Pre-season interview #5: Donté Greene on being the new starter.

After the announcement by Coach Westphal that Greene would begin the season as the Kings starting small forward, Donté sat down on an exercise bike to answer some questions for us media types. I will note that this has not been the norm for Greene during camp. Typically, when practice is over, Greene has been the least visible King. I’m not insinuating that he is not working hard because attached to the courts in the practice facility is the weight room and Greene could very well be in there for hours, but we do not have access to that part of the facility.

TPP: Coach just told us that you are going to be a starter for game one. How do you feel about that?

DG: I feel good. Lot of hard work. I’ve just got to continue to work hard to keep my spot and don’t get comfortable as I did last year, you know, lost the job but definitely work hard and keep it this year.

TPP: Do you feel like coming into camp a little heavy and going through the process of losing the weight, do you think you were a little off mentally as well?

DG: Yeah, you can kind of be confused, especially when, you know, the weight, it wasn’t really a bad thing. But the Coach is the head coach and I’m a worker, so if the weight had to come off, it had to come off and I’m ready now.

TPP: The weight you put on has been a real question with the fans. Was it strength weight or out of shape weight.

DG: It was a little bit of both. I wasn’t in the greatest shape. I wasn’t in as good a shape as I was in last year. I know last season, I came into camp in great shape. So I had to work to get back to that and pretty much, I’m almost there. I’m down to 242, I’m almost there.

TPP: With you and Carl not really being known as rebounders, do you think that has to be part of your role coming in is to really hit the glass hard this season?

DG: Oh yeah, definitely. I’ve been trying to do that in the last couple of games, at least go out there and grab 5 or 6 boards. I’m trying to average at least 6 or 7 this year at a minimum. Definitely being on the boards, active on defense and just take what the defense gives me offensively to try and help my team out.

I honestly believe that both a mental and physical weight (18-pounds) has been lifted off of Donté Greene. Throughout camp I have heard nothing but good things about Donté, the person or the personality, but until yesterday I hadn’t really seen it first hand. I can also confirm that Donté Greene has told the Kings that he will not be doing “The Donté Greene Show” during the season so he can focus on the job at hand. As much as the Kings team needs the 6′-11″ Greene to play well on the court, they need his lighthearted spirit and humor off the court.

As an editorial note, these questions were asked in a group setting. Out of respect for the other members of the media in attendance, I have only transcribed the questions I personally asked.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".