Denver Nuggets introduce J.J. Hickson and Randy Foye

Tim Connelly, J.J. Hickson, Randy Foye, and Josh Kroenke. - Nate Timmons

Hickson and Foye spoke with the media today about a plethora of topics about free agency and their upcoming roles with the team.

Initial reaction when you heard from Denver in free agency?

J.J. Hickson: I was happy, I was excited, and I was definitely humbled by the interest Denver had in me and I'm happy to be here.

Randy Foye: I was definitely excited. I spoke to Tim [Connelly], he was one of the first guys that called on July 1st. We spoke, we laughed, and joked. I congratulated him on the signing of his new position. I'm just excited to be here. I think it's pretty awesome to come to a team like this, already a playoff team; had so much great talent, so many great guys. I'm just happy to add to the arsenal.

What do you bring to the team, on the court?

Hickson: [I bring] toughness to this team, I'm definitely [going to be] rebounding and block shots, and do what a power forward is supposed to do. I know the style of play is to get up-and-down, but we're also looking to play defense.

Foye: Like J.J. said, block shots and rebound - I'm just kidding. I can shoot the ball, guard, and I can handle the ball. A lot of times I get put in a category as just being a shooter, but I can handle the ball too. I'm just excited to be a part of something that's already great.

Hickson, how did the process of the Nuggets signing you go?

Hickson: Everything goes through your agent, but Tim was one of the first guys that called me and expressed the interest. When I first heard about it, I was definitely leaning towards Denver, a couple teams called, but there's something about this team, the way they play, and the group of guys they already have on this team that helped me lean toward making my decision.


J.J. you played a lot of center last year in Portland, here you'll probably split time, or you're not really sure what you're going to do. Do you enjoy playing center? Would you rather play power forward?

Hickson: I just enjoy playing basketball. I feel like as long as I'm on the court I'm going to help this team win and I'm going to do whatever it takes to win.

Hickson, has coach said anything about how he plans you use you at the four or five spot?

Hickson: Definitely power forward. Tim and Coach Shaw definitely expressed that they want me to play power forward. As you guys know, the NBA is changing, a lot of teams are going small, so with me playing the five last year I kind of know what it takes to play that position. So, we'll see how it works.

Foye on the NBA going small:

Foye: I watched the playoffs, I think I watched every single game, and during the year I watch a ton of basketball. Last year I watched [the Nuggets] play against the Warriors - they have Klay Thompson out there as a 6'6" and Jarrett Jack and Steph Curry, 6'3" and 6'3", and they just basically spread the floor with shooters. It's the same with Miami and it's the same with the Spurs. So, all these teams are going small. They have two guys who play-make and basically everybody else around them is shooters. If you collapse on them or double them it's basically picking your poison.

Foye on his increasing three-point shooting percentages:

Foye: I said this before, but I have to give a lot of credit to Chris Paul when I played with the Clippers. We started in the back-court together and he'd play-make. In the beginning, he'd pass to me and I'd be open - I'd take a dribble in to get a two. He'd explain to me, "You have to take that shot; you have to keep the defense honest." Last year, just from the summer time, work ethic and a lot of things I do in the summer time that I do with my game carries over into the season.


What do you see on the Nuggets roster?

Foye: I see youth, I see a ton of talent. I watch Ty [Lawson]; I'm a big fan of Ty. Kenneth Faried and I are from the same city, played with JaVale, I know Gallo. I just see a ton of talent and I think I can help in a lot of different ways.

Hickson: Just to piggyback off what [Foye] said - an athletic team, a young athletic team that can beat anybody on any given night.

Hickson on his time battling Kenneth Faried and now teaming up with him:

Hickson: He's a great player. He's a great power forward, he has a nonstop motor. I was told that it's going to be a friendly competition about who is going to start, who is going to get minutes. At the end of the say it's all about wins and losses. I think we can play together.

Was part of the appeal for Hickson to come to Denver the PF spot?

Hickson: Definitely. Growing up I played power forward, until last year when I played center all season. I think with me playing the five last year it, it definitely helped my game. I think my natural position is playing the four. When Tim called he said we're looking for you to play power forward, so that was a good thing and that's basically how I made my decision.

Any meaning behind No. 4 for Foye and No. 7 for Hickson?

Foye: This has been my number, when I was drafted I was No. 4. Obviously some of the teams I've been on the number has been retired, but I'm happy to be back with No. 4.

Hickson: My number that I've worn my whole career has been 21, but when I found I was coming to Denver I just said, give me a number and just let me play. There is no reason behind it, I just picked a number.

Hickson on Melvin Hunt:

Hickson: Melvin and I have talked since I left Cleveland; we've stayed in touch throughout the seasons I've been in the league. He's great at giving advice. He's a great mentor and I definitely look up to him. He has taught me a lot of things since I've been in this league; not only on the court, but also off the court.

Thoughts on Brian Shaw:

Foye: I think Tim did the best way possible in the most professional way possible. He said, before we take this process any further with me trying to sign you and bring you here, I think you need talk to Coach and have a feel for him. As soon as [Shaw] called me and we started talking, you could tell he has a mild tone about him and was just straight forward in telling you what he wanted, what he needed, his expectations, and he thought that I would be a great fit.

Hickson: What he [Foye] said. (laughs) When I talked to Coach Shaw, he seemed like a great guy. He's very humble, he's going to tell you exactly what he wants you to do, and he expects greatness out of you. That's something I liked in the conversation that we had.

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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