Pre-season interview #4: Carl Landry.
Few players have shown the dedication to his craft during the pre-season like veteran power forward Carl Landry. Without fail, Landry has been the last to leave the practice floor everyday of camp, working with any coach that will throw him a ball. Coming into the final year of his contract, Carl has more than pride to play for this season. Here is The Purple Panjandrum with Carl Landry.
TPP: First up, what is it like watching your bother excel out here and watch him really fight for a roster spot?
CL: Man, it’s amazing to see him do some of the things he’s doing out here on the floor. He’s really impressed me and he’s impressed some of the coaches and hopefully he will continue to do so, so he can earn a roster spot on this team.
TPP: What type of role did you have getting him a shot here with the Kings?
CL: (laughing) What? Actually, he was here before me you know. He was here last summer.
TPP: Come on now, I saw your tweet.
CL: I don’t know how much that played in to effect in him being here. I’m glad he’s here. He’s still here. You know, some guys have been cut. He’s still pushing. He’s still making his way with the team. He’s a great play and I tell him all the time, continue to work. You’re doing a great job, keep your confidence level high, and if he’s not here in Sacramento, he’s going to be somewhere because he’s a phenomenal talent.
TPP: I’ve heard that you came in and had a bit of a struggle at camp. Tell me about that.
CL: I think I’m just thinking a little too much out there on the court instead of just letting it come naturally and reacting, you know. There are a lot of guys in the league right now, not playing great right now or where they want to be. You look at the Miami Heat, they’re the talk of the NBA- Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, you know, those guys are struggling. They’re shooting 4 of 18 or 6 for 20; you know, that’s where I’m kind of at right now. But the only way to go is up. You know, I’m improving everyday, taking baby steps. I’m in the gym early, you know, I’m trying to stay late, just to get back into the flow of things.
TPP: You’ve been out here with all kinds of different coaches, I’ve seen you everyday. What is it like to work with Pete Carril?
CL: Pete, he’s an older guy and he doesn’t want anything out of it but he wants to make you a better player. He understands the game, he’s been around the game longer than any of the coaches. So it’s definitely good to listen to him because he is very wise.
TPP: You are always the last guy out here, every single day. Is that the way you have always been or is that because you feel like you are struggling?
CL: I’m usually like that. I’m usually one of the last guys to go in the locker room, but I’m really not where I want to be right now. So, I’m trying to put in a little extra work and I will continue to be out here until things change. You only get out of it what you put in, so I’m going to stay in the gym until things turn around and start going my way and even when they do, I’m going to still stay here because you know the hard work is how I’ll get to where I will be.
TPP: Here in Sacramento, we have had the pleasure of having Coach Rick Adelman for a long time and now Coach Westphal. You’ve played for both coaches. How would you compare the two?
CL: Great guys. Understand the game. Players. Students of the game. Westphal is definitely a players’ coach, and Adelman, not so much. But they understand the game, so wise, great coaches with amazing coaching staffs and I’m very grateful that I got to play for both of those guys.
TPP: I’ve seen you out here working with Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Tell me how that is helping you?
CL: It helps me a lot. I looked up to him growing up as a kid, he was one of my favorite players. Me and him are a similar type of player. Same size, same body style, almost the same type of game. To have a vet like that, that was a great player in this league, is definitely a positive.
During a post practice interview, Marcus Landry was asked about his brother’s struggles and had this to say, “He’s one of those guys who’s hard on himself and I find myself sometimes saying a few things to him. I know in the back of my mind that he knows what he needs to do.”
For it being so early in the pre-season, Carl Landry has plenty of time to regain the form that made him so successful for both Houston and Sacramento last season.
Unfortunately for Carl, his poor early play and the injury to Samuel Dalembert has opened a door for the combination of Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins, who are really trying to kick it down. Carl Landry is a very high character guy who has shown that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get back on track. It will be interesting to see how this battle resolves itself.