Basketball journeyman and Phoenix Suns point guard Zabian Dowdell recently told ValleyoftheSuns that he’s more motivated than ever heading into his second NBA season. In this exclusive Q&A, Dowdell expands on that ever-growing hunger while giving his take on the lockout, playing overseas, what the Suns need to compete in the Western Conference, and more.
Dowdell on his season last year: “I’d say decent but it could have been a lot better. I always expect a lot of myself. I definitely think I could have been a lot more consistent. That’s something that you take pride in. I could have been a lot more consistent but that’s what the summers are for, to work on those things and hopefully next year I can go out and show what I’ve been working on all summer.”
On his expectations after his first 10-day contract: “The NBA, guys get hurt every day, guys get injured every day. That’s why they always tell you be ready and be prepared. I really didn’t look that far into the future as far as the second and then getting signed for the rest of the season. I was just trying to take it one day at a time and make the most of the 10 days that I had.”
On the lockout: “I don’t really know all of the specifics. I think they’ll work things out at the end of the day because too many people miss out. Not only the players and the owners but the fans. I don’t want to say people live for the games or anything like that, but it’s a source of entertainment. People look forward to watching the games on TV, it gives them something to talk about. It would be a great loss. If we had another situation here the lockout prevented a season, I don’t know if the fans will forgive the players and the owners this time like they did a couple years back.”
On Deron Williams and other players going overseas: “I can’t speak for those guys. They’ve made millions of dollars in the NBA. Those guys are superstars so they feel like going to Europe would be sort of like a vacation for them. I’ve been there, I’ve played, I kind of understand how things work over there. Me personally, I would have never made a decision that early, but to each his own.”
On contract issues overseas: “Fortunately I never had any issues with getting my money. You have to know someone who knows how teams operate over there. Before I got ready to go to a team, I knew people who knew whether teams paid on time or whether they were a good organization or not. I knew those things going in but just because a team offers you a lot of money doesn’t mean they’ll pay you your money on time. When you start to lose a few games they might part ways with you. Those teams over there are very serious about winning. A lot of the things that they do are unethical, but what can you do?You’re in another country and you’re pretty much at their mercy if you want to do anything that goes against the contract.”
On what the Suns need to compete in the West: “I think we have a lot of the pieces that we need. If you look at a lot of the games from last year we lost a lot of the games in the last couple possessions. We weren’t losing games by large margins. It was just the small things. A little bit more hustle here, a little bit more toughness there. I definitely think everyone will be more familiar with each other. You have to look at the trade, that kind of messed up the rhythm a bit as well. I think if we can come into next season and be cohesive, I think it will definitely show in the win-loss column.”
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