Interview with Morris Peterson
Morris Peterson averaged 14 points, 3.5 rebounds and
2.4 assists per game last season (2001-02) for the Toronto Raptors. InsideHoops.com
caught up with him towards the end of the season and had a talk.
InsideHoops.com: What's come easy to you in your growth as an NBA player, what's been complicated?
Morris Peterson: Just the realization that every night you're going to play against guys who compete who can play basketball. This is one of the toughest leagues, this is the toughest league, this is what you dream of playing in, the NBA. You can't take a night off. You always got to try to do whatever you can to improve, you can't take a day off, because somebody else is out there trying to take your job.
InsideHoops.com: What have you had to work hardest at?
Morris Peterson: Well I think as a basketball player, I always try to learn. You can never know, I mean, if somebody mastered the shot they'd shoot one hundred percent. I've been trying to bring all aspects of my game out, playing hard defensively from the start. I think that's what keeps guys in the league - playing defense. And I work on my shooting, my dribbling, taking the ball to the basket. I think if you notice great players in this league, they always come back the next year with something new, so that's what I've been trying to do, work myself into a great player.
InsideHoops.com: Who was your favorite player as a kid?
Morris Peterson: Magic. Magic and Isiah. I always looked up to those guys. They left out on the court. And that's what I try to do.
InsideHoops.com: They did everything so great, but is there anything in particular that either of them did that you really tried to copy?
Morris Peterson: Well, Magic liked to push the ball up the court, and I'm the type of guy that likes to play in the transition and get easy baskets and run the floor, so, I wish I had played with him, and have him throw me a couple of passes. I think that was one of my dreams, always being able to run the floor so Magic could throw me the ball. And even Isiah, you know I was a great Pistons fan, coming from Michigan, from Flint, so, I always looked up to Isiah because he was the smallest guy on the court but he could play with the biggest heart.
InsideHoops.com: Any players from your homwtown that you expect to raise their games more than people expect them to?
Morris Peterson: Yeah, I think Mateen Cleaves, he's one of my best friends, and right now he's playing with a team (Sacramento Kings) that has three or four point guards, so he's not able to play as much, but if he gets on a team that, he can run the team and help them, I think he'll be a great player.