What a day it was over at Waltham. The players were all in great spirits and ready to go. KG was laughing around and joking with his teammates as usual, and it looks like this team is mentally and physically ready for training camp. This is a collection of some good quotes I got at Media Day. Hopefully this is enough to get us to pre-season... Who am I kidding?
We will start with a few quotes from Doc Rivers, but there are many more after the jump.
Doc Rivers on Lakers:
"I think the Lakers were the best team in the NBA last year, and I told my players that. With Kevin healthy and Leon healthy, the Lakers were the best team last year and they proved it, there is no way around that."
On his take on the Eastern Conference:
"I've said for the last two years that the East is better than the West and nobody wanted to believe that, and I think it has gotten better. There is no "gimme" game in the East. The top of the East is very tough. Its going to be more physical..."
Doc on the possibility of there being too many big egos:
"Everybody is here for one purpose, and that is to win. And when you're together that way, I don't think egos are much of a problem. And if you're not together in that way, then egos do become a problem."
Doc on how vocal this team can be:
"Verbally, when you put (Rasheed) and Kevin on the floor at the same time and then Perk, I think Perk, Kevin, and Rasheed who are all pretty big talkers on the floor I think that we have a chance to be the loudest in a positive way defensively."
Doc on needs going into last summer:
"I sat with Danny at the end of the year and I gave him a shopping list... and for the most part, we needed more size, a backup for Paul and Ray... add more experience... offensive parts, so yea we did a lot of things we wanted to do."
Doc on Tony Allen's health:
"[Tony's] health is an issue right now, and we're not sure how much he is going to do in camp, so that is a concern and we will wait and see. Over the last couple weeks he wasn't able to do a lot so we'll see."
Kevin Garnett on his health:
"I feel pretty good, I've been off for a minute, I don't like to take some time off, but it was for good reasons- my leg is right on schedule for where it is supposed to be and I'm excited."
Garnett on togetherness:
"Togetherness is everything; I think that we lost a little bit of that through the course of the year... For the most part you learn from it, you get by it, and move on."
Ray Allen on getting on same page with Rasheed Wallace:
"I don't think its going to be too difficult. We all know each other's games... We know where he likes the ball. He's not a guy who has to have the ball to have an impact on offense and definitely defensively he's going to get his hands dirty so he's just ready to help out the best way that he knows how. Just in the pickup game hes just one of those players who just wants to see the game played the right way whether he shoots the ball or not he's going to make the right plays down the stretch..."
Ray Allen on what the window of this team is:
"We aren't looking at a window, we can't look past this year.... When you talk about a window you talk about something is beyond this year- we aren't going to do that."
Danny Ainge on Rondo's contract status
"I've had conversations with Rondo and Bill Duffy (Rondo's agent). We had good conversations last week to start things off but I'm not going to comment on that with anybody until October 31st."
Ainge was then asked a different question before he said this:
"First let me finish with the Rondo thing, just so we know. Our intention is to have Rondo as our franchise point guard and I think Rondo wants to be here for a long time as well. These things are just about dollar amount and have no bearing on where we are with him or what we feel about him... You know, we may do something in October or we may do something next summer when we have the ability to match."
Ainge on Ray's contract status:
"We have had no discussions with Ray, we have the whole year to discuss the contract situation with Ray whereas Rondo's contract situation has a deadline of October 31st."
Rajon Rondo on contract status:
"Hopefully I'll get more contracts before I'm done playing, this one may be the biggest one I get, but I don't think about it like that. The more wins I get I'm sure the more chances I have to play for a long time. I have the opportunity right now to get a couple rings while I'm still young..."
Eddie House on why he came back to Boston:
"Unfinished business. That nasty taste in my mouth. I didn't want to leave like that. I had opportunities where I could have went other places, but I love it out here, I love playing out here, I love playing for this organization, I love my teammates, and we just have unfinished business."
Eddie House on role:
"Coming in this year with the same mindset I had last year. Come in and bring energy and knock down some shots, try to get my hands on the basketball, and just play my game."
Eddie House on when people say there is no backup point guard on this team:
"We'll they're not watching basketball. Those are guys who probably never played the game and are just going by what somebody else said. There have been plenty of games that I've been the point. The point just initiates the offense, and I can initiate the offense. I can bring the ball up and get us into offense. And if I don't have to do it then Paul can do it maybe, or if Paul is not doing it Marquis can do it."
Kendrick Perkins on Rasheed Wallace:
"It was cool. I like playing with Sheed. Great passer....Great post moves, great defender. But really I wanted to see how he was outside of basketball and he's a great guy in the locker room, personality is great."
Kevin Garnett on playing five on five:
"First time I played five on five with the guys it felt like my first time playing basketball. Everything was fast... I told Rondo I knew he wasn't that fast... It was like being a little kid again. It was good."
Paul Pierce on Kevin Garnett:
"I think its all about him knocking out the rust... He looked good up and down the court...It was a breath of fresh air seeing him on the court"
Danny Ainge on Kevin Garnett's knee:
"He had one of those Hasheem Thabeet tape jobs on it. I never really understood what that was doing and I don't know what it is, but it is some tape job, that is all I noticed."
Rajon Rondo on Kevin Garnett:
"He looked like KG. Of course hes going to be rusty, he hasn't played pick up or five on five in seven months... but KG will be fine, has a week under his belt, training camp, hes a hard worker and he will be back ready to go."