Wow, the Suns Forum is really slow so I thought I would post this Mike D' Antoni interview.
One-on-One with Mike D’Antoni
Suns.com: The team is now 3-0 and playing well. How have things been going on your end?
Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni: It’s going okay, coming along. I’m about ready to get this thing over with.
I think we’re playing well. We’re getting better all the time and things are going okay. We have big games today and tomorrow. Then, next week is the big week.
Suns.com: What has your role been throughout this process?
D'Antoni: Just being an assistant coach. We all watch film and figure out the way we want to play, and get the guys ready to go. It’s just normal basketball stuff. Coach K is really good at communicating and getting these guys fired up. That’s mostly what we’re doing.
Suns.com: What has it been like being around and working with the coaching staff?
D'Antoni: It’s been fun, it’s been good. Everyone gets along really well. It’s a case of everybody throwing their two cents in and trying to figure it out.
I think as you get more familiar with everyone, you can be a little more forceful, but at the same time, everybody throws ideas out and Coach K tries to pick the best ones and goes with whatever he feels comfortable with. It’s a fun group.
Suns.com: What is the players’ mindset at this point leading up to the medal round?
D'Antoni: They’re excited about playing for real now. Next week when they start playing for medals, that will get their attention. They’ll be fired up for that. They’ve been great. They’ve done everything the coaches have asked and they’ve been enthusiastic every game.
It’s playoff time. It’s a single elimination, so it’s almost like a college playoffs. You screw up one game and you’re done. We haven’t gotten to that round yet, but it’s definitely playoff time, you can feel it. The games are really exciting.
Suns.com: Have you had much of an opportunity to see the sights while you’re out there?
D'Antoni: Just a little bit. We got out and looked around a little bit in Hong Kong. This is my first time in the Far East. In China, we were not in a great tourist spot, so I haven’t seen a while lot. Seoul was very nice, though.
Visiting the military bases was great. We saw two in Korea.
Suns.com: What was it like to put on fatigues?
D'Antoni: That will really send a fear through our defenses. (laughs) That’s kind of scary.
Suns.com: How receptive were the soldiers to your appearance?
D'Antoni: They had a good time. They were excited. It was good for us. It was a great feeling and hopefully they got some enjoyment out it, too.
Suns.com: Have you had a chance to see many other games or gotten to talk to Leandro Barbosa (Brazil) or Boris Diaw (France)?
D'Antoni: We see the games that are in our pool. I haven’t seen France or Brazil lately. But we see the teams who play here.
We played against Brazil at one point and Leandro looked really good, and I hear he’s been playing really well. I guess Boris is playing well for France, too. They lost Tony Parker and Boris has picked it up and he’s playing really well. They’re in a completely different city right now. We’ll all converge in Tokyo, so I’ll see them for the final rounds.
I hope Mike, Marion, and Colangelo bring home Gold Medals!