Mike Sweetney Interview
Knicks rookie power forward Mike Sweetney isn't playing much this season, but he's observing, and trying to improve his game in practice. InsideHoops.com met with him in Madison Square Garden for an interview. This was from a week ago, before Antonio McDyess was made active.
InsideHoops.com: In practice, are there specific players and coaches that help you more than others? What type of stuff are they teaching you?
Mike Sweetney: Every player. If I make a mistake, at a certain point in the practice each player will come to me and tell me something, or a coach will tell me. Everybody has input on everything. Ever since I've been here every player or every coach has said something to me, about something I'm doing wrong. It's been cool - except for the rookies, but everybody else has been helping me out.
InsideHoops.com: Before you got into the NBA, were there any NBA players you felt you could be like, as far as style of play goes?
Mike Sweetney: A lot of people have tried to compare me to Elton Brand. I just try to be myself. A lot of players that I'm watching, I admire, but I just want to come and do my own thing, that's all.
InsideHoops.com: When you were young, who were your favorite players?
Mike Sweetney: I grew up liking Michael Jordan and Shaq. That's every kid's dream, Jordan and Shaq.
InsideHoops.com: Did you watch them obessively?
Mike Sweetney: Oh, all the time. All the time. All the time.
InsideHoops.com: Who helped you get good when you were younger?
Mike Sweetney: A lot on my own. And my dad would take me in the backyard all the time, and just working with me, just working, just working, and kept working.
InsideHoops.com: Is that who made you good, your dad?
Mike Sweetney: Yeah.
InsideHoops.com: Anyone else?
Mike Sweetney: He's the one that brought me into basketball, and worked on me, and got me to the point where he just let me go by myself, let my coaches and everything take me off once I got to a certain age.
InsideHoops.com: During games now, when you're watching what's happening on the court, what kind of things in the game do you focus on in particular?
Mike Sweetney: Basically just watch what other players are doing wrong, and try not make the same mistakes. And when I go in there, just be ready and make the best of the time I get.
InsideHoops.com: What kind of mistakes do you watch for, mixing box-outs, defensive switches...
Mike Sweetney: Yeah, pressure on defense, missing your assignment on defense, you just have to make sure you can't miss the same assignment, because, obviously if you're sitting there the whole game, and you make the same mistake, obviously you're not paying attention, so, you have to make sure you watch the game.