Quotes from the Lakers-Sonics game 3/5/99

Quotes from the Lakers-Sonics game 3/5/99

Post by gokam.. » Sun, 07 Mar 1999 04:00:00

SPI = Seattle Post-Intelligencer     ST  = Seattle Times
OCR = Orange County Register         LAT = LA Times
AP  = Associated Press               USA = USA Today
RPE = Riverside Press-Enterprise
LADN = LA Daily News
LBPT = Long Beach Press-Telegram

I've received 3 responses to my query, all telling me to
keep sending the quote posts here.  One person asked for
me to stop cross-posting the quotes, so I'll be sending
the posts separately to both RSBP and the Lakers NG


Before the game, James Worthy yelled to Rambis "My God,
what's the world coming to? Kurt Rambis!" and Rambis said:
"It's definitely going downhill." (LAT)

About winning this close game, Rambis said:
"Holy dawgie." (LAT)

Praising Payton, Rambis said:
"Gary Payton is amazing. I thought he would get tired,
but he just got better." (USA, SPI)

"Payton's amazing, isn't he? I was thinking he'd wear
out and get tired. He just got better." (LAT)

About how Rodman is the key to their attempts at playing
better individual defense, Rambis said:
"He's going to be huge. I feel very comfortable putting
him on people, letting him go one-one-one. I also feel
very confident that if a shot goes up, he's got as great
a chance--no, he has a greater chance--of getting the
ball than the other nine guys on the court. I don't have
to teach him anything. I don't have to instruct him on
anything, just put him out on the floor and away he goes.
. . . We are trying to emphasize, as much as possible, a
good one-on-one, stay-home-type defense, putting the
onus on the players, that they have to take individual
responsibility for all the people that they guard. We
were doing that when Del [Harris] was here." (LAT)

About how the improvement of Fox's foot problem has
helped his whole game improve, Rambis said:
"I think Rick is feeling better . . . It's tough to
play with pain, it really is. It plays a lot on you
mentally. It takes away a lot from your focus and
concentration and I think he had to deal with that
for a while. But I think now he's playing better,
his confidence is back, we've corrected a few things.
. . . He's just an attacking player. He was playing
passively. He was hesitating. That's not his game.
That's never been his game." (LAT)

About the importance of their weekend games against
Seattle and Utah, Rambis said before the game:
"It is a good test. The players have to know exactly
where they stand. It's a barometer of where they are
and where they have to be. Win or lose, it just helps
them understand what they've gotta do." (LBPT)

About how they have a lot of room for to improve, Rambis:
"I made a point of telling them everything is not OK.
We still have a long way to go. We want to be playing
much better basketball at the end of the season than
we're playing now. To me, it's always about improving.
We don't have time to kill in practice to get the
necessary hard work. We're going to have to improve
in games throughout the season." (LBPT)

About how it is hard to find minutes now for Horry at
the SF spot, Rambis said:
"I want to get Robert as much time as possible. I love
what he does for us on the court. I like my rotation
with Rick (Fox) coming off the bench for either Eddie
(Jones) or Kobe (Bryant). I like that rotation, but
there are going to be certain situations, certain
games where Robert's going to get some time at the
three-spot (small forward)." (OCR)
Note: Rambis added that it is hard to find minutes for
Horry at he PF spot because Rodman has taken over there.

About Knight getting 22 minutes of playing time, Rambis:
"If a unit is going good, I try to stay with that unit as
long as I can. Travis got with a good unit, got consistent
minutes and performed." (OCR)
Note: Knight had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Rambis said that Knight was defending Polynice:
"to harass Payton a little bit plus Shaquille wanted to
take the challenge (of Baker), too." (OCR)

About grabbing a season-low 6 rebounds, Rodman said:
"You can't always depend on having a great or a spectacular
night. You got to understand that when you do play bad or
things are going bad for you, you have to look at different
areas and try to help your team in other ways." (USA)

"Well, I look at it like this. You can't always depend on
having a great or spectacular night. You got to understand
that when you do play bad, or things are going bad for you,
you have to look at different areas and try to help your
team in other ways. I just tried to keep my man in check." (OCR)

About his first technical foul as a Laker, Rodman said:
"It was just typical (crap). You could read my lips.  I
said something like, 'You are calling a great game.'
That is all I said." (USA)

"It was just typical (expletive). You could read my lips.
I said something like, 'You are calling a great game,
huh? That is all I said.' " (OCR)

About how they haven't tapped their potential yet, Shaq:
"We have a lot of room for improvement. We have a six-
game winning streak, and we're still getting better. If
we play together and play smart, the sky's the limit
for this team." (USA)
Note: Shaq had 31pts/11rbs/7assists in this game.

