Thursday, June 28, 2007

Presti/Bennett Transcript

Please note that I'm missing part of Clay Bennett's opening statement which I was unable to record.

BENNETT OPENING STATEMENT: I just want to complement Sam Presti, Scott Perry and Rich Cho. An absolutely very professional and there's more to come. Very thorough, very thoughtful and very well done in my opinion and the opinion of our ownership group. We complement that team. Also, I want to personally compliment Ray Allen. Ray Allen the professional, Ray Allen the outstanding NBA player.

PRESTI OPENING STATEMENT: Coming into tonight, we knew we were going to add a great player with the second pick and we are thrilled to have Kevin. But, at the same time, making the decision to move a player and a person like Ray Allen was tremendously difficult. What I can tell you is that Boston really pursued this. What started as a smaller conversation began to build and their pursuit was impeccable. Absolutely understand that I think Ray is going to be a great fit for them. I want to stress to everybody that what Ray Allen has done for this organization and the NBA can't be underestimated. He is a total pro, and his going to Boston, nearer to where he went to school at UConn, I think will be ... I'm just glad Paul Pierce and him are in the Eastern Conference.

With that said, we are thrilled to be adding a player like Jeff Green as well as some hard-nosed competitors in Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West that fit the direction that we are heading in.

Question: Can you talk about what you like about Jeff Green?
: Our staff felt like Jeff would be a tremendous complement to Kevin. He's a player that doesn't need the ball to be effective. He's a tremendous facilitator and passer. He's got a great acumen for the game and playing in the system that he has, I think, has probably contained him a little bit. Those that have seen him play in venues other than the Georgetown system have a better understanding of what it is this guy brings to the table. His IQ and facilitation on the floor, as well as this is an impeccable young man, and everybody here will learn that over time. That is another big thing.

Question: Did you think you would be this active today and are you finished?
: Did I think I would be this active? You're always listening coming into a situation like this. You don't wake up one day and say that you're going to look to move a player like a Ray Allen. Someone has to get them, and Boston did that here. From an activity standpoint, no, but you're always poised and prepared - that's what this job is about. That's where we would be on that.

I can't say we're finished. We still have the 31st pick. 35 went to Boston in that deal for a future second-round pick. That wasn't reported, so I want to make sure I give you guys that. With 31, I feel like we can get a quality player there, and we're also going to explore other opportunities as well.

Question: What do you say to fans about moving Ray Allen?
: I look at it as this basketball team right now, we need to lay a foundation. We need to - again, I've consistently hit this - we need to define an identity, we need to define a way of operating, building a younger core, getting a younger core in place. This also helps us flexibility-wise in our intention to retain a player like Rashard Lewis, it gives us flexibility to bring other pieces in.

Question: It seems like both of the guys you've added, along with Rashard Lewis, play the same position. How do they fit together?
: What we see in these players is tremendous versatility. We see guys that are skilled with the ball and have a great size-to-skill ratio. We see players that can play real length defense and, when you put them in a system defensively, are going to be able to cover a tremendous amount of ground. With the direction of the league and the way teams are playing in terms of playing smaller and different matchups, this is a tremendous versatile lineup that defensively can be capable of a number of different schemes and actions.