HoopsHype.com Interviews

Maciej Lampe: "I can be an All-Star one day"
by Jordi Vila / August 2, 2004

How has the summer been for you so far?

Maciej Lampe: I didn’t start very well in the Las Vegas summer league with the Suns, I lacked confidence a little bit. But I played better in Salt Lake City and I’m learning little by little, like my team.

You played in the Rocky Mountain Revue last year with the Knicks and this year you came back with Phoenix. How important is for you to play in summer leagues?

ML: It is a competition with the best players who want to play in the league. It is a great experience for me to learn and play a lot of minutes.

You are going to play your second NBA season. What do you need to work on the most now?

ML: My shooting percentages are not good enough yet. I have to choose better when to shoot and not force shots. I also need to gain strength and quickness to be able to play center, which is where they want me to play.

What do you expect for the upcoming season? Do you expect to have a big contribution?

ML: I think it’s gonna be a good season for me and I expect to play more. Now we have two centers. But I don’t know who is going to play because you never know.

Do you think Phoenix is a better situation for you than New York?

ML: Sure. In New York I had a lot of problems and an injury and I was in a veteran team. Now in Phoenix, I’m in a young team and we all like to play the same type of basketball. We like to have fun, run the court. We still make a lot of mistakes, but we are learning from them.

Have you talked with coach Mike D’Antoni about next season and what he expects from you?

ML: Yes, he knows that I have the ability to shoot from the outside and he wants me to do that. But first I have to play defense and grab rebounds to be on the court.

What is your long-term goal in the NBA?

ML: I think it is possible for me to be an All-Star one day.

You are still 19, but what have you learned already from your basketball career?

ML: You are going to have a lot of ups and downs. This is something I have learned. I’ve had some problems. But now I’m 19, I’m in the NBA and I’m happy. I made some mistakes in the past like signing with Real Madrid for so many years being so young. It didn’t help the process of getting to the NBA. I didn’t know what I was doing. But now I’m happy.

What was the main difference for you coming to the NBA?

ML: Players are much stronger and it is a tough experience. It is a great difference between the NBA and Europe and also the way they play and practice.

Have you adjusted to the grueling calendar and competition of the NBA yet?

ML: It is not that difficult. We have a lot of comforts and we have our own private jet and everything (laughs). It’s OK.

What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

ML: I’m going back to Europe. First I’ll go visit my mother in Sweden and then I’ll be with the Polish National Team from August 21 to August 27. Then on October 4, it’s training camp with the Suns. We’ll go to Mexico to play and then Phoenix to start the season.

Jordi Vila is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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