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Q&A With Brandon Roy At Summer League

  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 5.0

    Brandon Roy arrived in Las Vegas on Thursday to watch Portland's summer league team play the last two games on their schedule. During the game, Roy spoke to the media about his off-season, working out with a personal trainer, the status of his knee, the possible addition of Wesley Matthews, increasing his minutes playing point guard, Rudy Fernandez, roster balance, the search for a new general manager and assistant coaches, LeBron James and the Miami Heat, Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla. The following is a transcript of remarks.

    When did you get in to Las Vegas?

    Roy: "I got in yesterday morning. I was supposed to come for the game Thursday but I missed my flight. 205 had a bad accident or whatever. I was just sitting in traffic. I was like 'I'm not going to make it.'"

    How is everything going? Word is you've been working out at the PF quite a bit.

    Roy: "Yeah, things have been going good. For me I think this summer is really important, not just for my game on the court but paying attention to the minor details of my body. I actually had a chance to hire a personal trainer. The Blazers helped me out with that. Todd Forrcet has been great. We work together every day. He calls me 'What time do you want to go tomorrow?' and he's real flexible with the schedule. It's really been good, really been important for me because I want to get better."

    What kind of stuff are you working on with him?

    Roy: "We spend about 45 minutes in the weight room. We do a number of things like bouncing, one leg lunges, swats, but body weight stuff. He shows me knew stuff. I kind of feel like it's the first time I've ever stepped in the weight room. I'm like 'Are you just trying to do stuff to make this hard on me?' We laugh, we joke around but I think it's been great for my body. I've actually tried to not neccessarily lose weight, but really lean out. I think so far that's been working out for me."

    How is your knee feeling?

    Roy: "Great. People still don't beleive me but when I came back from Phoenix it felt great. I didn't have the strength to run and explode, but I have all that back now. I'm running, jumping, dunking again. I'm excited about that, but again, this is something that I'm going to pay attention to for the rest of my career. Always in the weight room. That doesn't mean I'm going to throw around a lot of weight, just concentrating on strengthening my quad, strenghtening my calfs and make sure my hips are loose. It's a number of things he's introduced me to."

    Are you running game wise? Scrimmaging?

    Roy: "I played a couple pick up games up in Seattle. I'll go back up there. I'm trying to stay away from that until about August. Now I'm really focusing on some induvidual things I do out there on teh court. Trying to run, learn to play without the ball a little bit more. Of course continuing to get better at my strenghtght, which is playing with the basketball."

    What do you think of the signing of Wesley Matthews?

    Roy: "I think he's going to help our team. I was a little concerned with losing Martell and not bringing Travis back. I was like 'We're getting thin on that wing.' Getting Wes -- he wants to be called Wesley -- getting Wesley was huge. That was somebody I was looking forward to playing against for the rest of my career and now he's my teammate. I'm excited about it. He's kind of like in that mold of Nicolas; they do whatever it takes to help the team win. Defend, he can score, knock down the shot. There's a number of things I'm going to talk to coach about in putting me in different postions so that way we can go bigger and put maybe Nicolas and Welsey out there together. It should be fun."

    Maybe have you run a little more point?

    Roy: "Yeah. I hope so. Like I said, I'm working a lot off the ball, but my strength is playing with that basketball and I'm trying to make sure I get even better at it."

    The front office really like the defensive potential of Matthews and Batum. Talk about that combination.

    Roy: "That's a really, really good combination cause even when I played Wesley, when I would score I would kind of laugh and he would come back every time with that competativeness. I'm happy to have that on our team. And not only those two. I think me and LaMarcus haven't been talking about it enough, but we even have to get better on the defensive end."

    It's been a turbulent offseason. What do you think about the way things are with that situation?

    Roy: "I think the biggest thing as players is we have to have confidence in our owner and our president that they're going to do the best thing to make this team get better. I heard a lot of rumors and things like that but I didn't get involved in it.

    "I still have a relationship with KP. I talked to him today actually. I see Coach Dean and ran and gave him a hug. Those guys I'm going to miss but everybody keeps telling me that's just the NBA. Guys you came in with four years later may be gone. That's somewhat what's happening, but as long as we continue to get better and I think that's what Mr. Allen wants, that's what Larry Mille wants, we've got to trust it and I have to continue to worry about myself and get these guys ready.}

    Have you heard anything about the coaching search?

