Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

10 minutes with Keyon Dooling & Hedo Turkoglu

Phone interviews conducted from 10-11AM Friday morning October 19, 2007 courtesy of adidas Philippines. Muchos gracias to Odette Velarde.

KEYON DOOLING

Rick: Hi, Keyon. Good morning, sir. This is Rick Olivares.
Keyon: Hi, Rick. Ah, you don’t have to “sir” me. I feel old (laughs). But good morning to you too! (laughs). Thanks for taking the time out to talk with me, man.

Rick: Hahaha. I assure you the pleasure is mine being a basketball fan. But that “sir” is all about respect.
Keyon: Thanks. (laughs) That’s cool!

Rick: So Keyon, how’s Macau?
Keyon: Oh man, we should have been here like 30 days ago! We just arrived but its been fun. Macau is beautiful. The sights, the shopping, the restaurants. It’s a whole different place over here. We just love the atmosphere. It’s a perfect way to jump-start our season.

Rick: Last year, the Magic finished with a 40-42 record. Do you think with your new additions you’ll be able to finish better and go a little deeper in the play-offs?
Keyon: Most definitely, there’s been a huge difference when Stan Van Gundy came in. We feel we have better coaching. We all know what he did for Miami and we’re hoping he can bring the same to our side of Florida. We have Rashard Lewis on our team and he gives us more scoring and athleticism. Dwight Howard is definitely better. The team’s morale is high and we’re ready for the season to come. Did I tell you how beautiful it is here? (laughs)

Rick: You did. Maybe thrice already! (laughs) Every season, I know you try to work on your game. So what are you prepared to bring to the Magic this campaign?
Keyon: Well, basically I try to get better in my shooting and ball handling me being a guard. With Dwight getting better every year, I’m hoping for more open looks at the basket. (laughs) But one of the most important factors is getting rest. Lots of it. The NBA is one long season and sometimes you have to play through injuries. You really have to pay attention to your body, your health. Traveling to places like Macau helps. Seeing new places and meeting the fans. It’s always a good experience.

Rick: How big a loss was Grant Hill for your ball club?
Keyon: Anytime you lose someone of Grant’s character, it’s a big blow to the team. But we got another solid player in return… Rashard Lewis. But you know, we take it as a challenge and everyone’s ready to step up. Do their bit for the team. But we miss Grant definitely. Hope he’s happy in Phoenix though.

Rick: Thanks for your time, Keyon. The best of luck this coming NBA season!
Keyon: Hey, thanks for the chat. It was fun. You should come here, buddy!
Rick: I was there about two months ago. And I certainly wish I was there right now.
Keyon: Well, next time then. See ya around, Rick.
Rick: Yup. Bye!

KEYON DOOLING MISSED THEIR LAST COUPLE OF PRE-SEASON GAMES BECAUSE OF AN INJURY. HE'S OUT ALONG WITH TREVOR ARIZA AND RASHARD LEWIS.

HEDO TURKOGLU

Rick: Hi, Hedo. This is Rick. Thanks for sparing me a few minutes.
Hedo: Yeah, hi. No problem.
Rick: How is it going with you?
Hedo: I’m good. Good.

Rick: So how’s Macau so far?
Hedo: We just arrived yesterday and all we’ve seen so far is just the hotel, the casino, and the restaurant. I wish we could have time to walk around and see Macau. It looks like a nice place.
Rick: (laughs) Yeah, it is beautiful and I hope they do let everyone go around for some sight seeing.
Hedo: That’s what I’m talking about. (laughs)

Rick: Do you think it’s been a short summer for you since you all competed in the Euro basketball tournament?
Hedo: Well, everyone would like some more rest, but after a bit, you start to miss picking up a basketball. So we rest when we can. I can’t wait to go around and take pictures you know.

Rick: So how’s the Magic this year? You lost Darko and Grant. Do you think you have the additional pieces to compete this season?
Hedo: I think that the three new guys will help the team (Rashard Lewis, 6'10" Polish center Marcin Gortat, and coach Stan Van Gundy). We’re also learning a new system from Stan Van Gundy. He’s a good coach who knows how to work with the players. He brings a winner’s touch to the Magic. He won in Miami. Even the team that won the championship was also because of him.

Rick: With some scoring from the forward position gone with Grant’s departure, do you think there’s a little more pressure on you to score?
Hedo: It’s not just scoring where I can help the team. Stan emphasizes playing defense so that means rebounding and stopping your man… all that stuff. What the coaching staff feels our roles should be, then we all have to adjust to it if we want to have a successful season.

Rick: It seems like this early you’ve given Stan Van Gundy a stamp of approval?
Hedo: (laughs) He’s a good guy and a great person. More responsibilities means that he trusts me. And I like a challenge. So I hope to get better and help the team get better.

Rick: Last question, what do you think of the Orlando Magic’s chances this season?
Hedo: It was an off-season was busy. We brought in new guys. And the others are coming back in better shape and with a better game. Dwight (Howard) is pumped up. He won a gold medal. (laughs) I’m pumped up. I think we’ll do well.

Rick: Good luck, Hedo. And it was nice talking to you.
Hedo: Ah, thank you and good luck. (to another person) When do we go shopping?

HEDO TURKOGLU SUFFERED A MILD ANKLE SPRAIN IN THEIR GAME THAT EVENING AGAINST THE CHINESE ALL-STARS.

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