Chris Duhon started nine games and appeared in 46 towards averages of 2.9 points and 2.9 assists on 36.3 percent on three-pointers in the regular season.
With regular point guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake out injured, Duhon played the entire second half in L.A.’s Game 4 season-ending loss (43 minutes total), scoring 11 points and dishing out a team-high seven assists.
Below is a summary of his exit interview:
Duhon: “This is probably the craziest year I’ve been apart of. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, with the talent, the expectations we had. We definitely had a team that was capable of winning a championship, we just never had a chance to put it together. It’s tough, and it’s kind of disappointing – coming into training camp, we felt that. We felt like we had an opportunity, and it just never came together.”
- Why wasn’t the team’s identity established? “Injuries … two coaches in one season … no training camp (with the coach) … injuries … injuries again.”
- Duhon said that Mike D’Antoni never really had a chance to put in his system, lacking the chance for an offseason to establish the principles, let alone a training camp. He played for D’Antoni in New York, and spent a whole offseason learning that system. He added that the team spent the entire training camp trying to learn the Princeton offense, then didn’t run anything for four games under Bernie Bickerstaff, then just didn’t have a real chance to get what D’Antoni wanted to do since they already had the pressure of winning games. That made it very difficult.
- On what he’ll take away from playing with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol: “They love this game. They do whatever it takes for them to be great. Kobe watches film at halftime, of his shots, turnovers, defensive plays and things he can do better in the second half. Steve Nash is consistently in the weight room trying to get his body right, first one here, last one to leave. It’s amazing how you see these guys come to work every day. That’s why they’re the best. Kobe’s going to be one of the best players ever. Nash is going to be one of the best point guards, and (that is for) a reason.”