As I have been known to do, I tried to get a bit of a feel for your Denver Nuggets in a basketball and non-hoops sense at this year's media day. We still have a few guys to catch up with, but here is a smorgasbord of questions and answers from the Nuggets.
What did you miss most about being away from the media?
Jordan Hamilton: I didn't get too many interviews [last season]. I missed seeing you because I know you like sneakers, like I do, and we talked about a lot of things.
Quincy Miller: What I missed most? Just seeing y'all. All of our media guys are pretty cool, the usual ones.
Randy Foye: It feels as though you guys are a part of the team sometimes. I see you guys every day. It really becomes like a family thing. We talk about a little bit of everything. So, I kind of miss that, just being around you guys and talking about the good things and the bad.
Timofey Mozgov: I need to keep speaking right. My English is getting worse every year, so I need the practice [with the media].
JaVale McGee: That I missed? From the media? I didn't miss anything.
Darrell Arthur: Just being in the know. It was a crazy summer for me - being traded - I came straight here in August and started working out. I've lost about 20 pounds since I've been here, so that's pretty cool. After my Achilles injury I gained about 30 pounds and was like 250 [lbs.] almost. Being here and working out, it just came right off, it was crazy. Getting used to the altitude has been challenging, but it has been great. Getting used to new players is kind of challenging as well because you don't know anybody coming into the situation. But it's cool, it's kind of like going to summer camp and getting used to new guys. I'm looking forward to training camp.
Ty Lawson: The media? Probably the funky questions. The ones where you're like, ‘Is that rhetorical or not?'
Wilson Chandler: Missed most? Uh, nothing.
J.J. Hickson: Nothing. Nothing at all.
NT: [To Darrell Arthur] I tried to find you, after the trade, using social media. But you're not on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!
Arthur: Ever since I got engaged, I got off [social media]. I wasn't really using Twitter or Instagram and stuff like that. I had Facebook since I was in high school, so that's how everybody kept up with me. But it got kind of old and they started changing stuff up and I didn't like it so I got off. I might get back on [Twitter] to interact with fans and things like that because I like doing a lot of charity work around the communities so that would be a good way to interact.
What did you miss about being away from your teammates and coaches?
Anthony Randolph: Chilling in the locker room with guys. Laughing, joking around, and the road trips. So, I'm happy to get back to that.
Foye: I'm never away from the basketball court or from anything that has to do with working out. I'm always close trying to stay sharp. It was good to get in here [Pepsi Center], I've been in here for around a month, it's cool getting to know my teammates, working out with those guys, and trying to get prepared for the season.
Lawson: Being around my teammates. We have a lot of fun throughout the year, we have a lot of good moments and laughs, that's probably what I've missed the most.
What's new with you on the basketball court? What specifically did you work on this off-season?
Randolph: I think my jump shot has gotten much better. I am more confident in taking open shots and knocking down open shots on a consistent basis.
Hamilton: I worked on a lot of things. Mainly to make sure I stayed in shape and watching some film on defensive clips. That's what they say will get me on the court, if I play defense. Once you get labeled as something, it sticks with you. Just one little mistake, a good defender could be criticized for it, but he wouldn't get as criticized for it [as me] because I'm known for not being a great defender. I think this year I'll do a much better job on the defensive end.
Quincy: Ball handling, play-making, and I got a lot stronger the past two months. Just being a better player overall. [Brian Shaw] speaks to me [almost] every day, talking about what he needs me to do to get better. More energy, defense first of all, make plays, he wants me to do everything.
Foye: I worked on everything. I keep the same regiment where I'm working on a bit of everything. I take about six weeks off, then I get back to it. Start riding the bike, I cycle a lot, then after that I start lifting some weights, start shooting, start drilling, and then start playing.
NT: Real biking or stationary bike?
Foye: I go out and ride. I try to ride like 22 miles a day, just to get myself going. Next summer I'll definitely bring my bike out here.
