David West Interview
The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets have had a terrific season so far, bringing a 24-22 record to New Jersey for a battle with the Nets. A big reason for their success has been the play of 6-9, 240-pound power forward David West, who is averaging 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner met with West Monday evening for an exclusive interview.
InsideHoops.com: Both you as an individual player and the Hornets as a team are having a terrific season. I'm not sure if all fans knew your name last year, but they know it now.
David West: Everything's good, man. Happy that we're winning, first and foremost. Coach made a statement at the beginning of the year that when the team wins, everybody wins. I'm happy for the success that we've had up to this point. I'm not satisfied with it, but I'm very happy with it. I put a lot of time in the off-season, getting my health back, to prove that I belong in this league. Not that I ever doubted it, but I'm quite sure there are people out there who weren't sure I'd be able to survive in this league, and I just wanted to come out and prove a lot of them wrong.
InsideHoops.com: A lot of people didn't see you last season. And people seeing you in college, well, it's not an exact science predicting which college players will thrive in the pros, but you're doing it.
David West: We play a different style of basketball. We're aggressive. Our thing is to get out, run the basketball, CP gets up and down the floor like nobody else, and we keep up with him. He finds us, and we rely on our aggressiveness, on the defensive end, generating points for us. And that really dictates how we play.
InsideHoops.com: Chris Paul, to me, is one of the only "true" point guard stars in the league, who takes over a game, while actually controlling it like a pure point should.
David West: Yeah. His agenda is to get guys involved, first. He knows that, and we know that. He's out there, he puts tremendous pressure on the defense to stop him, not necessarily from scoring, but from penetrating and getting into the heart of their defense. It's going to be interesting going into the second half of the season; other teams may make adjustments, but again, to this point he's been tremendous in terms of what he's brough to the team.
InsideHoops.com: In your young NBA career, do you have a personal highlight yet?
David West: I don't know, man.
InsideHoops.com: Nothing yet?
David West: Naw, not yet, man. I think I'm just happy about the fact that I'm on the floor, being productive. That's all I ask for.
InsideHoops.com: And in college, any favorite personal highlight for you?
David West: There were games in college, you have must-win games, for NCAA Tournament seeding, or conference tournaments, stuff like that. Any game, and I'm not sure which one, but any game where there was a lot on the line where I felt like I had to perform for us to win... even now, there have been a few games this year where I felt, man, I got to have a big game in order for us to win. Those are probably the best in terms of games where something happens where it counts.
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