Michael Redd: "When you don't win, things pop up"
Let’s first talk about the Olympics. Was this your first trip to China? How would you describe the overall atmosphere in China?
Michael Redd: Yup, first trip to China. Oh, man, intense. It was intense. It’s the Olympics. The fans were very gracious and very passionate about the basketball and it really spoke about how the game is globalized.
Did you get a chance to do any site seeing while in China?
MR: We just went to see the other Olympic events and the Great Wall of China. That was pretty much it, but we were pretty much on lockdown. We went to the village a couple times and to the other events.
Is there anything that you missed that you will see on the Bucks trip to China next week?
MR: (laughs) We were there 35-40 days. We hit up as much as we could. I am just gonna let the other guys enjoy it, I’m gonna stay back and hang out.
Who do you feel will be the surprise team in the 2012 Olympics?
MR: I don’t know … that’s four years from now. I’m worried about me enjoying this gold medal right now. I don’t think none of us are looking ahead to 2012, playerwise that is. We’re enjoying it right now. It feels too good. We will cross that bridge when we get there.
Is there anything that NBA players can learn from the International game?
MR: The game is different. The European game is different. The NBA is a totally different game even from the Olympic game. I just learned we had a good time. That’s what I learned. We brought home the gold. Mission accomplished.
Is there any transition period getting back to the NBA style?
MR: It’s basketball. Just got to work on your games still, continuously, and relearn the rules. The rules are different obviously from the Olympic games. But we should be OK.
How does it feel to be the last Buck from the 2001 playoff team?
MR: Amazing. It’s amazing to be here that long. It doesn’t happen too often that one guy stays with one team for a long period of time. It’s an honor and privilege to still be in Milwaukee.
You are only 3,615 points away from being the Bucks all-time leading scorer. Is that something you look forward to?
MR: I don’t think about it too much. I don’t think about it all actually. I just go play basketball. Play as hard as you can and it’s all about winning and trying to leave a legacy of winning.
You’ve had different roles on the Bucks. You were a sixth man on a playoff team and you grew to being the leader on a playoff team. How do you think your role on this team will develop this year?
MR: Just to continue to enjoy my guys. Be positive. Play basketball and have fun and make my teammates better.
You are now on your fifth NBA head coach. Do you prepare and train for the season any differently based on the coach’s style of play or do you mostly worry about what you need to get done?
MR: Just get acquainted with him and learn his system. You just have to adjust.
You went from being a second-round pick to an All-Star. You have credited this to the hours of extra practice during your first few years in the league. Do you look at any of the younger guys and feel like ‘that guy has my determination.’
MR: I am sure any young person wants to achieve success and willing to do anything it takes to get there. I have been very proud of our rookies in the past and I am sure it won’t be any different this year.
MR: We will see what happens. Mo was a terrific asset to our team. Hate to see him leave, but you know we go on, life goes on. He will do well in Cleveland, but I have all the confidence in the world in Luke and Ramon.
Is there any one skill set that you worked hard on this off-season?
MR: Everything. Everything. (Laughs) I can’t release my secrets.
Were there any chemistry issues with the team last season?
MR: No. When you don’t win, things pop up. But there were no chemistry issues on our team. We just didn’t win.
Charlie Villanueva said players just stopped caring last season and said it snowballed throughout the team. Do you feel those problems have been addressed?
MR: Well, we are all professionals. I don’t know if that was the case. I saw effort on the court when I was out there. I hope that was not the case.
Why the number 22?
MR: I have always had it since I was a youngster in middle school. I have been wearing it ever since
After you signed the large contract a few years ago, you bought your father a church. Can you talk about the Michael Redd Foundation?
MR: The Michael Redd Foundation has been up to educating young people and really pointed to Milwaukee and Columbus. Helping people who are hurting, who are down and out as best we can as well as educating our young people, lifting them up and helping them the best we can.
When will the 2008 edition of mredd22.com be up?
MR: Later on in the fall. From what I hear, it is going up. It is going well.
Joseph Woelfel is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
Tell us what you think about this interview. E-mail us at HoopsHype@HoopsHype.com