By all accounts, Kings third year small forward Donté Greene is having a rough camp. The typically jovial Greene has been scarce, which I am learning is totally out of character. Today, I caught up with Greene for a brief one-on-one to discuss some pressing camp business. It is the policy here at The Purple Panjandrum to post these interviews in their entirety to allow the fan a glimpse of the players, free from the sound bite. It should also be noted that with Greene, there is definitely an unfamiliarity on both of our sides because he has not been around the media like most of the other players.
TPP: Donté, tell me about your alter-ego Doratio Kane?
DG: It is a character we made up my rookie year. JT got his car popcorned and it was like a little investigation-like character. My favorite show is CSI Miami so I had to mix that in there.
TPP: How has fatherhood helped you mature?
DG: It’s matured me a lot. Having a son, you got to grow up fast. You have a little one looking up to you for leadership so it helped me mature both on and off the court and in general.
TPP: I know you and JT are close. How do you think that his 4 years at Rider versus your 1 year at Syracuse has played into each of your development? Do you think there is a slight development delay for guys who come out after only one year in college?
DG: No, not at all. I look at myself as mature for my age. Really, having to raise myself from a young age, when my mom died. Raising myself and my brother. As far as me and JT, we just clicked. We are the same person. We like to have fun. We love to play the game. We just clicked.
TPP: This has kind of been a difficult camp. There has been talk that you came in at 260. Talk of 25-30 pounds extra weight. What was your motivation for that? Was it good weight or bad weight?
DG: It depends on how you look at it, it was bad and good. It didn’t really effect my game, it actually helped my game. I was much stronger in the post but coach wasn’t happy. He didn’t want me to be that heavy so I’ve been working to get it down. I’m down to 240 right now.
TPP: You’ve had a banged up knee. Do you think the weight gain was part of that?
DG: No, no. I actually hurt my knee after summer league, back home in the pro/am. I hit it hard on the floor. No, the weight didn’t have anything to do with my knee.
TPP: How do you think the competition for the small forward spot is going as of today?
DG: You never know. I mean, with the Coach…you just got to go out there and play. Do your thing and it will work itself out. It is what it is.
Greene is a charming character with a very good following around the media room. It should also be noted that it was the folks at Kings.com who went to Donté and asked him to do the Doratio Kane series.
I could speculate all day long about Greene’s intentions for adding the weight that he did, but again, that would be creating the news, not reporting it. Coach Westphal has made it perfectly clear that neither he nor anyone else in the organization approved such a substantial weight gain from Greene and until he has decreased his size, his minutes will remain limited. This whole turn of events is unfortunate, but if Donté continues to drop the pounds, he might be able to get right back in this small forward race.