Mozgov: I worked on my post [game] and midrange. I tried to work on everything. [Timo spent a lot of the summer in Las Vegas working out at the Impact hoops facility.]
McGee: I was working on my midrange. My midrange jumper.
NT: What has Shaw talked about with you in regards to your role on the team?
McGee: He has expressed to me what he wants me to do and I've been ok with that. He hasn't restricted me with anything, so that's definitely a positive.
Arthur: I was really trying to get weight off and get my body back right. Trying to eliminate injuries and really work on my conditioning, getting in shape, and trying to get used to this altitude. Stepping out of my range behind the three-point line a little bit, picking and popping, and spacing that out - the coaches wanted to do that a little bit. [The coaches are] trying to get me to play the three, at times, with Gallo out right now and we probably can go big with Wilson at the two and me at the three.
Lawson: Deeper pull-up jumper. I'm trying to shoot from behind the three-point arc at a better clip than I did last year and just trying to shoot that period. When you just come up, pull up, and knock it down. I think it's going to be a high percentage shot for me this year.
Chandler: A lot of ball handling. I think that's the biggest weakness in my game.
NT: Shaw indicated that you'd play more of a perimeter role and not as much power forward and center from last season. What do you think about that?
Chandler: It will be good. Last year towards the end of the season, in the playoffs, I kind of wore down a little bit having to guard bigger guys. Especially in the playoffs having to guard [Andrew] Bogut. I was kind of winded on the offensive end, so it'll definitely be an improvement for me.
Hickson: A little bit of ball handling. You'll see me putting the ball on the ground two or three more times. I'm not saying I'm going to go out and run pick-and-roll, but in the post I can definitely put the ball on the floor.
What's new with you away from the basketball court? Any good vacations?
Randolph: I'm a year older, so a year wiser. I vacationed in Barcelona. I went and saw the Picasso museums and the downtown Barcelona area. I love to travel.
Hamilton: I spent a lot of time with family and stayed in the gym. The usual: working out, doing the little things, bike riding, going to different places to hang out. I didn't go anywhere cool this time, mainly just in L.A. and back to Denver to workout.
Quincy: Nothing is really new.
Nate Timmons: I saw, on Instagram, that you got some new tattoo work.
Quincy: Yes! I got a sleeve.
NT: You told me last season that you were done with tattoos, what gives?
Quincy: I thought I was, but, for real, they are really addictive man. It's unbelievable how addictive they are.
Foye: I went to Puerto Rico. My favorite place to visit is the Dominican Republic, but I went to Puerto Rico this summer. Just had a real low key summer just trying to get ready to do some big things this year.
Mozgov: Nothing new. Just keeping up with my baby and my wife, that's it.
McGee: I went to the Dominican Republic. It was just nice and different, I liked it.
NT: Did you try any of the local foods?
McGee: I don't mess with new foods, I don't want to get sick.
Arthur: I was trying to get into fly fishing. I went up to Aspen a couple times. It was nice to roll through the mountains, I got a chance to see some of the views, go hiking a little bit, and riding bikes - it was pretty interesting. I was just amazed by nature itself. It's way better than being in Dallas, I'm from Dallas, it's so hot you don't go outside until after 7:00 p.m., but here it's always nice.
More from Arthur: I went to a couple weddings. I went to a wedding in Barcelona, Marc Gasol got married [there] this summer. It was probably the nicest wedding I've ever been to in my life. We actually partied from 4:30 [p.m.] until 7 in the morning actually dancing on the dance floor. I had a great time. I went to Jamaica for a vacation with my fiance, it was hot, but other than that it was cool.
Lawson: Getting more into videogames with playing Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K - I just got it a couple days early - if anybody wants to play me, holler at me online: Ty3Lawson.
NT: Is your rating on 2K fair?
Lawson: What's my rating, 89? I think it's 89 and it said a chance to improve with jump-shot, so I think I can get it up to the 90s at some point this year.
NT: Did you take any trips?