Happy for Rambis about their winning streak, Kobe said:
"We have a little winning streak going and I'm very happy
for coach Rambis. He prepared very hard for this game and
I'm happy for him." (USA)

About how this game showed their improvement, Kobe said:
"That was good for us, shows how much improvement that
we've made since the last time we played them. Maybe in
the past we wouldn't have executed like we did down the
stretch. We might have rushed a couple of shots, but we
were very, very patient, and that won it for us." (AP)

About the importance of this win, Harper said:
"It was a big test for us and it was one of those seesaw
battles. Big baskets really won the game for us." (USA)

"I think it (this victory) meant a lot. I believe we
already had something to build on, but to beat a great
team like Seattle gives us a lot of confidence to go
into Utah on Sunday." (OCR)

About the huge 3-pt shots that he and Ellis made, Harper:
"Dale Ellis is known for making those kinds of shots and he
can make those shots with the best of them. I felt like
every shot I took was going to go in.  Gary left me for a
brief moment and they tried to rotate, but I was open for
the shot and I stepped up and knocked it in." (USA)

"I felt like every shot that I took was going to go in.
Dale Ellis is known for making those kinds of shots and
he can make those shots with the best of them." (OCR)

About the 2 3-pt shots he hit in the final 1:30, Harper:
"That's experience, but you have to credit Shaq for getting
us the open shots. His presence alone gets you a lot of
comfortable shots. I felt very comfortable with the last
two shots I got. It's fortunate that I stepped up and made
them for our basketball team." (AP)

About how the home crowd loves Rodman, Harper said:
"Dennis is an entertainer." (LADN)
Note to rom: Nice Rodman article in the LADN today.

About how the minutes were up for grabs when they made the
coaching change, Fox said:
"I think all the roles, with a new coach, seem to be up in
the air. For the most part, I think we were all back to
square one, with Kurt taking over. . . . But it's a long
season, even though it is a short season." (LAT)

About Rodman's emphasis on doing the dirty work, Fox said:
"You would say it's not the glamorous way to play. But he
makes it glamorous." (LADN)

Amazed at how Rodman makes rebounding and defense
interesting to the crowd, Fisher said:
"It's amazing to see a guy with the ability to play defense
and rebound as well as he does, and give it flair." (LADN)

About the first DNP-coaches' decision of his career, Horry:
"Yeah, that's a first. You've just got to stay ready. It's
fine. You've got to do what you've got to do." (OCR)

About not only getting to his feet to cheer his teammates,
but also to call out Sonics' offensive sets and to direct
traffic to help set up their defense, Horry said:
"I told Kurt a long time ago if it came out this way,
don't worry. I'm staying ready. I come early to
practice." (OCR)

About how this was a great game, Westphal said:
"The game really came down to one play here or there. It
was a great NBA game.  The only thing wrong was the wrong
team won.  If Harper misses one of those shots, we win.
But he didn't." (USA, ST)

"It was a great NBA game. The only thing wrong was the
wrong team won. We did a lot of good things, but we can
still play better. We can improve." (ST)

Praising Payton and Ellis, Westphal said:
"Gary and Dale were sensational. We couldn't find much
offense from anyone else." (SPI)

About all the jump shots that Baker took, Westphal:
"He can make that shot, but he's our primary
low-post threat." (SPI)

About giving up the open looks to Harper because of
the *** of Shaq in the post, Westphal said:
"You have to give up something. It's not fair. He should
be outlawed. I said to our coaches at halftime, what a
weapon, when you throw it into that mountain and he's
got great hands and great skills. You can run a lot of
plays when your X is twice as big as the other guys' O.
It makes your Xs and O's pretty good." (LAT)

