Sebastian Telfair Interview
Portland Trail Blazers rookie Sebastian Telfair is playing limited minutes as a point guard right out of high school, but he looks promising and has people excited about his future. Earlier in January, the Blazers visited Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks. Telfair and his cousin, Knicks guard Stephon Marbury, got to play on an NBA court against each other for the first time. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner and a few other reporters spoke to Telfair before the game. We're posting this a bit late, but the content is still all up-to-date and relevant.
Question: So how does it feel, coming here to play this game?
Sebastian Telfair: It feels good that I get to come home and play in front of my family, but other than that, it's a regular game for me and my team to come out and try to win.
Question: Last time you were here, as a high school senior, you said you'd definitely be back. What's it been like since then?
Sebastian Telfair: It's exciting. Playing here, a couple of games during my high school career, it's different having a pro jersey on now, but I'm here now and hopefully I can have the same success.
Question: What's been the hardest thing so far, in becoming an NBA player?
Sebastian Telfair: Probably traveling. Going on the road for 12 days, getting in at at two o'clock, having practice in the morning, then playing a game at night. Sometimes it gets difficult. I love basketball so much that it's exciting, and it overshadows the fact that so much energy is being used, but sometimes it takes a huge wear on your body.
Question: And on the court, what's been tough?
Sebastian Telfair: Guys are just as fast and much bigger than you. Other than that it's been pretty cool.
Question: What did you do during this trip back to New York, the first Portland has taken this season?
Sebastian Telfair: I went home, back to my neighborhood, seeing all my friends, got to eat with my family.
Question: How often are you in contact with your parents?
Sebastian Telfair: Every day. My mother is like my best friend. And after every game, I call my father. He has to give me his game summary of what happened (laughs), so that's a big thing in my house; after the game I have to call my mother and father because they got so much to say.
Question: How is this trip different than the one you already had to New Jersey?
Sebastian Telfair: New York! The Garden. It's just different. And me and my cousin will be in the court for the first time (together) as pros. My family will get to see both of us on the court at the same time, so that's huge for the family.
Question: How much have you been able to talk to Marbury during the season?
Sebastian Telfair: Anytime I needed to.
Question: Have you needed to?
Sebastian Telfair: Yeah, there's times when you have questions, or he might have something to say. We always watch each other play, and he has something to say, take that shot... just little things.
Question: Who on the Blazers has worked with you the most and helped you progress?
Sebastian Telfair: I'm spoiled. I'm spoiled, for real. My coaching staff here is just amazing. I think my whole coaching staff here could be head coaches one day, or should have been head coaches already. And then I got Damon (Stoudamire) and Nick (Van Exel) on the court with me on a daily basis. I'm just spoiled with help.
Question: And how about Mo Cheeks, what kind of stuff has he said to you?
Sebastian Telfair: He's very, very, very helpful. Very helpful. As a coach and as a friend, just being there to bring you through the hard times.
Question: Has it been hard?
Sebastian Telfair: Naw, I'm a very, very understanding person. And I have a lot of confidence in myself. I'm very understanding and I face reality all the time. There's no hard times where I be like, wish I could play or do this or that. You're competitive and you want to be out there, but, you wait your turn. My time is going to come, without a doubt.