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NBA Finals Antonio McDyess Game 3 Interview




| June 15, 2005

Antonio McDyessThe San Antonio Spurs lead the Detroit Pistons 2-1 in the best-of-seven NBA finals. After being down 0-2, Game 3 was in Detroit, and the Pistons came alive, winning in convincing fashion. Pistons power forward Antonio McDyess is the team's best player off the bench, and he stepped up big last night. Here's what he had to say right after the game:

Q. Antonio, it's hard to tell I guess, but how close are you to what you were physically and if you could just summarize what an ordeal this has been to get back to this point?

Antonio McDyess: It's hard to tell. You know, I played this season sometimes when my knee was bothering me and sometimes it wasn't. But tonight, I kind of felt like my old self. But to have this opportunity, just to have the opportunity to play with this team, defending champions, has just been a blessing for me. Stepping out on the court I just want to leave everything out there when I get out there.

Q. Game is tied 63, late third, you guys went on a 21 6 run, what keyed that run for you guys?

Antonio McDyess: I think defense. Definitely pressing up on guys. I think tonight we did a great job on pick and rolls, not letting Ginobli, Parker get to the basket and we got our hands up to contest shots and I think that was a key for us, getting turnovers and just converting off of them.

Q. After one of your baskets in the fourth quarter you had a big smile on your face. Going back last year when you had to decide where to go, why did you pick Detroit?

Antonio McDyess: You know, for many reasons. I think one was, you know, Chauncey called me a lot. (Smiling). And to have an opportunity and I had the opportunity to play with Larry in the Olympics and that was a main reason.

When I came to the interview with him them, Joe Dumars was the GM, he said he stayed up late night and watched my last 18 games kind of touched me a little bit because who is going to sit up late nights on the East Coast and watch the last 18 games? He and Chauncey were telling me about how the team was, how close they were and I just trusted them and felt like it was the best place to go.

Q. Talk about the last two games where it seems as though the confidence has just been there.

Antonio McDyess: First of all, I come off the bench, for either Rasheed or Ben, they play with so much intensity that I just want to go out there and play with the same intensity they played with. When I step out on the court, I just want to do all I can, to do everything I can. So far, it's just been a real relaxing confidence when I get out, in the last two games, actually, with my shot and I just want to go out there and make a difference when I step on the court.

Q. How close were you to quitting after your third knee surgery? And two, how did you mentally get it in your head that you had to change your game and not be the dominating, physical player you used to be?

Antonio McDyess: Well, actually, it's pretty tough for me, especially like the third surgery. I thought my agent had told them, you know, tell Phoenix to cut me, after I got traded from New York. Mentally, it was a mental breakdown for me. I was talking to a lot of people former players and recent players that, you know, really talked to me and kind of told me to stay at it and work hard. I kind of got it in my mind that I was going to work hard at it. So when I got on the court, it was definitely frustrating because I wasn't able to do the things that I normally do, you know, jump over people, use my quickness. You know, my game adjusted, just trying to step out on the floor and work on things like that. I think that's kind of pretty much helped me, so I just kept at it.

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