as told to Adam Figman

When I came here to Dallas, I just felt right at home. It felt like a place that I belong, like I should be here, and I’m making the most of my opportunity.

I signed a non-guaranteed deal, a camp invite, and it went from a camp invite to eventually making the team. But the crazy thing is, they already had 15 players signed, so they basically paid somebody off so they could add me on the team. It’s been a crazy process for me, from making the team and not being in the rotation to being in the rotation then not being in the rotation—it’s been an up and down roller-coaster, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The aspiration is going to the Playoffs and going far, so this is a very exciting process for me.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. In Detroit, my expectations were pretty high, and things just didn’t work out. I felt like I was at the lowest point in my career. And now, nine years in and in my 10th season, not knowing where I’m gonna be—back in 2009 I signed on the first day of free agency, and then now, I signed a non-guaranteed not knowing what’s going to happen, uncertain about my future. But I took it day by day and just kept working, kept grinding, and ended up making the team.

The Detroit experience helped me out a lot. We were a losing team, and it was just frustrating not being able to help. So I think being in Detroit helped me out so much, so when the uncertainties come up, I’m prepared for it. I’ve been professional, I’ve been working and only worried about the things I can control so when my name is called I can make the most out of the opportunity.

As a team, we’ve got to get everybody healthy—that’s first and foremost. We’ve got a team loaded with veterans and guys that have won Championships before and been around the NBA a long time. Plus we’ve got a group of guys that really care for one another, so we’ve just got to stick together and take it a game at a time. But this is a talented team that’s deep. With adding Amar’e to the mix and picking up Rondo late, that’s our strength: our depth. I think it’s going to pay dividends for us in the Playoffs. One night it could be Dirk, the next night it could be Richard Jefferson or myself—there are so many weapons, and I think we’re gonna get it together and make a run.

Being where I started, it came from just a workout to a camp invite; from a camp invite to making the team; from making the team to being a rotational guy. To be a part of something special, that would mean the world to me. I got a championship in high school, got a championship in college. A Championship in the NBA would just be perfect. It would mean everything.