Thanks to the good people at the D-league and Phoenix Suns basketball communications, I was able speak with Alando Tucker for about 15 minutes this morning.
Normally it seems that interviews on blogs are transcribed and posted. But given that it would take me hours to transcribe 15 minutes of conversation and you would miss the tone and personallity of Alando, I thought that posting the audio would be more fun (and less work for yours truly).
Click here to listen to the full interview
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Here's what we talked about:
- Alando's experience with the D-league and how it helped him
Alando talked about how great the experience was and how he had heard from other NBA players that spent time in the D’s how beneficial it was. It gave him game time to build his confidence by getting on the court in game situations against tough competition.
"Guys are playing hard every night…Guys are trying to prove themselves".
- How do the Sun's basketball needs and the Thunderbirds needs interact (who's in charge?)
It’s up to the Suns management who interact with the T-birds coaches to allow the NBA player on assignment to focus on what he needs. More like the baseball farm system model.
- Alando's future with the Suns and how he feels about being with Phoenix and not playing versus being on another team and getting more floor time
Alando talked about how being a competitor that its tough not to play but he definitely seems to appreciate playing with the all-stars and hall of famers.
"I am learning how to be a champion. Instead of a team with guys that are egotistical…"
As for Tucker’s future there are "big plans for incorporating me into the system next year"
- The Suns plans for tonight's game against the Warriors
The Suns are still thinking that they can get a home court with the next two wins and some other teams losing. But it depends on how the game goes…"the coaches were telling myself and DJ Strawberry to stay ready. You never know."
- What Alando's thinks of how the NBA is covered by the media
Alando talked about how the coverage is better now then it used to be with the NBA Cares and other things showing how hard the players work off the court to be the best athletes in the world.
- What Alando thinks about blogs
Alando does some blogging for Suns.com and his own web site (which I couldn’t find). He feels like any chance fans have to interact with the players is good and it helps to see what the person is like.
"The persona that players take on the court isn’t what they are like off the court. Like a guy like Ron Artest who is ferocious on the court but off the court might not be that same type of person…We are trained to be like warriors. No fear."
- The game against the Rockets and the Suns defensive schemes
I asked Alando about the different defensive schemes being employed and if this was the team experimenting or just adjusting game to game. Alando thinks it’s a bit of both.
"Shaq brings a whole new persona to our team defensively…we need to figure out how to incorporate him."
As for the game itself, A.T. said it was an "energy game, they came out with more energy then we did…some of the things we did were pretty cool and would have worked if we had played with more energy."
- A message from Alando to you - the fans
"The support get from the fans and how they treat the players…we recognize that. The fans are super important. That’s what we play the game for."