Today at the Denver Nuggets media day we heard from just about everybody. George Karl addressed the media, followed by Josh Kroenke unveiling the new Nuggets' alternative uniforms, then Kroenke and Masai Ujiri addressed the media, and finally the media was unleashed on the players up on the practice court.
On one half of the court, the Nuggets had the court blocked off as a photo shoot was taking place with the players and their new uniforms. On the other half, players were brought out to their respective labeled chairs that outlined the three point line of the other half of the court. It was ready, set, record and here is what I was able to bring to you today ...
Players on the uniforms:
Corey Brewer: "They are a little more flashy, the yellow, the skyline - I like them."
Jordan Hamilton: "I think they're dope. I saw a couple of other teams uniforms and then I saw ours and I think we definitely have the best ones. I like them."
Kosta Koufos: "We all love them. We're more excited to play, but the uniforms - it's a different color scheme and we all feel like it matches us and suits who we are."
Julyan Stone: "I like them, they're cool, and they are bright. Not too many teams have bright uniforms like this."
Andre Miller: "The uniforms are cool. Hopefully the fans like them, I don't know if the players like them. I haven't talked to anybody about them yet."
JaVale McGee: In addition to saying the uniforms matched his skin tone and he made them look good, he added: "Nice, real nice and I got the matching shoes to go with them. I have a shoe color for every uniform. These are Peaks, it's a Chinese brand and my signature shoe."
Ty Lawson: "I like them. I like bright colors ... I wish they were not yellow because I don't look good in yellow. Yellow and dark skin just do not match. But the design of them I have to thank (Josh) Kroenke for that because it's definitely a good design. I need some yellow kicks now, I wasn't as prepared for this as JaVale McGee, but I'm definitely going to get some nice kicks to go with it."
Recap: I like the uniforms, as I've previously stated and believe the players like them, as well. Andre Miller had the best answer, saying he hadn't talked to any of the players about them yet. That went just went perfectly with the fact that everyone was wearing the new uniforms and taking photos in them, how could that topic have not of come up!? Wily veteran.
What new or improved weapons are the players bringing to the table this season?
Anthony Randolph appears to know that he has his work cut out for him heading into this season and that if he earns minutes that they'll be as a backup to Kenneth Faried. Randolph said about his role with the team, "Just be one of those garbage guys to help Kenneth (Faried) whenever I come in the game and to back him up." And on improving his individual game, "Trying to work on getting better and expand my game, I just want to come in and contribute however I can off the bench."
Brewer: "I've been doing a lot of shooting man. I'm trying to become a consistent three-point shooter, we need shooting so I've got to be able to knock the open three down."
Evan Fournier: "We're going to see in training camp what is going to be my role. I know I'm going to give 100-percent every time I'm on the court and practice hard every day." And has Fournier felt that rookie wrath coach Karl tends to dish out? "He has been very nice to me, but training camp hasn't started yet, so we will see."
Hamilton: "I think my game is more mature now. I think at first (as a rookie) my game was a little immature. Just learning the league and learning what the coaches want me to do. For the first time, just being a role player. The role that I think I'm going to take this year, I think I'm going to be pretty good at it." Has the door opened even more for Hamilton because of the Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington trade? "I was told that the trade definitely helped me in a way where I can probably find some minutes. As long as I just keep working and keep doing the small things and making shots."
Koufos: "I'm working on my body conditioning and strength - been working on that every (day). As far as offensively I've been getting a lot of shots up and just trying to take everything to the next level." Does it matter where Koufos plays next season in the Nuggets' rotation? "Wherever coach puts me in, I'm going to be ready to play. Just like last year, just play hard offensively and defensively and let the game come to me."
Julyan Stone has been battling back from injury, but he was putting in work earlier this summer and has been rehabbing his injury. "I'm going to start shooting now. My recovery has gone a lot better because of all the work I have been doing and we have a great (training) staff. I'm thinking December maybe (for a return to the court)." added Stone about his work earlier this summer, "I've really been working on my shooting and knocking down open shots consistently. My game has evolved, but it definitely has a lot more room to grow. I had big hopes this summer, but I feel like everything I've been through, the adversity has made me who I am. This is just something I'm learning from and I'm going to get better."
Andre Miller: "The same role I've been taking. Nothing new. We've got young guys and proven players that know how to play in this league, so my job is to just continue to be a leader by example and sometimes speaking up."
Danilo Gallinari: "I've been feeling pretty good (about his game). It was great practice (Italian National team) to get ready for the new season here in Denver." Has Gallo bulked up physically? "Nothing different really. I didn't put on weight or stuff. I'm the same player." What about the prospect of playing power forward and does this team need outside shooting? "As long as I'm on the court and can a lot of minutes, I will play wherever coach puts me on the court. The three point shot has to be one of our strengths, no doubt."
McGee: "I want to be in talks about being the Defensive Player of the Year and I want to lead the NBA in blocked shots." And does starting make a difference to McGee? "My only preference is to be able to help my team win."
Lawson: "My left hand. Going to the basket and finishing, just mostly finishing with my left hand because that has been like my kryptonite."
Kenneth Faried: "Jump shots, hook shots, driving, and my floater game - basically my overall game."
Faried on his time in Houston with Hakeem Olajuwon and what he worked on, "Counters, a lot of counters to post moves. You hit somebody with one post move, they are there, you got another counter, they are there, you hit another counter - they are going to get tired before you run out of counters. There are a lot of different counters. And (Olajuwon taught) patience in the post, from learning how to face up, to driving, and being patient to wait for your opportunity to attack."