Before the season began, when asked about the West, Westphal:
"Let's start with Shaq because we don't want to make the
Lakers think they are not getting their respect." (LAT)

Unhappy that Detlef regards his new 6th man role as a
demotion, going public with his unhappiness, Westphal:
"The fact he views it as a demotion is disappointing
because I don't view it as that. I didn't explain it
as that, and, in fact, it's not." (ST, SPI)

"On the other hand, if that makes him play the way
he plays, let him feel demoted." (SPI)

Expecting Detlef to accept his new role, Westphal:
"I don't play games. I explain what it is. You can
either accept that or not accept it. But he'll play.
He'll play and play well, whether he starts or comes
off the bench.  I don't necessarily expect him to
like it. But I do expect him to embrace it, and I
believe he will. . . .Players have preferences. But
everybody doesn't get to do what they want all the
time. That's part of being on a team." (SPI)

About how this may be their final lineup, Westphal:
"I think this is the best way to play. I'm not
somebody who likes to monkey with the lineup a lot.
I think this has a good chance of being our lineup." (SPI)
Note: Seattle is now 0-2 since they changed their
rotations to have Detlef come off the bench.

Calling this a typical NBA game, Payton said:
"It was a nice NBA game that was typical. Down to the
last wire and things happened.  They didn't fall at the
end but it don't make no difference, so it was OK." (USA)

About how this was a great game, Payton said:
"It was a great game. But it was bad for us." (ST)

Downplaying his 34 points and 11 assists, Payton said:
"Just a little hot streak, and shots were falling. They
didn't fall at the end, so it don't make no difference." (ST)

About how his teammates didn't follow instructions, Payton:
"Nobody was listening in the huddle. We hurt ourselves.
We were supposed to do a specific thing, and we didn't
do it, and that's why we lost. We got cherry-picked
about six times. . . . Whoever was at the top was
supposed to get back. And we weren't getting back. It
was a lack of paying attention. We're not a ballclub
that pays attention." (ST)

"We didn't go by our schemes . . . We got cherry-picked
about six times. That's just not paying attention. We
were up four points with the ball (late in the fourth
quarter). We're not a ballclub that pays attention.
When we didn't pay attention and didn't do what we
were supposed to, it cost us the game." (SPI)

About how they aren't meshing right now, Payton said:
"We're up and down. We're not on the same page, but we'll
get there. At some point, we're going to put it together.
I've played with these guys too long. We've just go to be
patient." (SPI)

About Baker's 3-pt shot with 5 seconds left, Payton said:
"It just so happened that it was Vinnie. If it was Dale
(Ellis), he might have made the shot." (SPI)

About going 8-12 from the FT line, Vin Baker said:
"Tonight I was anxious to go the line and shoot them.
Fortunately, they went in.  I was impressed.  There's a
difference when you want to go to the free-throw line." (USA)
Note: Baker did shoot 4-20 for FGs in this game. Shaq did
a solid job of forcing him to shoot jump shots and fall-
aways, blocking or altering Baker's shots in the lane.

About all of the jump shots he took and missed, Baker:
"I had good looks. Maybe I rushed them a little bit." (SPI)

About the 3-pt shot he missed with 5 seconds left, Baker:
"I wish I had it back to shoot again. I live for those
. . . I wanted to shoot it worse than anyone." (ST)
Note: With the way that Harper, Payton, and Ellis were
draining 3-pt shots all night...Baker *did* shoot that
3-pt shot worse than anyone.  Sorry, cheap shot...

About the Eddie-Rice trade, Polynice said:
"I might retire. That wouldn't be fair." (LAT)

About how either team could have won this game, Ellis:
"It's a disappointing loss. We had looks down the stretch
and weren't able to make them.  The game could've gone
either way." (USA)

About their final 3-pt attempt at the end, Hawkins said:
"We were hoping that somebody would get open for a chance
at a three. I initially bobbled the ball, which sort of
threw off my timing, but I still got a pretty decent look
at it." (AP)

Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University
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