Q: You and Michael Jordan are both having great years. Who do you think deserves to get the Most Valuable Player Award?
A: I think it could be either one of us. I'm not one to talk about it a lot myself. I think either guy is deserving of it. It would be nice to have it again, but you can't argue with what Michael's doing with Chicago again. It's just one-two.
Q: How has last year's experience in the Finals affected how you've approached this year in preparing for the playoffs?
A: I think what it's done through the exposure of the NBA Finals is out of this world. What I've been able to do is stay pretty even and not get too excited about stuff. Don't let things bother you. Come back with the attitude that you truly believe that you can play with anybody anywhere if you put your mind to it and put away a lot of the outside distractions. That's where my focus was coming into the season. It started out kind of rocky but got better as the season went on.
Q: At 34, you're the oldest player ever to score 56 points in an NBA game. Did you realize that?
A: Right now with my career, I don't realize a lot of stuff. People tell me but I always say to myself that people think I'm going to quit tomorrow. I still feel like I can continue to get better and better. That's how I've tried to mark my career. I was the oldest guy to win the MVP last year. It gets frustrating because now everything has to do with age. That's great (on scoring accomplishment) because it means that no one has ever done that before. I need to be the first to do something, right? It's kind of neat.
Q: Describe your playoff experience now compared to what it was like earlier in your career.
A: To start off, it was exciting just to get into the playoffs and to win a round. Now, after my 13th year, we clinched the Midwest Division, it was exciting, but it's not really what we started the season off in search of. It's great along the way, but we have bigger and better things to achieve this year. I think it's just maturity not desperation. It's a sense of being a veteran team and knowing what you have to do to win. That's our attitude.
Q: Do you think the Jazz are playing better down the stretch than last year at this time?
A: I think so. As a team, we are definitely playing better down the stretch than we did last year. I think every single game not only means something with Seattle and the Lakers but also with Chicago. It's a different focus and it's kind of neat to be in this position because every game means something.
Q: The Bulls have never had to play the same team twice in the Finals during their run. The Jazz and Seattle have both played them over the last two years. Do you think that if one of the two teams make it back to the Finals and plays Chicago that it will make it tougher for them?
A: Hopefully. You always want to have that kind of thing going into it. You still have to play the series. There's no doubt in my mind that they're the champions. Maybe our approach will be a little different, not much, but a little different knowing that you can play with anybody anywhere. We're a good road team as well as Seattle and it will be very interesting when that time comes.