Q+A: Alonzo Gee
The hustle swingman has been a great surprise for the rebuilding Cavs.
by Rachelle Jean-Louis / @RJL24
The 24-year-old from Florida took a pretty interesting route to Cleveland. After playing for the University of Alabama, Zo went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft. The Austin Toros of the D-League signed him, and Gee went on to average 21 points and 6.6 rebounds. The 6-6 forward then bounced from the Wizards to the Spurs and back to the Toros, where he won D-League Rookie of the Year. After the Spurs (again), the Cavaliers’ camp was the next stop.
Coach Scott has taken it upon himself to mentor and instill confidence in Alonzo just like he mentored Daniel Gibson last season and Tyson Chandler while with the Hornets. Both Gibson and Chandler turned around their careers for the better. Judging by his career-high 20 points in last Friday’s game against Orlando, Zo is next up. Both Scott and Gee took some time to talk with me about Gee’s role on the team. Needless to say, Zo finally found a home in Cleveland. This time, it looks like he’s going to stick.
SLAM: Coach, you co-signed Alonzo early in the season. What have you seen in him as he develops?
Byron Scott: Just the fact that he’s really worked on his game this summer. We talked a lot about his shot and his footwork. He’s worked on his outside shot a lot this summer. The one gift that he has is that he’s athletic and he plays hard, so it’s not that hard to work with a kid like that. He wants to be good, so just putting a lot of work on his shot and his footwork has done a world of good. He’s come back with a lot of confidence.
SLAM: You’ve had players like Daniel Gibson, Tyson Chandler, and this is the third player that you’ve taken under your wing. It’s clear that you see potential. He’s bounced around a few teams in the past, so what do you see happening with Zo as far as long-term with the Cavs?
BS: Well, long-term wise, none of us can predict the future and what’s gonna happen, not just five years from now but even next year. But, he is a guy that I like a lot—a guy that I’ve talked to with my GM about, who likes him as well. He’s a guy that we feel is going to be around for a while. We’d like to keep him in a Cavs uniform for as long as possible.
SLAM: Alonzo, how does it feel now playing versus a few months ago during the lockout?
Alonzo Gee: I feel good. I went overseas and played for a couple months in Poland, so I feel good to be back playing in the United States.
SLAM: What do you think is the biggest difference from playing for other teams?
AG: I’d probably say just having a good relationship with the coaches. Just being with this team a long time. I feel like I’ve been with this team longer than every other team.
SLAM: Describe how Coach Scott’s guidance has affected you. Is there any pressure to perform?
AG: No pressure at all. Just to have him help me out a lot, that helps out my confidence. You want that from a coach, so that’s good.
SLAM: What’s the support like back home?
AG: Very, very good! My family’s very happy for me. They’re very excited, very proud of me. They want me to keep achieving my goals.
SLAM: So when you go home, Orlando, Miami area, how many tickets do you use?
AG: [Laughs] About 20, 25.
SLAM: What skills do you need to work on?
AG: Just being a better player overall, being consistent on the floor. That’s pretty much it, being more consistent with my shot.
SLAM: Describe your mentality on the court versus off the court.
AG: [Laughs] On the court, I’m vicious. Off the court, I’m laid-back and very chill.
SLAM: What advice do you have for student-athletes?
AG: Just keep working hard. Don’t let anybody say you can’t do something.
SLAM: Favorite hobbies and music?
AG: I like to watch movies—listen to rap and hip-hop.
SLAM: Who’s your favorite rapper?
AG: [Laughs] That’s a touchy subject right there. [Pauses] I’m gonna say Lil Wayne though.
SLAM: What do you want your legacy to be with the Cavs?
AG: That I was a hard worker!