Here are some quick hits from coach Westphal and Pooh Jeter, followed by a more extensive interview with Jason Thompson:
- Westphal on DeMarcus Cousins: “DeMarcus gave us everything we are looking for in the post, on both ends of the floor. He showed why we think so highly of him. And he ever get’s in shape, he’ll really be able to show something.”Westphal on Tyreke Evans working off the ball: “I think he is getting better moving without the ball. You can obviously see he has confidence in his shot.”
- DeMarcus Cousins on his first NBA live action: “Oh my God, I was so nervous…..I had a lot of butterflies”
- Pooh Jeter on hearing his name being chanted by the fans: “That was wonderful, that was beautiful hearing that from the crowd and I think God for that.”
While we here at The Purple Panjandrum are doing our best to get out information as fast as humanly possible. We also have the opinion, that sometimes it is better to take it slow an open a window for the everyday Kings fan to peek in through. When it comes to post game reactions, sound bites will often do. On occasion, when something different develops, we will take the extra time to transcribe the entire conversation because these players that run up and down a hardwood floor are not sound bites but complex human beings.
Here is last nights post game sit down with Jason Thompson, the Kings third year power forward:
TPP: JT, you had a big night tonight filling the stat sheet. Tell me how you feel game 1 went for you?
JT: You know, it was good. I was coming of the bench and I gave a spark for the team. I’m just trying to play with the new guys and work in some of the stuff we’ve been running. It was good, I like to rebound and run and kind of spread the floor and make things happen.
TPP: So more than the rebounds and points, you had a really nice 4 assists and 3 blocks. Are those things that you are working on?
JT: One of the things is for me to be strong and my real motto for the season is to stay consistent so I just don’t want to really play well and then not be consistent both offensively and defensively as well and spreading the ball. It’s not just about putting the ball in the basket but about spreading the ball as well and playing defense.
JT: It was good, at half time we laughed about it a little bit. We were turning the ball over a little bit and getting out rebounded by one rebound. So we set goals for each other to get to 10 rebounds the fastest, even though he already had 8 and I had 4 at half time. It’s a goal that we both want to try to get 10 rebounds a game and when you have a goal like that, we shouldn’t really get out-rebounded at all.
TPP: I know you are close with Donté Greene. How do you handle this situation where he is not playing all that much and be a good friend and a good teammate at the same time?
JT: I just think that we are just trying to learn and we all want to be successful and make the team successful. You know, a lot of guys aren’t in the situation that they want to be, I’m not saying I am either but we do what…you can only control what you can control and if you are controlling it in a way that is helping the team then that’s the way we’re going to go.
TPP: Are you and DeMarcus going to give Carl and Samuel a run for their money for those starting spots?
JT: That’s the best thing about it. With the additions this summer, we went from having a so-so front line to one of the best or better front lines, not just in our conference but in the league. And like I said before, if a guy get’s hurt, he may not have to play through it, you know you can have another guy come in and maybe the other guy come off the bench. We’re interchangeable and I think it makes a better team when there is a lot of competition going on. It’s not just on here, when you guys don’t see it in practice we are going at it as well.
TPP: You know that was Robin Lopez out there tonight and not Brook right?
JT: (chuckle) You know, you go against whatever is there. I’ve played against them both and one is better defensively and one is better offensively.
This interview was telling on two fronts. First and foremost, Jason Thompson wants to earn that starting spot whether it is now or later. He is motivated and he is motivating young DeMarcus Cousins. Secondly, Jason Thompson wants what’s best for the team- individuals be damned, no matter how close they are to you. It will be interesting to see how this front court shakes out and also where Donté Greene ends up on the depth chart. If last night was the end all, Jason Thompson is a starter and Donté Greene- we’ll get to that question later.
Pre-season game one is in the books and more questions than answers have developed.