Mario Chalmers interview
Final Four hero Mario Chalmers has enjoyed a wild ride since being welcomed into the NBA on draft night. The point guard slipped into the second round and was later traded to Miami Heat before the evening was over.
But for Chalmers, who hit the game-winner for Kansas in the NCAA championship, the real fun began during the NBA’s rookie transition program weeks later. Chalmers and Kansas teammate and fellow NBA rookie Darrell Arthur were allegedly caught with marijuana and women in their hotel room. Needless to say, both were not permitted on site by the league.
Despite the inauspicious start, Chalmers came into camp fighting for a potential starting job, running the point for the rebuilding Heat and he's off to a very good start.
Bobby "The Voice" Ciafardini and Chalmers met for an exclusive interview in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
InsideHoops.com: Mario, you finished with 17 points and really stepped it up in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, especially after D-Wade fouled out. You finished with nine points in the fourth. What are your impressions of your first NBA game?
Mario Chalmers: “It was good to get my first game under my belt and to see what the league is like, but at the same time we want to get a victory. I think we waited too long to push the basketball. We didn’t fight hard enough as a team until it was too late. I don’t think we had any problems at the end of the game; we struggled through the first three quarters. Everyone was a little timid. We just need to do a better job of buckling down.”
InsideHoops.com: Your name was in the news a lot this pre-season and not always for good reasons. Are your troubles behind you?
Chalmers: “It’s definitely behind me. It’s a new day. I’ve dealt with all those issues and I’m ready to play ball. I’ve put all of that behind me.”
InsideHoops.com: You’re in the mix to get heavy minutes in the backcourt with Chris Quinn and have a chance to start regularly for the Heat, playing alongside All-Star Dwyane Wade. What’s it like to share the backcourt with D-Wade?
Chalmers: “He’s one of the best players in the league. As for me, you have to go out there and play hard. If I get the opportunity to play, it’s going to be great, and I’m going to make the most of it. I’m excited to be part of this team.”
InsideHoops.com: It’s your first year in the league and its coach’s first year as a head coach in the NBA. What are your impressions of Coach Erik Spoelstra?
Chalmers: “Coach is a great. He’s a great coach. I love playing for him. We just have to go out there and do what he says and give it our all.”
InsideHoops.com: You share the backcourt with D-Wade, but all the media attention coming in to this season has been centered on the No. 2 overall pick, Michael Beasley. What did you think of Beasley’s performance tonight?
Chalmers: “I thought Mike was a little nervous, but I think he played pretty well for his first game. Once he got going, he looked pretty good. He’s only going to get better.”