Q: Danny, how far do you think the Suns will advance this year cosidering your team has a nice blend of youth and experience?
A: Well, the West is a very difficult prediction. A lot of teams in the West could come out on top when the playoffs start. Hopefully that will be us, but it's a matter of getting hot at the right time and playing well, and there are a lot of teams capable of doing that. Hopefully we will be able to compete for a championship this year.Q: Do you or any of the guys talk trash about your college team during March Madness?
A: We absolutely do talk trash to each other about our college teams (laughs). That's another reason we like the (NCAA) tournament so much. It's a fun time for us. Everyone who played in college, and everyone who had a team, that's who you follow. But when your team gets knocked out, be prepared to catch a lot of flak (laughs). I did. I guess that's because the expectation level for the Jayhawks is so high. But I also dish a lot of it out.
Q: How has your game changed in the 10 years since the championship with the Jayhawks? Have injuries forced you to become a different player?
A: I think so, over the last 10 years, coming out of college, a young, eager, active body, you play one way. But after 10 years in the NBA, your game starts to change. You are not as quick or you gain weight, and you don't jump as high. Of course, I have had the unfortunate circumstance to have two blown-out knees, and it has changed my game but not to the point where you might think. I didn't always rely on out-jumping or out-running my opponent. I have always played a mental game, positioning and strategy and teamwork. But it's a fact, your game does change.
Q: What kind of coach is Danny Ainge? What kind of influence/experience rubs off on the players?
A: Danny is a fun coach. He kind of coaches the way he played, very offensive-minded. We go out and try to put a lot of pressure on a team's defense, to run the break and to try and take advantage of every opportunity to score. He is also very particular about the little things, the executing offensively and defensively and doing the things you need to do to help your teammates out. He was an aggressive, start-something type of player, one who tried to take another player off their game, an instigator.
Q: What are your plans after your playing career? Would you like to coach and where?
A: When I get done playing, I would like to become a coach in college basketball. It was a lot of fun when I was a player, and it would probably be equally fun as a coach. A few more headaches, maybe. (laughs). But I like to coach, I have my camps in the offseason. If at all possible, I would like to become a college coach. Where? Well, there's a university in Kansas, Wichita State, it has a nice basketball tradition, a lot of local talent, and as a school in Kansas, I have followed it.