If that's not the face of passion and intensity, then I don't know what is!
Since WTLC is fully credentialed for the NBA Finals, we now get the privilege of interviewing players in person. During today's practice I sat down with Ronny Turiaf, a quality backup bigman for the Miami Heat. He hasn't seen time so far this series, but he was a key contributor during the regular season. He agreed to answer a few of my questions about Thunder players, his lack of playing time, and his presence as the NBA's greatest bench cheerleader.
WTLC: You've been widely known as a high-energy player in the NBA, and we kinda saw that a little bit from Nick Collison last night. He was playing with a lot of energy, he made a few mistakes, he was aggressive going to the paint. Do you think he kinda took a page out of your book or did you see any of his game in your game? Or do you think he's a totally different player?
Ronny Turiaf: *Shakes Head* Nick Collison is a proven player that has had success all over the course of the years. He played with energy. And I don't think he voided it [sic] to get anything from my book. He has his own book and he's very successful. Any team in the NBA would like to have a player like him and his rank.
WTLC: When you played for the Warriors and Knicks, you kinda had more time on the floor then you do now. With guaranteed time every night. I'm kinda wondering, is it more important for you to get time or do you like being a part of a championship team?
RT: It's always better to be a part of a championship team. Obviously, you want the best of both worlds. You want to have time and go for a championship team. This is a team that evolves and that was already established before I got there. I'm very happy to be part of this Championship run. Whatever happens with us, it was fun, I enjoyed it, and I'm going to enjoy my time here.
WTLC: You're widely known as a really good shot blocker. You averaged 1.35 shot blocks per game in your career. But in terms of blocks per game, Ibaka is the best shot blocker this season. What do you think he does to get those extra blocks per game?
RT: He has great timing. He has a very good quick ability to jump off the floor and he definitely had a tremendous season so far.
WTLC: Last question. You're known as one of the league's most energetic bench players. You sit on your bench and really cheer for your team. Are you normally that excited, or do you just do it to kinda support your team?
RT: Uh, I'm always excited. I'm either excited or not excited. So whenever I play...I escaped death one time. And basketball was almost taken away from me, so to be able to live my life and be able to play basketball is definitely fun. I enjoy my time out there, and sometimes I can't control myself.
If you have any questions that you'd like us to ask of a Thunder or Heat player, comment them below, send them to TaoNakamora@gmail.com, or tweet them @WTLC. Keep in mind that the lower in the pecking order they are, the more likely we are to be able to ask a question.