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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2010 Summer Interview: Roger Mason

I sat down with Roger Mason for 10 minutes and 08 seconds, and he was kind enough to answer some questions.

Mike Kurylo: So what have you been doing this offseason?

Roger Mason: I’ve been working. I’ve been working. I had a tough season last year, and I’ve been doing everything in my power to make sure this season is more of a success.

Mike Kurylo: About last year: you got injured, and your shooting percentage which seems to be your bread & butter took a dip. What do you attribute that to?

Roger Mason: (Points to the scar on his right hand. Then pauses for a couple of seconds.) No, I mean it was a different situation for me. My minutes were down. Healthy Manu was back. It was just a different scenario. For a guy that does what I do, it’s tough to get it done in a different situation.

Mike Kurylo: There was a web site that took videos of your shooting threes and they noticed that your footwork was off. In the older video, you pretty much jumped and landed in the same spot, but last year you weren’t. Were you overcompensating for your hand?

Roger Mason: I think I did a lot of things to overcompensate for my hand. You know, it happens and you have to adjust. There are no excuses. There’s other people playing with injuries. Mine happened to be on my shooting hand, which affected me a little bit. But at the end of the day, I know I’m one of the best shooters in the NBA. And now it’s time for me to prove it and help this team to win.

Mike Kurylo: And you feel healthy right now?

Roger Mason: Yeah. The surgery was successful and I’m ready to go.

Mike Kurylo: How hard is it to come back? Shooting three pointers at your level requires perfect mechanics. How hard it that to have an injury, adjust your shooting, and then get back to where you were when you were healthy?

Roger Mason: When you play for a championship, like I have been doing for the Spurs, you do whatever you can to help the team. Whether you are injured or not, I still feel like you have to concentrate and do what you have to do. I’m not making any excuses. I was just trying to fight through it.

Mike Kurylo: You mentioned that you worked with a shooting coach in the past. Do you still work with one?

Roger Mason: Yeah. He’s basically a skill work guy. I’m a big basketball workout guy. Keeping the artilery strong, and keeping that shot ready.

Mike Kurylo: Do a lot of players work with a skill coach?

Roger Mason: I think so. Some do more than others. Some play 5-on-5 and that’s their workout, and some like to do what I do.

Mike Kurylo: Do you go back and look at tape of yourself shooting or do you know at this point what you have to do?

Roger Mason: I’ve been doing this for so long. There are times when you need another perspective, and there are times when you know what’s going on with your shot and can make the adjustments yourself.

Mike Kurylo: We’ve talked a lot about your shooting. What else can you bring to this team?

Roger Mason: My leadership. My defensive mentality. Not last year, but year before last I played a lot of point guard. The pick & roll is a big part of my game as well. Just being a guy that will fit in with this system. I will do that.

Mike Kurylo: How can you provide leadership on the team?

Roger Mason: I think that there is a respect level there. I’ve had success in this league. I’ve been a part of the playoffs the last 4 years. And I’m bringing that with me. I think I’ve had some of the best leaders in our game with Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan, Manu and Tony. I’m really excited to bring that to a younger group.

Mike Kurylo: Given D’Antoni’s like for the three ball and how some players increase the number of shot attempts, how do you feel that works to your strength? Do you feel like you can be a starter on this team?

Roger Mason: Yeah. I’ve been a starter in this league, and had a lot of success. I can start and do the same thing here like I did in San Antonio. If they need me to come off the bench I can do that also. I’m not just a spot up guy. I’m a guy that plays with the rhythm. I’m a guy that comes off pick & rolls and makes plays. But I’m also a guy that can hit the spot up shots.

Mike Kurylo: With so many new players there are a lot of open starting spots. How do you feel about the competition? Do you feel you have an open shot to become a starter or get into the rotation?

Roger Mason: I don’t get caught up in starting or not starting, because I’ve done it already. I did it for a whole year a few years ago, and had success. The important thing is that we have guys that do a lot of different things well. We’re going to need everybody. I think it’s a unique situation because I do what I do, and there are other guys with other strengths. You put that together and that’s what a good team is about. And that’s how you win games.

Mike Kurylo: There’s a lot of talk that the East is loaded at the top. How do you feel this team can do?

Roger Mason: The NBA is funny, like all sports. You have to be a little lucky. You have to stay healthy. And things have to go your way. There’s no doubt we have the talent, the system, and the coaching to get things done. Now is just about doing it.

7 comments on “2010 Summer Interview: Roger Mason

  1. Nick C.

    I really liked that interview. He gave what read as thoughful honest answers rather than just throwing out an assortment of sports interview cliches at you.

  2. Ted Nelson

    Great job with the interviews and getting to some relevant topics with the players, Mike.

    It’s sort of encouraging that he doesn’t want to blame an injury, but I found this response a little weird: “For a guy that does what I do, it’s tough to get it done in a different situation.” I’m sure he’s hoping for a consistent rotation spot, but if he doesn’t get one that’s sort of a built in excuse…

    Mason was a good, under-the-radar signing for the Knicks. Hand injury seems to explain funk that lowered stock. Veteran who if nothing else provides some depth and shooting. Whereas Isiah might have inexplicably thrown the whole MLE at a guy like that or Layden might have traded several draft picks to make him a starter and sign him long-term, now we’re getting him at the minimum…

  3. Mike Kurylo Post author

    With pointing to his hand, he pretty much stated it was the reason. But he had this other side that wouldn’t let him blame that. It was interesting to watch his mind react to the question. He (as well as everyone else) knows it was his wrist even if that cause problems with his form). But he also wanted to take responsibility for his play.

    I thought the leadership stuff was interesting as well.

  4. jhed

    Hey All,

    been following knickerblogger for over a year now and love it. Regarding Roger Mason, I went to the knicks open run on sunday and thought that he played really well. His shot was fluid from distance and he also had a nice dribble drive pop along the baseline.

    Another note about the practice – I don’t know how practices are generally run but the coaching staff seemed really laid back…I was hoping the coaches would be more vocal with the players.

  5. massive

    OT: Mozgov is starting on Wednesday against Boston. If he can stay on court against what could be the deepest front court in the NBA (KG, Both O’Neals, Big Baby, and some Euro guy whose name I can’t remember…plus an injured Perkins), I’d be really impressed.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/knicks/2010/10/mozgov-will-be-center-of-atten.html

    OT #2: Jerome Jordan in 4 games is averaging 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.1 minutes a game. Not bad I guess.

    http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=vrs&pcode=002686&seasoncode=EQR10

  6. Brian Cronin

    Great interview, Mike!

    Mason seemed like he gave really candid, interesting answers. Always good to see stuff like that.

  7. supernova

    Great interview.

    At first I didn’t pay too much attention to the signing of Mason, but based on our shortage out of outside shooters he could very well end up making a significant contribution to this team over the course of this season. Also, from what I have heard Mason is supposed to be a great asset in the locker room and a good veteran voice. With all the young guys on this team, I think if nothing else he will have a positive effect on all the young talent we are trying to develop.

    This should be a real enjoyable season.

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