Tuesday, October 2, 2007

More Media Day Stories

Emptying out the notebook with some stuff that didn't make it into my feature on the competition in Sonics camp, my actual notebook or earlier in the blog ... .

- P.J. Carlesimo doesn't like that new Sonics Assistant Coach Paul Westhead has been "typecast as an offensive guru, which sells him short. He's a complete basketball coach."

Carlesimo raved about the importance of Westhead's experience to him and the rest of the coaching staff. Westhead has been an NBA head coach three times and is coming off a WNBA Championship with the Phoenix Mercury, but is best known for his fast-paced style of play, known as "Paul Ball."

- With two rookies likely to play major roles, Carlesimo is thinking about their adjustment to the NBA and things they haven't experienced, like the heavy travel and back-to-back games on the road.

"During the exhibition season, we're going to spread the playing time around," he mused. "Maybe Jeff (Green) and Kevin (Durant) won't play a lot against Sacramento so I can play them in Cleveland and Indiana so they can start seeing what a back-to-back is."

- Durant on whether he's nervous about the start of his rookie season:

"I'm always nervous before I start a season. It doesn't matter if it's high school, college, AAU ball - I was always nervous. I'm a little nervous; I'm excited as well. I can't wait to see what this team has in store and I can't wait for the season to start."

- Wally Szczerbiak was surprised to be traded to Seattle on Draft night and almost missed the deal because he was tired that evening and was not planning to watch the Draft.

"My wife happened to throw it on, we watched the first couple of picks and then we saw the headline come up," he recalled. "We were pretty shocked. We weren't expecting it. I thought and pretty much everyone in my camp thought with the injuries that there wasn't going to be too much of a chance that I could get traded, but in this day and age you never know in sports. We were prepared for it, we're excited about it and we're looking forward to a fresh start up here in Seattle."

- Delonte West is a great quote, it's already apparent.

West said he was worried about the weather in Seattle because of the stereotypical rain, but found the city beautiful when he came out in July for his physical. As a result, he wasn't really prepared for the wet, gray weather that has been the standard since he came to Seattle for the season.

"Since I've been out here now, it's rained every day," he said. "I'm a little sad. I think it's the rain."

On whether it is important to him to start: "Being a starter, that's just the person who comes out first. It doesn't mean you play the whole game. I've learned that over my career. Just because you start the game doesn't mean you finish it. I prefer to be in the game down the stretch in those clutch situations."

On Coach Carlesimo: "He's as anxious as one of the rookies out here to get started. You can sense that. It's going to be interesting come tomorrow morning."

Being an East Coast guy, does it seem like Seattle is the other side of the world?
"Actually, it does. It seems like that little corner all the way on the top of the map over there. Like I said, I embrace change. I've been wanting to get on the West Coast a little bit. I heard it's a little more laid back, a different way of life than the East Coast. In the East, everything's moving fast - no one's got time. Since I've been here, everything's been kind of laid back. I'm a laid-back dude. I fit right in so far."

Describing his style of play: "I'm a hard-nosed player. I like to get in there, get my nose dirty. I love to compete. I love the game of basketball, the actual competition of it."