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Folterkammer
09-22-2004, 06:07 AM
just read that article on dallasbasketball.com

By David Lord and Mike Fisher -- DallasBasketball.com
First impressions: What we think of Erick Dampier. … and what he thinks of us:
DAMP PART OF ‘NEW BIG 3?’ TALK ABOUT IT
FISH ON RADIO: LISTEN LIVE!
Damp is spending the week back in California, packing up his stuff and readying to move into a house in Dallas. He’s trying to keep a low profile until he’s settled, friends tell DallasBasketball.com. But after having a positive nerve touched by the Mavs when they suggested to him he could be marketed here as part of a “New Big Three,’’ he’s clearly excited about the change.
The Damp Camp doesn’t believe Erick was positioned properly by the Warriors, especially in trying to publicize the Erick Dampier Foundation, clearly a focal point of Dampirer’s off-court life. Even in Dallas, there is an early red flag regarding his perception: It’s already been written here that Dampier’s recent meeting with the media and fans was “awkward.’’
More accurate, maybe, to say that Dampier is not accustomed to such a spotlight – but that he wants to be.
Accurate, too, to point out that in a one-on-one sitdown with our David Lord, he was neither awkward or unaccustomed. Here is a rundown of Erick Dampier in his own words, in the media session and then one-on-one, followed by a few impressions from our up-close conversation.
How well do you know some of the guys on the current roster, some of the guys up here, some of the guys you've been with in a Dallas Mavericks uniform? How do you feel about the chemistry of this team, even though you guys haven't had a real practice together?
DAMP: I think it's a little early to determine that, just working out with the guys on the floor, me, JT [Jason Terry]. I think we're gonna have a chance to have something real special here. I think everybody's going to come in, with one thing on their mind, that's to work hard and try to win games. Me and JT have never been in the playoffs, so we're definitely looking forward to it and hopefully gonna get there.
There's been a lot of talk for a long time that the Mavericks have always needed a center, needed a big man to fill the void. Can you just talk about taking on what's going to be high expectations from the fans?
DAMP: I think the last few years I've built up a good foundation, and I think it's going to be very important to me to just go out and keep working the way I've been working, just come in and play hard each and every night and be consistent in my play.
I've heard that question a thousand times, that the Mavs haven't had a center. So it's a challenge, I'm going to be looking forward to it, and go out and work hard each and every night if I can.
Your season ended a little early because of an ankle injury. What's your status on your injuries? Is your rehab all behind you? Are there still any injury concerns going into the season?
DAMP: I think I got injured with 7 games left in the season, I turned my ankle, rehabbed it after that. It's got a lot stronger and I haven't had any problems after that so I think now all the injury's behind me.
Going back earlier in the summer, was Dallas in your plans all along?
DAMP: No, it kinda sprang up near the end. First Atlanta was in the running, New York was in the running, I was visiting with those teams not the Mavericks. Then all of a sudden, I guess when the Warriors basically turned down other trades, Dallas became a player.
Avery Johnson, he's one of my best friends, he came here. And I was talking to Avery one day, and Avery was telling me, "Damp, just hold off, hold off. It looks like I'm going back to Dallas, and if I sign with Dallas, I want you to be here. I know what it's going to take for us to win, we haven't had a center in a while, so if you come here, this is gonna be my last year and we have a chance to do something special."
So I think he played a big part in it. If it wasn't for Avery I probably wouldn't have been here.
Were you ever close to re-signing with Golden State? There was talk in the paper about negotiations, about them trying to get you to stay, either to not opt out or to sign an extension.
DAMP: Nowhere near close, especially regarding an extension. They did make an offer but it was only a one-year offer.
At this point I've been in the league 8 years now and I wanna win, so this was my chance to go somewhere. If this deal hadn't happened I really would have considered going to New York.
Yes, we saw a report where you said that you were thinking you might have to take the Mid-Level for a year, cause you wanted to play on a better team. We thought the Mavs needed to look at you, when we saw that.
DAMP: If I was going to consider the Mid Level, I wasn't going back to Golden State just because of all the stuff that had happened. One second these guys are telling me I'm their #1 guy, and they'll have an offer for me in July, then all of a sudden they go out and sign Adonal Foyle. So it's basically like they lied to me. I never want to go back to that situation. This gives Adonal Foyle a chance to be a first string center, which is what he always wanted to be, and it just gives me an opportunity to play for another team.
This is gonna be something special. We've got a lot of pieces to the puzzle. It's just a matter of us all coming together with team unity. And as long as we all have one goal every night just to go out and try to win the game, this is gonna be something really special here.
UP-CLOSE IMPRESSIONS
We came away with three very distinct impressions of Dampier during the afternoon.
First, Erick Dampier is not a rah-rah guy. He seems to be a guy who has learned the value of being focused on goals and hard work to achieve them, rather than talk.
He won't wow Mavs fans with a bunch of whooping and hollering, and he probably won't be a towel waver. But he seemed intently focused on what he can control, which is hard work and preparation. Oh, and his foundation.
We like that.
Secondly, while watching Dampier during the media session, he appeared to be aloof and somewhat disinterested at times. However, that analysis didn't seem to fit with the way he responded to questions when he was addressed. It puzzled us.
Later, once we got to talk with him one-on-one, we discovered that he is articulate and very focused in his outlook.
After a while, we came to the conclusion that he is a people watcher, and was doing the ol’ "two things at once" during the question and answer times: when addressed, he was incredibly precise and right to the point, and never missed a beat. But when someone else was being addressed, he was taking in a whole set of new faces he had never met before. Or, in the parlance of the internet, he was "multi-tasking" his time to the fullest.
Third, when talking to him alone, you could see his eyes light up when he talked about his desire to win. He was willing to walk away from Atlanta's money even if it meant taking less elsewhere in the short term, because he wanted to be a part of "something special" as he put it repeatedly.
And he recognizes that the way to get there is to work hard, which he is already doing. That fits right in with reports that even after the Mavs had signed him to a big contract, he was in Florida again this year working long hours on his game with Clifford Ray, who tutors NBA centers. It was similar hard work last summer, along with increased playing time in Golden State, that propelled his game to the next level.
And now in Dallas, hopefully, comes another level – for his game, his team, and a higher profile that helps him achieve his charitable goals.

the article doenst tell many new things but its good work. definitely worth reading.
the most important thing for me is that he said he is injurie free and wont have problems

Simon2
09-22-2004, 12:07 PM
Avery Johnson, he's one of my best friends, he came here. And I was talking to Avery one day, and Avery was telling me, "Damp, just hold off, hold off. It looks like I'm going back to Dallas, and if I sign with Dallas, I want you to be here. I know what it's going to take for us to win, we haven't had a center in a while, so if you come here, this is gonna be my last year and we have a chance to do something special."

Avery already showing his worth. That's what a head coach should be doing. Not before a player becomes a free agent though becuase that would be tampering. Nellie should have called Damp the next day and welcomed him.

sike
09-22-2004, 03:53 PM
other than the fact that this article is all roses....I like Lord and hope he is correct on Damp. I don't care if he waves a towel as long as he is there like a brick wall on the defensive end...I like players who are focused and goal driven, maybe all the stars are coming inline for our dear mavs.