Lawson: Turks and Caicos in Cabo. To hangout, lay on the beach, play in the water - the same thing everybody does on vacation.
Chandler: Nothing much: a little fishing, movies, music, the same stuff. I did go to an A$AP Rocky concert [in Germany], he happened to be out there when I was there. It was like two cities over.
Hickson: Newborn, six month old little boy.
NT: Did you do any traveling?
Hickson: I went to Jamaica for my birthday, which is Sept. 4th. It had to be a quick vacation because Sept. 4th is right around the time leading up to training camp, so I spent like three days out there. But my vacation is going back home, which is Atlanta.
Tell me something about one of your new teammates that you didn't know until you met them?
Randolph: I pretty much know everybody, I've been around a little bit. Everybody is a little bit silly, we still got another crazy team this year, and we should be pretty close knit. We've been here working out for a couple weeks now and we haven't missed a beat from last year on how close the team is.
Hamilton: I didn't know how country J.J. [Hickson] was. His accent is really strong. He's funny and he's fun to be around, seems like a good guy, and one of the guys I'll probably hang out with. Darrell, I didn't know he was from Dallas. I did a lot of checking up on Nate [Robinson], so I kind of know a little bit about him. I actually went to high school with one of his cousins, at Compton-Dominguez, so I kind of knew Nate before he got here.
Quincy: I didn't know [Randy] Foye had a kid. I didn't know J.J. Hickson was a one-and-done [attended one year at North Carolina State] and I didn't know he played under coach [Sidney] Lowe, I love coach Lowe.
Foye: I didn't realize that Quincy Miller is really athletic and a talented young guy. I didn't know he was that good until I got a chance to play against him.
Mozgov: Nothing new. I saw them playing against us, so I know what they do. We just have to get closer [as teammates].
McGee: I knew most of them, so I didn't really learn anything new.
Arthur: I didn't know J.J. talked that country until today, so that was surprising to me. But this is the first time that I've got to meet everybody, so I'm still trying to learn. Quincy Miller is cool, we got Jordan Hamilton, who I've been working out with all summer, he's pretty cool, we got a lot of cool guys about the same age, and I think it's going to be a fun season.
Lawson: State of Nate. Probably that [Robinson] works out a lot. He seems like a wild guy, but he really takes care of his body. He was explaining that I should, not emulate him, but try to do things that he's doing like he doesn't eat bread. I love bread, so I don't know if I can do that. J.J. Hickson, he's a silly guy. On the court he looks like, kind of, angry, but he's one of the more silly guys on the team. Randy Foye, he's got stories for days - he's like mother goose, just tells a lot of stories. Darrell Arthur, he's quiet. I don't think I've heard him say a word yet, hopefully he jumps out of his shell soon, I haven't heard him say a word.
Chandler: I pretty much knew everything about them, as far as basketball wise, because I'm a big fan of each one of them. I think all four of them are really good players. I played against Randy in college, I worked out with J.J. when I was working out for the [NBA] draft, Arthur I played against him in college, and I played with Nate in New York.
NT: Are you glad that you're teammates with Robinson again?
Chandler: That's one of my best friends in the league, so I'm definitely happy that he's here."
NT: J.J., a couple guys have mentioned that you "talk country". What does that mean?
Hickson: I wouldn't say country because country is like a guy with a farm that drives around on a red tractor. Where I'm from [Atlanta], I talk like I'm from the city, so to them it's country, but to us it's not. I switch it up when I have to, like right now, of course I'm going to have an accent naturally, but when we're in the locker room and I can talk how I want to talk they are like, ‘What? I can't understand you.' We get a laugh out of it, so it's cool.
Hickson: I didn't know JaVale was that funny. I knew he was funny, but I didn't know he was like just wake up funny. Not just him, but this team is full of guys with character and personality, so naturally everybody is funny and we're going to get along. We're going to be good."
That's all for now. I'll try to catch up with the guys I missed at practices throughout the week.
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