Doing it D Wright Way
SLAM catches up with Golden State Warrior Dorell Wright.
SLAM: Last year, you became one of the top three-point shooters in the League. Speak a little on what led you to excel in that area?
DW: Man, I’ve always been in the gym, going back to my high school and working with my high school coach. We got a lot of reps done. He was a great shooter when he played so he was able to coach me on the fundamentals and things I needed to tweak. So we put up a lot of shots and when the game started it was just like riding a bike because of the repetitions. So when you practice something a thousand times, at some point you are going to get it. So that’s all it was. I was working out in the summer time and continued to shoot a lot of jumpers, and it started to work.
SLAM: You’re improving in a variety of areas. What would you say is the ideal game you want to posses once you’ve reached that peak?
DW: I want to be an all-around player. I don’t just want to be a three-point shooter. I really don’t think that next year I’ll be leading the NBA in threes. I probably won’t make as many threes just because I know that guys are going to be closer and I’m not going to get that many open looks. I want to be an all-around player. I now want to work on my mid-range game – get that shot better. I want to be a first or second team defensive player. I want to be an all-around player, not just a shooter. I want to be able to put the ball on the floor, make plays for my teammates and also have other options.
SLAM: What would you say was the ultimate factor in you having career-high stats last season?
DW: The number one thing is opportunity. I had the opportunity to play every minute, every night. My coach gave me the confidence, the chance to go out there to be successful. With him doing that, I had to take advantage of my opportunity. Every night I played hard. I always knew how to play. My confidence was at an all-time high. I just went out there every night and left it all out on the floor – tried to do the best for my team to get a win and everything else took care of itself.
SLAM: You guys have a new ownership and now a new head coach in Mark Jackson. Where do you see this team headed?
DW: I think we have a bright future. We’re young. We got like eight or nine guys coming back. The draftees of this year will definitely be good pieces to help us out. Coach Jackson, they’re talking about how he’s never been a coach, but he played 17 years at a very high level as a point guard. I think he is going to do a very great job for us and he is going to get us to where we need to be. He’s going to be a great leader for us and I’m looking forward to playing for him.
SLAM: How do you see this team performing next season? Are the playoffs a possibility?
DW: That’s our number one goal. We want to let people know that’s our main goal. I think we can because of the style of basketball but I know that coach Jackson will emphasize defensive a lot more. I think we have the talent to get there, and we have the players to get there. All we have to do is put it together with coach Jackson’s game plan and compete every night. Don’t take days off and built from there. We’re still an exciting team. We have guys that can score in bunches but we can score 110 points and give up 111, so we have to go out there and lock up on defense. We got the talent. The chemistry is there. We’re comfortable with each other. We just gotta put it together. The sky is the limit.
SLAM: We’re in the middle of a lockout right now. Do you expect to play in the NBA this upcoming season?
DW: We just gotta wait for the right deal. We gotta be patient. I’m pretty sure the players and the owners will come up with a good agreement. I’m pretty sure basketball will be on its way soon. I’m not really worried about it right now, just hoping for the best for both sides to get a good deal.
SLAM: Have you had a chance to speak with coach Jackson since he got hired, and if so, what’s the feeling you have gotten from him so far?
DW: Yeah, two weeks before the lockout we had a chance to rap. We had lunch and we talked about the team and the style of play. We still want to get up and down, and like I said, he really wants to emphasize defense. That’s important. Sometimes we’re going to get wins off our defensive game. He’s played for some great coaches, so I know he’s going to have some great sets in there. If he goes to the Pat Riley system, I think I’ll be very comfortable because I already know it. I’m really looking forward to it. We’re going to have a lot of fun. We’re going to get wins. Sometimes it’s going to look ugly but we’re gonna get it done.
SLAM: Is there any position or areas where the Warriors can use some players?
DW: Of course. Every year you need to improve. With Reggie Williams going overseas, we’re going to need some more depth coming off the bench. We just need all areas. I think the new kids we just drafted are going to be able to step right in and contribute. Coach and his staff are doing a good job showing people he’s for the team and showing the Bay Area that we’re serious about this team and we’re going in the right direction. I think they are going to get the right personnel to help the Golden State Warriors.
SLAM: In the event that the season doesn’t start on time, are you looking at overseas options?
DW: Yeah, my agent is definitely on the phone trying to see different deals that are going to be right for me and my family. It kind of hurt me when they took off the Chinese league because I was just over there doing a tour for PEAK. It really looked interesting. I now gotta look towards Europe and if a deal comes around then it’s definitely going to be one of my options.