Midway through the season, the Cavs made a trade deadline deal for Antawn Jamison. Back then, with LeBron James’ impending free agency on the horizon, the Cavs were hoping Jamison would be the missing piece to the championship puzzle. Unfortunately that role didn’t fit the former Tar Heel and things didn’t work out as expected. Flash forward to this season and Jamison has a new role with the Cavs. As the team enters a new era, the Kyrie Irving era, Jamison has taken on the role of leader and captain. It’s a role he is very comfortable in and one that he held for a number of years in Washington. Nobody knows how long Jamison will stay in Cleveland, after all he is once again a likely trade candidate with his expiring contract, but he has had an enormous impact on this young Cavs team already, especially Irving. Not to mention, at 35-years-old, he has shown that he still has some gas left in the tank as he is the team’s second leading scorer behind the team’s prized rookie.
Antawn Jamison joined Fox Sports Radio with Mark “Munch” Bishop to talk about feeling the rigors of this condensed schedule, his funky shot, if the trade rumors are something that bother him, and what he thinks of the comments LeBron James made last week prior to the Heat game.
On feeling the rigors of this condensed schedule:
“You do. During the course of the longevity of what I’ve been doing for a long time I mean you can’t move as swiftly as you used to and nights like tonight when you have a day in between games you definitely don’t find yourself out moving around a lot more easier than you used to do but I’m blessed to be doing it for such a long time. I’m grateful to just get this opportunity and still be doing it and being productive at this level. Sometimes you do feel the body not responding the way it used to respond back in the days.”
On his funky shot:
“No it’s just something that came natural. In high school I was always the tallest guy and I didn’t have to use it then. When I got to college I realized guys were a little taller than I was and I wasn’t that good of a perimeter offensive player so it just came natural. It’s something that I never quite worked on, something that I used my instincts, was able to take advantage of it and likewise in the NBA I was able to kind of hone it as far as being able to improve my offensive skills farther away from the basket and incorporate the floater and like you said sometimes the shots are coming from the side of my hip or not even looking at the rim. Can’t quite say where I learned it from, I’m not in a gym practicing it for four or five hours throughout the week but it’s something that came natural and something that has definitely made me successful. It might not look pretty but as long as the ball goes into the basket, I’m definitely happy it’s going into the basket.”
If his name being in trade rumors is a distraction:
“I don’t think about it. You know there’s so many scenarios that play out and it seems like almost every year my name is brought up in trade rumors. I like playing for the Cavaliers, it’s a great organization and even though this is a rebuilding stage, this organization is definitely going in the right direction. Great group of guys to play with, great team chemistry, and even Kyrie, even though he is a Dukie, I can actually say I don’t have a problem playing with him. Coach Scott, this guy is unbelievable.
I watched him when I was a kid, him and the Showtime Lakers with Magic and those guys and for me to be 14 years into the league and still learning so much about the game from him and his coaching staff is unbelievable. Even though we are not where we want to be at and we’re getting there, I really enjoy coming to work every day, learning from the coaches, how to be a professional, and I’m having fun playing the game. For me to be playing this game for such a long time and still having fun, I can’t complain at all about what I’m doing.”
On the comments LeBron made prior to the Heat game last week:
“I didn’t expect to hear them. I know LeBron pretty well and (he is a) great guy, definitely in my eyes in this era, he’s probably the best basketball player now. Things took place when he made the decision to go down to Miami and it was something that we didn’t expect, but it did happen. We all know this is home for him, this is where he was raised, and he knows just as much about Cleveland sports as anybody. Didn’t quite expect to hear those comments once he came here but sports in general is such a crazy thing and that’s one situation I wouldn’t rule out and you never know.
What happens if he wins the next few championships? Does he come back home and try to turn things back around here? Knowing the type of guy, when he says things like that he’s pretty genuine about it. It’s just caught me off guard that those comments would come out but you just never know. I say it caught me off guard not because of him actually saying coming back here but just knowing that it’s two or three years down the road and normally those things don’t come out. It’s one of those things where Miami is playing great basketball right now, the best basketball of probably anybody right now, they’re the favorite to win it and wouldn’t do anything to rock the boat or anything like that with his teammates and organization down there.”