Neil Olshey, the general manager of the Blazers.
“The conversation we had with Pat prior to all of this was you’re an NBA player now. Being an NBA player is not a part-time job.”
On his new team, the Boston Celtics:
“They are building with character guys, guys who fit into a system that they want to run. I think that’s the way to do it now. I think the days of having a bunch of jerks on the same team and thinking you are going to win a championship (are over).”
David Lee has it right. You don’t want jerks on your team. You want guys who are willing to work, be good teammates and who will buy-in. I always ask myself when watching basketball players; would I want to coach that guy and would I want to be his teammate? Does he play hard. Does he play with energy and does he care about others? Is he happy for others success?
“We talk constantly about big picture stuff, getting better. We don’t talk about record. We don’t talk about playing seeding. We just talk about where we need to improve. You can’t cheat any of this stuff. You can talk about it but you have to grow organically. One of the great things about our team is that our group has been together for a couple of years, even though our staff is new. This group has been together and they know each other well.”
“I learn every single day from our team. We sort through lineups and combinations. There’s a lot of things. It’s not like all of a sudden you say, ‘Alright. We got it.’ You never have it. Everything is constantly changing.”
“You look at that attitude of team-first, team-first, when you’re thinking like that you’ll go help your teammate. You’ll go box out a guy that’s not yours, make the right play. I don’t think we’re a selfish team. I just think at times we get away from what actually makes us good. We got to band together. It’s easy to pull together when things are going well. When they’re not that’s where you see where you’re really at. One guy can’t win a game.”
On the San Antonio Spurs:
“Everybody knows everybody … the way they backdoor [cut], pass the ball, share the ball, defend, that’s where we’re trying to get.”