Taking Shots in the Offseason
Jason Terry shows off his long-range skills to Rudy Gay.
Photos courtesy of Katrin Auch for Activision
by Phillip Barnett / @imsohideous
The NBA season has been over for a few weeks now. With the NBA Draft in the books, the most relevant hoops talk has been about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and whether or not the League will lose the next season. Stressful stuff. But some of the guys around the League have been using video games to wind down.
Last Tuesday, NBA champion Jason Terry and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay came out to Santa Monica to try out the new maps on Call of Duty: Black Ops Annihilation. Both the Jet and Gay got to try out the new maps with some of the game’s developers and battle each other in a seven game grudge match series.
The Jet proved that he isn’t just a sharp shooter on the hardwood, but likes to get in at least an hour of Call of Duty after shoot around on game days. It wasn’t a surprise when The Jet explained to SLAMonline that his weapon of choice is the sniper rifle. After watching him shoot down the dreams of title contenders from behind the arc, I got to watch as he led his squad to a 4-2 victory over Rudy Gay’s squad from the perimeter with a plethora of long-range kill shots.
SLAM: Tell me about your gaming experience with Call of Duty.
Rudy Gay: Call of Duty is basically what we do. Me and my teammates, we all get online and we play together. We always talk about who gets the most kills and who gets killed the most. It’s something that we’ve been doing for a little while.
Jason Terry: I haven’t really engaged with any of my teammates, but this is an everyday thing for me. This became routine, I always like to get at least an hour or two in at night or after shoot around on game days.
SLAM: Rudy, of the guys on your team, who would you say is the best COD player?
SLAM: Is there anything about these new maps that you’re excited about?
JT: Just witnessed a couple of them, and uh, they’re nice. Very nice. Great artwork, nice graphics, even better hiding places. As a Call of Duty fan, I can honestly say that I’m proud and it will be a nice challenge.
RG: I was playing a little bit and, you know, it’s just crazy. The graphics are amazing and I think people are going to love it. It’s definitely something new.
SLAM: The Grizzlies just picked up Josh Selby in the Draft. How much do you and the team know about him?
RG: He’s from Baltimore, my hometown so I’ve been knowing about him for a while. He has game, so we lucked up getting him where we did.
SLAM: Jet, as we move on to hoops, you guys didn’t pick up anyone in the Draft, but you brought in Rudy Fernandez, where do you see him fitting in?
JT: You never know. We’re still a team trying to put it back together. We have a lot of free agents that we have to bring back. Obviously, one is Tyson Chandler for what he meant to us in our title run. JJ Barea is another key part to our team and DeShawn Stevenson, so we’re looking at three to four guys that we need to bring back—then we’ll see where we can add Fernandez.
SLAM: For you guys, Caron was gone for a large part of the season. How do you guys improve when he rejoins to the team?
JT: With Caron, we were one of the top two, three teams in the League. When he got hurt, it was tough for us, but we were able to make due with what we had. If he comes back next year, it’s only going to enhance what we’ve already built.
SLAM: Rudy the Grizzlies went down in the second round this year with you injured, what will the team be like with your return?
RG: We should be a lot better. I can add some things we didn’t have. You know, it’s going to be fun to get back with the team because I haven’t had that camaraderie in so long.
SLAM: How’s the shoulder doing?
RG: It’s getting there. It’s still not 100 percent. It’s a long process and I’m taking the proper procedures to make sure that I get back fully healthy.
SLAM: With next season up in the air due to a potential lockout, can you see your teams getting together and working out without coaches?
JT: Yeah, we have some things worked out already if the season doesn’t start on time. But then again, we want basketball and I think the owners do to. So collectively as a group, we all just have to sit down and make an agreement so we can play this great game that we love.
RG: We have to. We want to stay together and build on what we did last year. Of course, we need that camaraderie. A lot of guys will come back and, if we do have this lockout, a lot of guy’s [condition] won’t be like it should, guys will be out of shape and we don’t want that.
JT: I’m very optimistic, and I really don’t see this lockout lasting very long. If there is a lockout for an extended period of time, then, obviously, guys will get together.