How has implementing the moves into live action been? Faried: "When we play each other five-on-five or four-on-four I try to implement some of the moves he taught me and use some of the counters and reverses, the fakes, and all of that and especially the passing ability from the post, because he (Olajuwon) was a great passer. It was weird at first when you first do (the moves), but as you start to learn and keep practicing they become natural."
On the close team culture of the Denver Nuggets:
Randolph: "I've been here the last couple of months and I love the city, the organization, my teammates ... everything."
Brewer: "It all shows we are committed. We're committed to getting better and committed to winning. There are other teams that do it, but you have to do it when you're a young team. I'm the third oldest on the team and I'm 26 years old, we're a young team."
Fournier: "A lot of players were here and getting better every day and getting bigger in the weight room as well." And the workouts at Red Rocks? "That was tough, but it was a great experience."
Hamilton: "I think it has (being in Denver) brought the team together and made us stronger. We got to know each other, aside from just basketball, we all hung out and did different things like team dinners and stuff." And the Red Rocks workouts? "Every Wednesday we were there. It was tough at first, but you can even ask Steve Hess - I started killing it towards the end when we started running them and it was a great thing for my legs."
Koufos on the team workouts at Red Rocks: "Those were really fun. The altitude is a little higher there and it's a pretty good workout. With Steve Hess, he pushes us all and we feel really tired after, but it helps us. My personal opinion, Steve Hess is one of the best in the league and he's known for that. We're all in really good shape right now and we feel like he's helped us get to that level."
Andre Miller: "That was probably the earliest I've been here, but it was much needed. To come in and have some carry over from last season, there have been guys coming in and getting some type of work in. It was a good experience to have a bunch of guys here that were working on their game."
- Nate Timmons: Is that different from teams you have been on in the past?
- Miller: All teams. All teams. A lot of guys take off until probably the last week or two before camp. For the most part guys are at home visiting family and stuff like that and really their commitment doesn't start until the day training camp starts.
McGee: "It's definitely a different culture, a lot more of a dedicated culture with guys coming in here early to work out with the coaches. Getting used to the altitude again and working out is getting me in much better condition."
Lawson: "It's huge. The gym is always packed with at least five Nuggets and that's unheard of for an NBA team. People don't normally workout together. Denver is a great city, but people don't travel here for vacation so for people to stay here and workout, that's huge and it shows the dedication that everybody has."
Faried: "I've been in-and-out (of Denver) and it was exciting and fun. Just chilling out with the guys sometimes, we were mostly in Los Angeles just hanging out and having fun, but also getting better. And when you hang out with your teammates that creates chemistry so next year and the following year you're able to make the leaps and bounds you need to succeed."
The off-season couldn't have been all about basketball, right? What did these guys do to get away and relax?
Brewer: "I rolled in the Rock-and-Roll bike tour here in Denver. I got to ride through all the parks like Washington Park and all that, it was cool."
I had to ask the rookie, Fournier what he bought with his new NBA contract: "My car, a Porsche Cayenne - it's nice and it was expensive." An SUV should come in handy in the Colorado winter, right? "We had some snow for Christmas in Paris, so I'm used to it. And my dog loves snow."
Hamilton: "I spent about a week and a half with my family. Just hung out with them and didn't touch a basketball, it was right after summer league. Then I came back and was right back at it, not much of a time off, but somewhat."
Koufos: "I honestly have been working out every day. I took about five days off for a vacation in the Bahamas, but that's about it. After that I've been going right back after it."
Stone on his hair and his summer: "I'm going to go with the Gumby fade all year, most likely. I like to change it up." And his off-season? "Honestly, it was all basketball. (This summer) it was about me getting better and I sacrificed my summer for basketball, something I love."
Andre Miller on his off-season, his new contract, and guys like Steve Nash playing late into their careers: "Just rested, tried to stay away from basketball. I let the summer be the summer and try to stay in decent shape and not overdo it and work my way through October and get ready for the season. It was a quick situation (re-signing in Denver), just getting it over with. Just being able to focus on my summer and taking care of my body. I still approach the game with a competitive mindset so this is something I'm happy and content with. Those guys (Steve Nash) are older and they've found a way to take care of their bodies with the way the league is now. It's not as physical as it was before so the bumps and bruises that you would get throughout a season 10 years ago is not as difficult anymore, you just have to stay in good cardio shape."
Gallo: "I had a lot of fun times going on vacation with my friends. We went to places in Europe that we've never been, it was great."
Lawson on his off-season and his side of the Andre Iguodala press conference story about Lawson cheating at cards: "I went to L.A. and hung out out there. I met a lot of people, went to Hollywood trying to get in movies and stuff like that. That was fun for me this summer. He (Iguodala) thinks I cheated (in cards), but I just talk fast and he just doesn't keep up. I've hung out with him a couple times and he's a cool dude, great on the basketball court, and just a funny guy off the court, so sarcastic. We're definitely going to have a lot of prank wars for sure."
Faried: "I enjoyed spending time with my daughter. Just having her around, having her be happy, and excited. She went to Disneyworld and that was a pretty amazing moment for her and I'm just happy for her."
Do last year's rookies have any plans for Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller?
Hamilton: "Iguodala has been making the young guys do some stuff, like go get him some water and wash his back - no I'm just playing! Just doing some different crazy stuff, but he also looks out for them. He's a good dude."
Faried: "We have something different for the rookies this year. I'm not going to haze them or anything, but I'm going to use them to the best of my ability and help get them better. They know what they're getting, but they don't know when they are getting it."
Another exciting year is upon us Nuggets Nation!
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