Sunday, October 7, 2007

Quotable: Sonics Community Practice

I didn't have a chance to transcribe any of the audio from after the Sonics community practice at Seattle Pacific University last night, but now that I've done so I wanted to share some of what P.J. Carlesimo and a couple of players had to say.


Overall on the practice:
Considering there was people in the gym and all that, I liked their effort. I thought it was good. We got tired, obviously, in the second quarter. I was really happy. It's also great - say whatever you want, Saturday, football weekend - it was great for these people to come out. I thought that was really nice.

On Luke Ridnour and Delonte West standing out:
I thought all the guards played decent. The point guards are doing a really good job of pushing stuff in terms of getting the ball up and down the floor, but I thought a lot of guys at different times showed some things, which was good. I really was looking more team-wise. I thought the conditioning was okay - it wasn't great, but it was okay. We don't have a lot of stuff in. In fairness to the players, we don't have too many things in. I was afraid it would look even more ragged than it did. You'll see it Tuesday night. It's going to look really ragged when we get out there. But honestly, for however many days it's been, it was very good.

On fans getting their first look at the new roster:
I just think for them to see the new guys. You could tell, just listening to people, the people who like Luke, the people who like Weezy (Chris Wilcox) or the people who liked Robert (Swift), but I think for a lot of them - they didn't get a chance to see Kurt and Wally - but clearly to see Kevin (Durant), to see Jeff (Green) and to see Delonte (West), that was really good. I mean, they know who they are, but for them to see the new guys was nice.

On the fast pace during the scrimmage:
Yeah, we're going to try to play at the pace. We're going to try and walk the line. It's not an easy line to play at this pace offensively and be a good defensive team. That's not an easy combination, nor is it easy to play man and play zone, but we want to try and do that. We definitely want to play at a quick pace, and we definitely want to be a good defensive team. The good news is we have, I think, a number of guys of similar ability. We have a team that will lend itself to subbing and playing a decent rotation. We're not going to play 14 guys, but nor are we going to play a tight eight. I think that will be good. I think that will keep a lot of guys in the mix. I think, frankly, a lot of the calls will be tough calls. It will be good. Guys will know that, whether they're starting or coming off the bench, they'll get a chance to play.

On whether Swift will play in Tuesday's preseason opener at Sacramento:
Haven't even thought about it. The fact that he played tonight was encouraging.

On the atmosphere:
I thought it was great. First of all, the people of Seattle Pacific did a great job hosting. You can say whatever you want - yeah, it was the first time people saw us play. It's not KeyArena, so there's not whatever we have, 18,000 or 19,000 seats, but it's a Saturday and football weekend and people have a lot of things to do. I think for our season ticket-holders that came here tonight and just the fans in general, I think that was great. I think the players really appreciated that.

On the goal in an practice like this:
What happened tonight would have been my goal, and it's not easy to do. I think it's hard for the players to be listening and we're trying to teach a copule of things, we're trying to do somne drills and we're doing it in front of people. They don't want to embarrass themselves. It's totally unnatural to what they've been doing. I thought the first hour of practice, we got some things done. We worked on somet things we wanted to work at. We even got a couple of new things in. They did a good job. Then they got a chance to play in front of some people, play a little bit with refs. Today was a home run. I've been involved in a lot of these where we were just happy no one got hurt. It looked lousy, the fans were kinda like, 'What's going on?' This was alright. I thought our guys played well and I thought we got stuff accomplished in the first hour. I was very happy.

On how normal the practice was:
Everything we did tonight was totally normal. The only difference was there were people sitting here. This would have been close to the exact same practice we would have had at Furtado tonight - truly. It's just they did it with people in the stands.

On players adoping to his system in the early going:
I don't know that they're adopting to our system, but I'll tell you what they're doing - their cooperation has been unbelievable. The way they've listened, the way they've accepted. Anything we've asked them to do, they're more than meeting us halfway. I mean I've seen no resistance whatsoever, I've seen nothing but good effort. The only negative so far has been a couple of injuries. Our honest feeling when the coaches get together after every practice and sit down is these guys have been great. I'm not blowing smoke at them. There's 29 other places (in the NBA) - maybe a lot of them could say that, but I tell you, there's some guys that are already going, 'Oh, man.' These guys have been great. That speaks for them, not for us. They've been fantastic. Their cooperation and their effort has been excellent.


On his knee:
It feels good, no complaints. Any swelling or any soreness has been going away real quick, which is a good sign. All of it is just because of the surgery; there's nothing that's out of the ordinary post-surgery. All in all, it's going real well.

On whether he's talked with trainers about continuing to take days off:
Not days off, but slow down. I'm trying to push it as hard as I can to get back as fast as I can. At the same time, I know I've got to be smart about it, so I'm compromising, taking some time off.

On his play:
It's all coming back. It's what we've been working on, what I've been working for. I've still got a little ways to go to get back on pace to where I want to be, but I'm headed in the right direction.


On the practice:
It was great. Our first chance to really get up and down, scrimmage in front of people; give Sonics fans a chance to see what they can be expecting for this upcoming season. It was pretty fun. Got a chance to play together in front of an audience, so it was fun going up and down.

On hooking up with Ridnour for a pair of alley-oops:
Just good timing. Me running hard, trying to make things easier for him. At my speed and my size, I should be able to get up and down the court pretty fast, so he was able to find me.