"Media day" was really just an hour long. As I mentioned earlier, I spent a disproportionate chunk of that hour listening to Ronny Turiaf. According to my voice recorder thing, I spent 27 minutes and 20 seconds with Ronny. It's hard not to. The guy just spouts hilarious and insightful quips. I was transfixed. Dig:
On whether he's a starter or bench player:
I just want to play basketball, man. I'm not the type of guy that's going to be like "Aw, I can't play because I don't start or I can't play because of this". You put me on the court, I will do something good. Regardless of what the coach thinks, I'm going to be there, and I'm going to show up, and I'm going to strap up, and I'm going to do my thing.
It's almost funny to me. I don't care. Just put me on the court man!
I like to be in at the end of the game. I like to make defensive stops. I like to create a steal, I like to make an assist. I like to be in at the end of the game so I guess I'm more of a finisher than a starter.
More after the jump!
On the negative New York media:
It's on us to not let what you guys write fall into that snowball of not necessarily positive stuff. It's on us to create somewhat of a bunker mentality where it's almost like an "us against everybody else" mentality.
On Eddy Curry and what effect he can have on Eddy Curry's mentality.
Eddy Curry and Amar'e Stoudemire were probably the two players that I hated guarding the most in the NBA. They were among the top five. I'm glad to be on their side of the basketball. That's a guarantee.
I'm hoping that I can bring some joy.
It's almost like there is some kind of positive cloud around this team and around New York. Hopefully we can keep it here and hopefully we get sunny time around here.
The more happy people there are around me, the better I am.
Tommy Dee asked about how he chose Gonzaga and we got this story:
On a recruiting trip...the reason why I decided on Gonzaga- the assistant coach...Tommy Lloyd...we were playing ping pong (makes ping pong sounds with mouth)...I was beating him pretty bad. I hit a forehand- BAM!- pretty good forehand and he dives on the floor, gets the point and comes down. He dislocated his elbow, he's bleeding profusely. He had to go to the hospital. After that, I was like "You know what? This is the place where I want to go." I signed right after that. True story.
If you have guys who understand what the others are thinking, you can almost play basketball with your eyes closed.
On Raymond Felton talking him up:
He's a smart guy, because he knows if I'm happy, his job will be easier.
On a reporter (very astutely) comparing him to Nick Swisher.
Nick Swisher has the most energy that I've ever seen. I mean Jesus, I was looking at the Jumbotron, and I just saw him with the big smile on his face. He just seems like a happy-go-lucky guy.
Where I'm from, the Carribbean, we're all happy-go-lucky types of guys- maybe too much. That's just how we are. We're happy to be alive.
On what the younger players have to gain from the trip to Europe:
Memories that will last them a lifetime. They'll get a chance to experience some things that they might have had the chance to if they weren't on an NBA team. I think that once you go there and you see different cultures, different ways of life, I think you open up your eyes, and I think you open up your eyes to different ways of life outside the 50 states.
On whether he plans to be an ambassador in Paris:
I already warned them, as soon as we get there, I'm going to my momma's house. My mom's going to do some home cooking for me, and I'm not sharing my home-cooked meal. I'm not sharing my mom's secret recipe- none of that. They're on their own. I might buy them like a paper or something, or bring them some chocolate pastries. Actually, you know what? They're going to bring me chocolate pastries. How about that? But actually, I may take them out one night in Paris. I think it's pretty good to see Paris by night, to see the architecture and the lighting. It's pretty cool. Hopefully they get to try some of the crepes, because there is a famous district in Paris where you can go late at night and eat crepes and just see that Paris is almost like New York in a sense where it's always open late and you get opportunities to do stuff- cool stuff, different stuff that you might not be able to do in New York.
Ronny mentioned that his mom would spank him if he didn't visit home, to which I replied, "Ronny, you're 6'9", to which HE replied:
I'm 6'10", thank you very much.
On visiting (and leaving) Milan:
I'm kind of bummed because when we play, we leave that same night to go to Paris, and that night there is a very big soccer derby, and myself, Gallo, and Coach D'Antoni wanted to go, but unfortunately we have to travel, so that's the only bad part about playing in Paris.
Osborn asked how the team would mesh, considering they hadn't played together much:
We've been playing together a little bit. Trust me.
Boom. If you ever cross paths with Ronny Turiaf, I highly recommend you talk to the guy. Just be prepared to kill some time in the process.