Go Wizards, Go Terps, Go Packers!
- May 16, 2012
- WASHINGTON, DC
I’ve been covering this league for 20 years. And in terms of watching a player take over when it matters most — which you did in the finals a couple years ago — that’s something I will remember when I’m hopefully 80 years old, you know what I mean? And that is greatness. That is somebody putting their team on their back. To show the world that you have that in you, and then continue to dominate, is certainly impressive. But if you fast forward to right now, in terms of winning the entire thing again and the desire to have that feeling again, where are you?
Man, that feeling. That feeling was a great feeling. That feeling was one of the best feelings I’ve had, and I’m not even going to say what I’m thinking because it’s probably gonna go viral.
Oh, come on now…
Man, I’m sorry, man. I’m sorry, but it’s better than getting intimate. You know what I mean? Man, what?! (laughs at himself). You know, I love my wife-to-be-soon. I love my kids.
Oh, you guys getting married? Congrats.
Not now, (but) we will. I haven’t proposed.
I won’t tell her.
(The championship) was the greatest feeling in my life, and I definitely want to repeat that feeling. And I want to do it again with my teammates, and I want us to be the last team standing. I want for those two, three months of the summer to feel like I’m the best player in the world, where our team has won the whole thing and I was the last guy standing. I love that feeling, that feeling of working for eight months in the season, and working your whole life, through all these ups and downs, being up three, turning the ball over, having the game and then giving it away — all those things. Little things add up to that little moment. And it’s either they’re gonna have that moment, or we’re going to have that moment. And I’m selfishly sorry that I want to be that guy to have that moment, you know? But again, I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what’s going (to happen), what God has in stock for me. I know that I’m here to get better. I’m here to have a long way in this league. I don’t believe I am where I want to be. I feel like I can improve tremendously in the next couple of years. I hope I can. And I can keep on helping my team year after year to be in one of those four or five teams that have the chance to win a championship.
As far as the championship, and your memories of it, do you have physical objects in your house that remind you of that feeling? I assume the (finals) MVP trophy is somewhere.
Of course. Everywhere. You know, I’ll be very, very honest with you. I have jerseys up in my basketball court (at his home) that I see, and I remember moments and sweat and hours of the game and work. I just have memories. I do have the MVP trophies (finals and two regular season) in my office next to each other. …But I want to create more art. I want to be able to — like, look at Steph today.
In the Warriors’ 125-116 overtime win, Curry was magnificent. He scored 29 of his 36 points after halftime, including a stepback 3 over the Bucks’ Jevon Carter with 18 seconds left in regulation to tie the game. He blocked Holiday at the rim with three seconds left to force the extra period, then scored nine of the Warriors’ 14 points from there as they pulled away.
The man is always real. Like, Steph is 35, 34 years old (he turned 35 on Tuesday). Today, he has an unbelievable game. This is art. This goes in the résumé. This goes in the bank, and then it’s on to the next one, you know what I’m saying? He created art today, (to) me. And I feel like sometimes looking at (accomplishments from the past) stops you from going out there and chasing and being desperate. Why I’m here is because I’m desperate. I’m not as talented as Steph. I’m not as talented as KD (Kevin Durant). I’m f—— desperate. I’m obsessed. I’m scared to lose what God has gave me and the life that I’ve provided for my kids and my brothers and for my mom, you know? I’m scared. So I f—— work as hard as I can, because I don’t want to lose this s—. And it’s not gonna stop until I’m out of this league. So I do have the trophies somewhere. But I try not to look at them, because I want to win another one. I do want to. But I don’t want to go and say it. I don’t want to beg. I want my game to speak for itself. And like you said, it’s hard not to play with Khris. If we played with Khris (all season), I don’t think we have 48 wins (which is what they had at the time). I think we have 55 now. I really do believe that.
And he’s still not himself yet. Is that fair?
I don’t want to say that. That’s your words. That’s your words. I think he can play. I know Khris. I’ve been with him 10 years. He’s getting his rhythm back, and it’s OK. And he will get through it — knock on wood — and we are gonna be OK. But it is definitely harder.
The thing that I don’t get about the MVP criteria is it changes.
How do you mean?
Like, I believe — and I know — that people are dominating. So what is the MVP? Is it the guy who scores the most points? Is it the guy who’s the most efficient? Is it the guy who is the most dominant? Is it the guy who is the most valuable? Sometimes, the best player isn’t the most valuable player on the team. Like, I feel like (Bucks center) Brook (Lopez) is such a valuable player for our team. Like (the MVP criteria) just f——- — sorry for my language — it just changes. As I said again, I can’t control that. I can control only how I prepare for the game and try to be ready for the game.
Does this team have that feeling? You have your desperation. You have your hunger. How are you feeling about the focus around you, the psyche around you, the hunger around you?
Like, if the environment has that same desperation? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It feeds off. Like yesterday, we were in the treatment room and we were saying, like ‘What would you do to win another championship?’ We were just messing around.
Who was there?
Me, Jrue Holiday, my brother and I think Brook came late. I was saying I would do some pretty wild stuff to win a championship, and they’re looking at me like, ‘Giannis, you really want this?’ They were like, ‘Hey man, I don’t know if I’d go that far.’
I’m afraid to ask.
Don’t ask (about the specifics). I cannot give the conversation I had with them, but there was some pretty wild stuff.