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  Exclusive interview with Manu.  
  June-2007  
 
     
 
 

A few hours after winning the Western Conference, Manu gives an exclusive interview to the Web site. We hope you will enjoy this short interview.

How did you feel when you were sitting on the bench for so long watching the rest of the team beat UTA in the conference finals?
This is great! To win such an important game and not having to suffer that much. Tony and I talked about the fact that we did not remember sitting out for the duration of the fourth quarter, but the truth is that we can’t complain. Once you are sitting on the bench, you start thinking about how great it will be playing the finals again.

¿What were the best comments when you were sitting?
I can’t remember anyone in particular, but most of them were something like “we are going to be in another final,” “we are there, there are four games left,” etc, etc. The enthusiasm is hard to contain.

Watching it on TV, many of us noticed that the referees did not pay much attention  to the hard game played by Utah. Did you have the same feeling?
What happens is that that is the way the play and when a team plays like that for 48 minutes the referees won’t give a foul every time there is contact, the way they would with other teams. This is normal, but we knew that this was going to be the case with Utah. This was a physical series and you feel that. It was great that it lasted 5 games only!

In the 4th game, especially in the 4th quarter, it looked like many of the offensive plays were done “on the fly” among Tony, Tim, and you. Watching it on TV, it feels like the more difficult the game, the less you follow the technical plan. Is there any truth in this?
From the inside, you often see things differently. I had the feeling that we played very well, we were much less static than in the third quarter, and that helped us go to the line so many times.

Why did you choose number 20? Ha ha haa… That is a dumb joke… How do you feel playing in this final, compared to the previous ones?
I feel very good, I think that I am less tired than the last time. That does not mean that I will play better or worse, but I do remember that before the last final, I had been playing every day for the previous two years! Now I have the feeling that it came faster. The motivation is always huge, you know that many great NBA players never played a final, so this is huge. No one wants to miss something like this.

Can we say that this “week of rest” fits you like a glove?
Sure it is welcome, but sometimes, you are used to a certain rhythm in the competition,and it is not so good to have one complete week without playing. Yesterday, we were talking with a couple of players, and maybe one wants to rest 4 or 5 days at the most, but may be one complete week is too much. Let’s see how the team reacts to this, it’s a mystery.

Who would you prefer for the finals, Detroit o Cleveland?, Why?
The truth is that it would not be professional to say one or the other, what you are going to hear is players say "the truth is that I don’t care, we will be prepared to play against whoever makes it” or “I am very happy to have made it to the finals, so I don’t care who we have to play,” etc. It sounds like a record, but there are reasons for this. In my case, it’s the same! The two teams have things for and against them and with both of them we have a advantages.

How do you explain the Spurs accomplishments since your arrival? And how does it feel to be part of this?
It’s great to be part of an organization that everyone speaks so highly of and of a team that is the most successful team of the decade, in terms of iits winning record. But those are things that you enjoy as time goes by, for now, all you want to do is win the next game and I think that this is the way you should think. I could not have been luckier, I was drafted by the Spurs and I joined a successful team. The explanation is quite simple, it’s a great group of players who are not thinking of their personal accomplishments, but we all have a common goal… There is also a very capable group, consisting of owners, GMs, coaches, and they are also concerned about the mental and physical health of the player, there is also a player like Duncan who makes everything much easier for everyone. These are some reasons, but I am sure there are others.



Thank you Manu for the time you spent on this interview.

 
     
 
     
 
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by manuginobili.com