The Thomas and Mack Center audience featured several individuals affiliated with the Wizards. Flip Saunders was in the building doing an interview with NBATV, while Ernie Grunfeld and new addition Mike Miller were spotted chatting with each other during the Lakers-Thunder game. It seemed like there were more Wizards in the house than for most other teams, though that just might have been me not looking carefully. Another guy in the building was Antawn Jamison, the "Gentleman," as Truth dubs him. I caught up with Antawn for a few minutes after the end of the Wizards game and asked him some questions about his offseason, his thoughts on Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee and his opinions on the hiring of Flip Saunders and the trade for Mike Miller and Randy Foye below.
Mike Prada, Bullets Forever: First of all, how’s your ankle doing? (Jamison had surgery on his ankle after the season)
Antawn Jamison: It’s doing fine. Worked out this morning, haven’t had any problems with it. I’ve been able to practice with it in a lot of situations, so it’s now time to push the pedal to the metal and get in shape to do the things I gotta do to get ready to play.
MP: When did you have the surgery?
AJ: Probably about two and a half weeks ago.
MP: What’s the rehab been like?
Not bad. I was working with a physical therapist guy after the surgery, doing stuff like that. That’s been working out, so I got out [and played] pretty early and wasn’t having any problems with it. Now is usually the time [in the offseason] when I start playing anyway.
MP: As a veteran player, what do you have to gain by coming out here and watching some of these young guys play?
AJ: First things foremost, I love the game of basketball. Anytime I can come out here and watch some of the young stars of our game, it’s good for me. It’s just fun. One thing I love to do is just watch the games and see some of the knuckleheads out there doing different things.
MP: What did you think about some of the stuff you saw from JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche today?
AJ: Not bad. Everything was good. (He then pauses to talk to Nick Young for a second). They are talented guys that we definitely need to help us out, so it’s good to see them playing well and doing the things that they’re capable of doing.
MP: You talked about Dray as being a bit of a wild card. What do you think he ha to do to become the type of player that can be counted on every single day?
AJ: He has to have the work ethic. You’re starting to see him putting in the time. (Talked a bit about Dray in SL that my recorder didn’t pick up). Sometimes it takes guys longer than others, but it’s good that he’s starting to understand what you have to do to be successful.
MP: How do you think the hiring of Flip changes the dynamic of the team?
AJ: He makes us feel safe because of the type of coach he is. He’s a championship-caliber coach, and we’re trying to be a championship-caliber team to hang our hats on, so we just have to take it from there.
MP: What are your thoughts generally on the trade for Randy Foye and Mike Miller?
AJ: I feel it gave us something we need. Mike is a great guy that can definitely stretch out the defense and take the pressure off Caron, Gilbert and myself. It’s also another added veteran that’s been there before.