the past few seasons. They always have a group that's competitive, a hard-working group and I really wanted to be a part of that."
"New Orleans was in a difficult spot, they clearly had goals in free agency where they needed to create cap room. As it turned out we were able to construct a three-team trade. I want to thank Arn Tellum and Robin for both expressing so much interest in his being here that they kind of helped leverage the situation to make sure Robin ended up with us. He had many suitors but I think knowing he would come in here and start from Day One, it was clearly a need and he'd join a very quality 80 percent of the starting lineup was really enticing to he and his representatives."
"Robin is going to be our starting center in an area that was a weakness for us last year. JJ HIckson did a terrific job but we were one of the worst teams in the league, if not the worst, in the paint and at the rim and I think Robin is going to anchor our defense, which is our biggest area of need."
"I think I still have a lot more upside to my game. I don't think I even came close to being a finished product … It's a great feeling to be wanted. I've been in this league a year and being tossed around can mess with confidence. It can mess with everything so to hear somebody actually tell me they want me on their team is a great feeling."
"Clearly Houston had goals where they needed to clear cap room. They very reluctantly acquiesced and we were able to put together a deal with Daryl (Morey). They accomplished their goals, we were able to get what we think is an absolute steal in Thomas, who, we now basically have the fifth and sixth picks in last year's draft. We valued both he and Damian and now we're lucky enough to have both of them."
"... Thomas is a young talent, in some ways similar to JJ last year in that he'll be a beast inside. He can rebound, he can run the floor, he's rugged. Watching him practice today he's one of the strongest players I've been around and adds a dimension to the team that we don't have. I think that's going to be something that we'll be able to utilize throughout the course of a season."
"I could definitely say opportunity to come in and help the team, a young team. Me being around, being a veteran and still being young I really see myself really fitting in here. They shoot a lot of threes here and that's one of the parts I'm good in. Great staff, great people int he front office, great people here. I'm just really excited to be here and I think it's going to be great for myself and my family."
"Dorell and I go way back, back to the days of Santa Monica High School and working out together at ABCD Camp. Clearly we know Terry (Stotts) values three-point shooting, he values versatility and in terms of a wing player we were targeting, Dorell was the highest guy we had on our board and we were once again lucky that he wanted to be here."
"... Three-point shooting is a big part of the NBA game and Dorell brings that. I think his versatility, being able to spread the floor if we play a small lineup, we'll be able to do that with him and Nic (Batum) at three and four."
"I think for me it was Coach's style of play, relationship with Neil and the organization, the respect I have for the organization and the team. I think the team is a talented team. I think it's a team where I can definitely have an influence with my experience and veteran leadership, so to speak. Just have an impact every day."
"Earl and I go back a long ways, as has already been documented. As I said today, he's one of the most competitive people I've ever been around and he has one of the greatest natural command presences that I've ever seen. And it's something this team sorely needs, someone who can inspire our young guys and lead our veterans and be a presence on and off the court. And I think you guys will realize from Day One just how integral that's going to be be as a part of our culture going forward."
"... He can still play although he's coming in as more probably a mentor for CJ and Damian and in the locker room. As he showed last year when he beat us in Utah that he's capable of winning games in this league, so he gives us the opportunity to either be on the floor, help us win games or beyond that, doing the little things behind the scenes with our personnel."