    Roy: "The only coach I heard about was (Bernie) Bickerstaff. I've kinda been listening to some rumors and I thought we hired people. Then I was watching the game and they're like 'Nate's still searching.' I just go off what these guys say during these games. So far I guess we haven't found anybody. For me, I just hope we get that stuff as soon as possible, we get a general manager in here quickly so that way we can somewhat put it behind us. As long as it's kind of an unknown I think we'll get asked about it."

    What do you think about the way the roster is? You've got Rudy, you've got Wesley, you, Bayless, Miller, a lot of guys who play the same position.

    Roy: "I think they're saying they want to make moves. I've heard some rumors that Rudy didn't want to be in Portland and I was a little disappointed about that. I would love to have another season to play with Rudy. I think he does help this basketball team, so I'm not too quick to give him up. We'll see. We definatley need some scoring off the bench and I think if we can get, along with Andre, a point guard that can somewhat get (Fernandez) off -- I think he needs that -- he'd be more happy about staying. Until they somewhat show that then I think he'll continue to get away."

    What have you thought about Dante, Jeff and Patty taking a leadership role on this summer league team?

    Roy: "I think they've done a good job of it. I think they're the ones who made it really easy on Kaleb. When you come into a situation like he did you need guys who believe in you and who relay that message to the team. They've done that. They listen to Kaleb because Jeff, Dante and Patty Mills listen to Kaleb and they beleive in Kaleb. I think they've done a great job of leading, but not by a lot of talking. I've been around the team since practice; they've been leading by example. There were some things that Kaleb asked them to do during practice that I was like 'I'm not sure I want to do that.' But they did it, they didn't complain. I thought that was great and I think they've made it a lot easier on Kaleb."

    Have you talked to any of the other guys lately?

    Roy: "I talked to LaMarcus earlier today. We were kind of joking around. He has a birthday coming up then mine is later in the week. I was asking seeing what he was doing. He thought about coming out here but he said he didn't want to fly. I didn't want to fly either but Tiana (Roy's fiance) kind of pushed me to leave."

    Why did she want you to leave?

    Roy: "Because she wanted to leave! She's here too, so she wanted to kind of get out. I guess we fly so much during the season. But I'm glad I came. I got a chance to see these guys. Just being around basketball again is always good for me."

    How can you dethrone the Lakers?

    Roy: "Right now we're not quite worried about that just yet. We're going to try to build from the bottom up and right now they're on the top, so hopefully we can get to that point."

    What did you think about LeBron going to Miami?

    Roy: "It was his decision. I think it's something that ... I'm not going to really get involved in. They've got enough going on with it. It was his decision, now we have to prepare for it.

    They're going to be tough with those three guys.

    Roy: "They're good. They're good, but I think hopefully guys don't lay down, guys say 'Hey, let's play even harder against those guys.' You know sometimes you add too much, it can subtract some things. That's what we're going to have to hope for is that it takes a little bit away from Dywayne Wade and LeBron James and causes a little bit of confusion. I think that would be most teams' chance because they're good."

    With the changes to the roster do you think the team is close to being a good defensive team?

    Roy: "Yeah I think so. Some of it is you can want a lot of things but last year we were so off-balance I think it was really hard for us to really step up and be a great defensive team. We built our defense around Joel in the begining and then we tried to involve big Greg in it. WHen you lose both those guys in the first half of the season, I think we were off-balance a lot. We were playing rookie Jeff Pendergraph, who did a great job and Juwan Howard did a great job. I think if were were healthy last year we would have been a really good defensive team. Biggest thing for us, I keep saying, is trying to stay healthy."

    Have you talked to Greg Oden?

    Roy: "I have. He's doing good... August he can start getting into some more basketball activities so we're looking forward to that. Greg is a big part of what we want to do."

    Have you talked to Joel?

    Roy: "Big Joel? I haven't talked to Big Joel much. He went back to Minnesota and he's kind of a hideout guy. Joel will come back around. He usually comes about two, three weeks before training camp starts. Joel's a guy you don't have to worry about. He's doing everything he can to help this team."



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