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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 5/1

May 2, 2015
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With the NBA, it’s first draft, then free agency. With the NFL, it’s free agency, then draft. Do you have a preference?
Yeah, I think they get it right, to be honest. I, but there have been proposals. I know of one current proposal that’s sitting in front of the league by another team that would change our schedule around a great deal, and free agency would come and the draft would come after that.

Can you comment on reports that Ante Tomic has signed a deal to stay with Barcelona?
I really, I still can’t. We’re trying to find out the details of it, was there an offer, is the contract signed. You know, we’ve had some conversations with Ante’s American-based agent, and I’ll just leave it at that.

You know, I, for the time being, we’ve got a pretty good center, and Derrick [Favors] has played a lot of minutes as the “five.” We’re pinching ourselves a little bit as far as the level of talent we have at the big man positions, and Tibor Pleiss, draft picks, money — I think, you know, we’ll, while we have great respect for Ante and his talents, we have a few contingencies built in.

What questions did you have to start the year that you feel like you have answers to now, that are surprising answers to you?
So, I think, clearly from Day One, we wanted to create a defensive identity, and early in the season, that was lacking. Now, we came out during the preseason and we showed some signs, but the nature of our schedule and our inexperience and lack of familiarity in November, that all showed. And we were awful defensively, and we had to own that.

And I felt like the work that we put in and some of the players that we had, with their physical tools, that we could get better defensively. I was surprised to the degree and the speed that that took hold.

I don’t think even Quin [Snyder] and I — we had a lotta discussions, you know, about what we wanted to do, where we wanted to move the group, and the emphasis on that. I don’t think either one of us would have anticipated that the defense takes hold.

And so, I think you, that coupled with some individual development — there were some guys that developed, I think, beyond even the most trained eye in basketball would’ve expected. A lot of Gordon [Hayward] and Derrick’s development, frankly, got swept under the rug ’cause Rudy [Gobert] developed in such a big way.

Mayweather or Pacquiao?
Oh, man. I can’t wait for tomorrow. Think about it. Kentucky Derby and Mayweather-Pacquiao and Spurs-Clippers. Tomorrow’s gonna be a great day for the average sports fan.

I, you know, look, [Manny] Pacquiao, his ability to throw punches. I’m interested to see, you know, [Floyd] Mayweather and, you know, his jab and his overhand right, is, if he’s able to out-point Pacquiao with Pacquiao’s ability just to throw a volume of punches.

And as you can tell, I’m a little bit of a fight fan. And I think Pacquiao’s been susceptible to overhand rights, and Mayweather’s overhand right is very significant. So, it, to me, it’s gonna be a great night and as usual, I’ll stay away from predictions. And, but I’m really going to enjoy watching the fight.

When did you turn into Bert Sugar? That was impressive.

Is Bert Sugar a ba–a boxing expert? Is that the older guy? …

Some friends of mine that I grew up with, their dad was a boxing trainer down the street. Jerry and Ricky Stoner. And they were both, they, I think they got to top ten in the world in their weight classification.

And so, the Stoner family was right down the street, and I put on a pair of gloves enough to know that I wouldn’t be very good and it could be the most lonely place in the world. And, but, you know, since then, I’ve always kind of had a few guys I like to follow in boxing. (1280)

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