In our second wave of our Media Day interviews, we talked to the guys that went with Dwight Howard on that blockbuster four-way trade, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark (who I found to be… VERY relaxed). Check ’em out, guys.
FORUM BLUE & GOLD: What was your reaction when you got traded to the Lakers?
CHRIS DUHON: It was just part of the business. Obviously, Orlando’s been great to me. You hate to leave a city like that but given the circumstances, it happened. Being able to come to a franchise like this is a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing. Very happy and fortunate to be a part of it.
FB&G: You were there with Dwight at Orlando. Describe the situation that happened there.
CD: Dwight’s a great guy. You guys are going to figure that out real quickly by talking to him. He just wants to win. It was a tough situation for everyone. Nobody knew the right way to handle it. It was just one of those things where you had to pick a bad guy and everyone chose to pick him. Now he’s just looking for a fresh start and he’s excited about being here.
FB&G: What do you feel your role is?
CD: I have to go and earn (my role). I’m going to come out and focus on bringing in a lot of energy defensively. I feel that’s one of my strengths. On the offensive end, with all the weapons that we have, most of my job is going to be to knock down shots. That’s something I’ve been working on this summer. I’m really focused and prepared and excited about going out and doing it.
FB&G: Last year in the playoffs, you were kind of an internet sensation with the traveling thing. Are we going to see a lot of that in the Lakers this year?
CD: *laughs* I hope not! Hopefully, I’m out there on the court. If we’re in an intense game, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It was a heat-in-the-moment type of thing. I’m a very intense and emotional guy. I just love being around the game of basketball.
FB&G: But it was fun for a minute, right?
CD: It was definitely fun for a minute!
And please check out this clip of Phillip talking to Chris about the Princeton offense and playing with his teammates for a little bit.
FORUM BLUE & GOLD: This is quite different from where you’ve been (Phoenix and Orlando). What do you think?
EARL CLARK: Definitely different. But it’s great. I’m happy to be here and I’m excited for training camp.
FB&G: Obviously, the team goal is to win the championship. What do you hope to accomplish individually?
EC: My ultimate goal is to be happy. Waking up, healthy everyday. Getting to come and being able to work. As long as I can do that, I’ll be happy.
FB&G: What was your reaction when you learned you got traded to L.A.?
EC: First of all, it was a shock getting traded. Once I soaked it in and had to sit back and think about the opportunity I got here in this great organization, I just felt blessed. Once I got that in my mindset, I just took it from there.
FB&G: What’s your offseason regimen been like?
EC: Just worked on what I do every summer. Basically getting better as a basketball player. Be a better shooter, be a better defender, be better conditioned. I just work on my overall game. It’s nothing specific I worked on.
FB&G: Do you feel extra pressure being on the Lakers?
EC: I don’t feel any pressure. I have a great team and some good teammates. Just play hard, work within the team concept, and being a team player.