Mike is here!
What makes Tony Parker so hard to defend?
I think that with his quickness and ability to finish in the paint makes it tough. You don't want him to penetrate and you don't want him to hit a jumper. With the guys on his team to set screens and the shooters on the floor, it's a handful to deal with.
Any thoughts about the departure on your now former coach: Lionel Hollins?
It's unfortunate that the two sides, Coach and management, weren't able to come to an agreement. We're going to miss him. I'll miss him. I'm sure he has a bright future ahead of him. I'm just thankful to have played under him.
Love watching the grizzlies play, so much fun to watch between you and the backcourt along with your fantastic big men being Gasol and Z-Bo. But my real question is how do the grizzlies maintain the level of defense that you guys play at?
I think defensively, we have to have a mindset that you're going to work every possession. It's something that we take pride in. Every possession, we don't want to have our guys score and be that weaklink. It makes our team that much better.
Who was a tougher player to guard? Chris Paul or Tony Parker?
Ahhh...that's a tough question. Either one. I don't think one is tougher than the other. They have different styles. Chris Paul does a little bit of everything. Tony does a bit of everything. You have to stay in front and try to not let them get too many easy buckets.
Do you still keep in contact with Greg Oden? How is he? And are you excited at his possible comeback?
Yeah, I see Greg off and on probably every week or so. We live in Columbus in the offseason. He looks good as of late. He's excited to get back in the game. Hopefully this is the season that he comes out and does great things.
Who's your pick to win the whole thing?
I have to go with San Antonio, with the team that's from the West. I think they're playing some of the best basketball that I've seen from them in a while. It will be a tough series, but I think they'll take it.
This coming season the expectations for you will be higher than ever to prove yourself as an elite pointgaurd. What in your game are you trying to improve to better your game and the Grizzlies as a whole
Just work on everything, offensively, defensively. Continue to improve. I'll have more on my plate next season. Bring it every night. Be consistent. Have consistent effort every night and will my team to get back to where we were this season.
What are you and your teammates going to do different to get into finals?
I think if we would have finished off the fourth quarters better, we would have had a chance. We had two opportunities that we had a chance to win. If we had done better in the fourth quarters, it could have helped us move on.
Mike how do you prepare for playoff games compared to regular season games?
I prepare the same, but there is more time to focus on one opponent that you can spend a few more hours studying film and playbooks and get to know a team better in the playoffs. But you still prepare and try to be consistent throughout the season.
Who is the best prankster on the team??
I would have to say Tony Allen. He has all of the jokes and the sayings and the pranks, everything.
Have you had a chance to watch an Ohio State basketball game in-person since leaving for NBA?
I went to one game and that was against Florida a year or a year and a half ago and that was during the lockout. That might be the only chance I'd have to go, during a lockout situation.
How tough is it losing Lionel Hollins? Where does the team go from here ?
We have a close group of guys. We will find our way together, through adversity, through change. We always have. I think Lionel taught us a lot in that aspect. It's time for us to move on and play the game we grew up playing.
Does Lebron really need to act like a superstar for these next three games in San Antonio?
I think that he will be that superstar. He's done pretty much everything that you can ask for a guy to do on the court. He'll will his team and that's what the best do. I expect nothing less from him.
Who was your favorite team growing up? In the NFL, NBA, MLB ?
My favorite team growing up would probably have to be the Seattle SuperSonics. Gary Payton was one of my favorite players at the time, with Nate McMillan, Hersey Hawkins. All of those guys. They could never get past the Bulls. It was always fun to watch.
What's the most glaring weakness on this Grizz team?
I think our team, we need to do a better job on our perimeter shooting. Guys need to work on that. Being better overall to shoot the ball. Having our big guys to have more opportunities in the paint.
What are some of your pre-game rituals?
The only real pregame ritual I have is I have to eat pasta before every game. And bread sticks. Then I'm good.
Mike, Im getting tired of the talk about how old the spurs are. Last time I checked the main goal was winning and they win more than most. How much of a factor is age between mia and sa?
All of those factors of age go out the window, especially in the Finals. Those guys come to play. This is the last stop. There is only one team in the way of getting a championship. The Spurs are a disciplined team. They are one of the few teams you don't have to worry about the age factor.
You have dunked in a few games this season. I didn't know you had major hops. LOL. At what age did you first dunk and who was your inspiration for doing so?
My first dunk was in the end of my eighth grade year. I dunked a lot in high school. Then in college and the pros, I tried to stay on my feet as much as possible, because I got knocked around a little bit. I'll try to dunk here and there still.
Thank you for joining me. I'm looking forward to next season!