Samuel Dalembert Interview
After being benched in favor of Steven Hunter for a while, Philadelphia 76ers center Samuel Dalembert is back in the starting lineup. For tonight, in New York, at least. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner along with several reporters from other outlets were with Dalembert before the game to talk about it.
Question: So are you feeling good now that it appears you'll be getting more of a role again?
Samuel Dalembert: In a situation like this, it's not about feeling good, it isn't about being wrong, it's just about the team. Like I said, either way, you just have to play. It doesn't matter if you get the starting job or not get the starting job, just go out there and try to make a difference. And I want to get that chance, that opportunity to be out there and change the game and make a difference, and that's all. Because my strength is being out there on the court and change the games. If I'm not there understanding the game and be able to get the flow going, it's hard to see my impact. I am a rebounder, I'll probably score a little bit, and control the paint, and make sure that guys don't come inside. That's going to come with time, and being out there, and have a flow for the game.
Question: Are you excited at all about starting, again?
Samuel Dalembert: It's not about exciting or not exciting. They could start anybody, and if they're going to get the job done they'll get the job done. It's just about getting the job done at this point. It's not about me anymore.
Question: Have you been tentative, when you've been out there?
Samuel Dalembert: Yeah. Forget about coming off the bench, it's just like when you are out there for a short period of time... it's hard to get the flow. It's hard to just change the game. It's hard to see your impact out there, because of the short period of time... and when you get back in the game, you start all over again, and I think that was the problem, to me. But I guess nothing I could do about it, so I had to just go out there and just make things happen quick.
Question: Did you think that because you were coming off the bench maybe they weren't as patient with you with the time you were out there?
Samuel Dalembert: I don't know. I don't know anymore, to tell you the truth. I don't want to keep guessing. I keep going back and forth and guessing on what people are thinking... Like I said, I just play. It's all about us. It's not about me, if I'm starting or not starting. I'll say again, you would love to be starting, but I felt... things, maybe, it was a way to try to find a way to better the team. But to me, like I said, I'm not going to get mad or frustrated... yeah, there was a point I was frustrated because the team was losing, and you feel like, man, I can make a difference, I can do this. But it's not up to you. You can not just go out there and jump on the court. At this point it's all about the team; forget me. Forget about starting. I just want to play and win games. That's all we care about and that's all the fans care about. It's not fair to them, those people are the ones paying all the money and investing in us.
Question: Did coach Cheeks ever specifically say to you, here's what I'd like to see from you, here's what I'd like you to do more of, and stuff like that?
Samuel Dalembert: I don't really want to go into that, man. In my heart... I would never do anything to jeopardize this team. And everything I thought I was doing was for the best of the team. I'd never disrespect anybody. I would never disrespect anybody, but at some point you have to speak up sometimes. My job is to play and get the job done, and that's what I'm going to do.
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