How do you feel ? Did you recover from your hand injury ? (Turiaf injured his left hand in August and missed the entire European Championship).
My hand has been fine for a week now. I’m coming back little by little. Last week was the first time since my injury that I played 5 on 5 basketball. I felt pretty good and I was in rythm. I just need to get all of my reflexes back, especially in my left hand, the one I use to block or steal balls. I also need to get my confidence back !
Are you going to join ASVEL during the time of the lockout ?
I think so. I still need to sign an official contract and there are insurance questions that need to be settled. I’ll be on a plane Wednesday and in France on Thursday. I hope I’ll be able to practice with the team then. I will do everything I can to be back on the court as soon as possible because I really want to play for ASVEL. We've started the negotiations a long time ago but it all stopped after my hand injury. We’ve started to talk again last week when I felt I was almost ready to play.
What do you think about the French Pro A ?
The level of play here in France is very interesting. In my opinion, the Pro A is underrated. There are a lot of great players, who really know how to play basketball. It’s a big challenge for me.
Which number are you going to wear ?
The same number I’ve always worn in the NBA I hope ! That’s the job of my boss Tony Parker. He has to get me that number and make sure I’m happy !
What can you bring to the team ?
ASVEL is a great organisation. When I was young, it was the best team in France alongside Pau-Orthez. The current team has plenty of potential. I hope I can help with my defense, my passing game, and by creating open shots for my teammates. I can also score points if I’m asked to.
There are a lot of young players on this team. Are you going to serve as a mentor for 23 years old forward Kim Tillie? And do you think he can play for the French national team one day ?
I’ve been following Kim Tillie for a long time. He went to the University of Utah. And he also played for Golden State a few years ago. He has a lot of potential and the odds are good that he will play for France one day. I’d be really happy to help him and share my experience with him, but only if he wants to. I don’t want to impose myself.