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2K7 Warriors Media Day: The Interviews (Part 2)

Here's some more Warriors Media Day coverage with my spin on the interviews. Everyone else is in this one except Baron and Beans. Once again, gotta thank the Warriors and Raymond Ridder for granting us access to the players and to be included as media. Hopefully, we can continue to get this kind of exclusive access and bring a fan's perspective to the practice facility and locker room. Anyways, lots to cover...go!

The vet showing the rookies how to pose

Austin Croshere
Surprisingly, he was a good interview. Both he and Troy Hudson have been around the league for awhile and they are so used to dealing with the media asking questions. They just looked comfortable sitting there with people firing questions and having microphones stuffed in front of their faces. Austin acted like that veteran presence that you want on your team. Seems like a good locker room guy. The whole interview, he seemed laid back, kind of slouching in his chair acting like this whole interview thing was nothing.

As far as the questions, he gave some good answers. He had nothing but praise for the Mavericks as a class organization that just ran into a hot team last year saying that the Warriors weren't your typical 8 seed since they had one of the best records in the 2nd half last year.

He also answered questions about being a veteran presence on a team with so many young guys. Basically, he said that each player is different and you just have to get to know the guys. Just talk to them and let them know that there have been guys who've gone through this before and eventually, they'll get through it. He's also looking forward to helping the young guys just like he helped Danny Granger in Indiana.

Patrick O'Bryant
I think it's really tough for a guy like Patrick O'Bryant to be at one of these events. He knows what questions are coming and a lot of the reporters don't want to approach certain subjects. After speaking with him and overhearing some interviews, Patrick is mainly working on his running and agility. He knows that the team needs him to rebound, and working on that is the best way for him to get in the game. He knows that he's got competition for minutes with the big men such as Croshere, Wright, and Perovic coming in, so it's not going to be easy to get minutes.

Matt Barnes
Barnes is the man. Something about the way he talks and the way he carries himself that has this magnetic quality about him. Sitting at the table just a few feet away and he had me engaged in the questions and answers. Charismatic guy. Even though I wasn't allowed to ask any questions because a few media members were around, he made sure to make eye contact with everyone of the people at the table. Which is cool because a lot of the guys seemed to look down or not directly at people when placed in the group setting. He's seems so chill in the interview and at the same time he makes you want to keep listening. And by the way, the tatts are crazy, definitely tight, but crazy good.

Anyways, one of the key things he said he worked hard on this offseason was his ballhandling, mid-range game and shooting off the dribble. He wanted to improve his ball handling because it shoulders some of the responsibility off of Baron and allows Baron to come off the ball. I guess we'll be seeing some more point Barnes. He's also working hard to prove he isn't a one hit wonder.

He looks at himself, Jax, and Baron as the coaches on the floor or as the reporter put it, "the glue". What will also help is to have Croshere around as another veteran presence and if for no other reason than to keep Boom healthy. He laughed that he didn't have to worry about Croshere trying to take out Baron.

He also spoke about how some of the new guys trying to make the team will be rewarded if they do because the style is so much fun. He's talked to Carlos Powell because Barnes was in a similar situation last year. If he does what's asked of him, he can make the team.

After the jump, we play Marco Polo, get our Halo 3 on, try to keep pace with Monta "Life Moves Fast" Ellis, and get buffed with Special K.

Marco Belinelli
I didn't get to spend much time listening in on Marco because it was crowded around him and he speaks softly in English. So while standing around the big crowd I could pick up on a few things. When asked how he learned to shoot like he does his response was, "It's my job, I like to shoot. I like to shoot in every situation". I loved that, just what I would expect to hear from a shooter. I can see him having no conscience. He'll be one of those guys who goes 0-10 but then knocks down the game winning shot.

When asked about his defense, he just has to prove it. He says it's more physical in the NBA so he's got to get stronger. Also, he mentioned that since he played in Europe where he played just twice a week, but he'll be okay playing more games in the NBA.

What's also nice is that he's making sure he brings important people with him for the transition from Italy to the USA. He's got his friends coming, his brother, and his girl.

Stephane Lasme
Lasme was a real chill dude. I got to sit down with him and talk about what he's bringing to the team. Just for fun, I asked him if there was one guy in the NBA that he'd like to block and of course, he didn't say anyone's name. It would have been fun to know which player. If it was me, I'd love to block Vince on a dunk. Vince being my favorite dunker and all, that would be sick.

Okay back to Stephane. He really just wants to bring solid D, rebound, and block some shots. He saw the series against the Jazz and feels like he can make a difference on the team. He's not too worried about his minutes, he'll leave that up to the coach who expects him to rebound and play D.

He seemed genuinely happy to be drafted by the Warriors because of their run n gun style. He likes to get up and down the court and it's the right situation for him.

And he's currently playing Halo 3 on his XBOX 360.

Monta Ellis
Monta seemed like such a chill, laid back guy. He takes his time when answering a question. He's not slow about it, it's like he's thinking it over in his head before he answers. Gotta respect that.

One question came in about the JRich trade and he said he was just shocked. So the question that followed is of course, who's going to start, you or Marco. He responded that he's just going to leave it up to the coach. It's like he's going to do whatever the coaches ask and he's going to play hard no matter what. His role will increase, but that role hasn't been defined exactly whether it's as a future point guard, starting shooting guard, or 6th man off the bench.

He also isn't even thinking about his contract, whatever happens will happen.

It's good to hear from Monta that he's not trying to define himself as a starter or 6th man, as a point guard or shooting guard. The guy just wants to ball and doesn't care how he gets on the court. I get the feeling that if he had to play center, he'd go do it. Everything is for the team and making sure the Warriors contend for that championship. I love that attitude.

Kelenna Azubuike
Kelenna was definitely a cool guy, someone that would be fun just to chill with. And the guns on that guy are legit. I don't think I'd ever be wearing sleeves if I had those biceps. I'd show those bad boys off. Haha.

I was curious who he thought his game was like or who he modeled his game after. He felt there really wasn't anyone out there like him, but he tries to take pieces from other people's games. For instance, he's studying how Kobe and Michael Redd get their shots off so that he can learn a thing or two. Basically, he's still evolving his game and will let other people determine who he plays like.

He feels he's mentally stronger and has a little bit of experience coming into the season this year as opposed to starting in the D-League last year. He just wants to establish himself early and be assertive to have a good year this year. Even though there are some more guys coming in, he also feels like he can be a big part of the team by taking advantage of the opportunity with JRich leaving. He's got the attitude that the opportunity is there for the taking to contribute on offense, defense and rebounds.

I wanted to know some of his nicknames because we currently have just Kabuki and Buike. Here are some that he threw out there. "Special K" he got from high school. In Kentucky they called him "Kaz." Actually I heard Baron call him Kaz too so perhaps that's what they call him. Both are tight and better than Kabuki so I'll be using those for sure.

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