Wright and Allen Q&A after trade

From MavsWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Mavs.com had a chance to sit down with both Antoine Wright and Malik Allen earlier today before the afternoon press conference. Must admit I have a soft spot for Wright since we’re both Aggies. Allen seems like a great guy, too. You can tell he is a pro’s pro.

Antoine Wright How was the last week for you emotionally? “It was a little weird to keep going back and forth like that. It’s frustrating when you had to sit out a game and sit out a practice. Once I got word it was finally going to go through, of course I was excited about the opportunity to play here, be back in Texas and play for a contending team. That’s a great feeling.”

Having played at Texas A&M, Donnie Nelson was very familiar with you. Did you follow the Mavs over the last couple years? “Not really. We only played them twice a year, so you only concentrate on the team that you play for and the conference you’re in, so I hadn’t been following the team that much, but I obviously knew how good they are.”

How do you envision your role here? “This year has been very exciting for me. I started off playing really well before I had a couple injury setbacks. I was able to get back on track before the All-Star break. It was exciting to get some minutes. Coming here, Coach Avery likes players that are tough and play hard. After a have practices under my belt and he sees what I can do, I think they’ll be room for me.”

Do you see defense as your way to get on the court, especially playing for Avery Johnson? “Him and Frank are similar in that aspect in they believe in playing tough defense and getting stops.”

Good to be back in Texas? “A lot of my friends have already called when they heard my name was in the trade.”

How has your mindset changed coming from New Jersey to Dallas? “It’s different for us coming from the type of team we were on. We were struggling a little but, it’s exciting to be on a team with a winning tradition that’s a contender.”

Malik Allen And how was your last week? “After things being so close and falling apart a little bit, I basically took the mentality that whatever is going to happen will happen. Coming out of the weekend, it seemed as things were resurfacing and the talks pretty strong, so I took the approach that we’re going to wind up in Dallas. I’m excited to be here. It’s almost like an honor to come to a situation like this. You play the game to be on a contending team and have a chance to win a championship, and here we are.”

With this team losing Gana, there is only one true center on the roster. You’re going to be in a position, along with Juwan and Brandon, to back up Damp and Dirk. “Just looking at the roster and the situation that’s exactly what’s going to happen. DeSagana did a lot for them defensively as far as being a presence at center. He was also good on the offensive end with his rebounding and length. We can’t be him, obviously. We have to contribute in other ways. It’s going to be a challenge, especially with the bigs in the West. That’s why you play the games.”

You’re known as a pick-and-pop guy. Is that how you see yourself fitting in offensively? “We all have to play to our strengths. When you’re a team, everybody has to step up. I’ve got to play my game and be confident.”

What does Jason bring to this team that it may have been missing in the past? “Obviously, there’s 99 triple-doubles. He knows the game in-and-out as well as any coach out there. When you have that experience on the floor, and with the talent this team has, it adds a different dimension. Devin is fast and he can guard and has a lot of tenacity, but Jason has been to the Finals twice and he knows what going to the Finals is about. He brings that leadership presence to the locker room and guys respond. When you see him out there playing hard, guys follow suit. Those are the things that are invaluable to a team.”

Any adjustment coming for Avery and Jason? “They’ll be meshing pretty quickly.”