Brendan Haywood Speaks
And it was what you would have expected: funny, not exactly contrite, optimistic about the future (in words, anyhow), funny, really funny, with a twinge of realism mixed in somewhere. But everyone was left laughing, that's for sure.
Headline, concerning the fighting with Etan:
"Three fights, man, that's a lot for two guys huh?" he said. "That's exactly what I told somebody, Ali and Frazier only fought three times, that's got to be the end for me and Etan. I think at the end of the day we both have mutual respect...and I think we realize at the end of the day we're embarrassing ourselves, our team and our family every time we go out there and act silly. You can always talk something out before you fight, you can't just get mad and try to fight somebody. He's a peace activist, he can't do that anyway."
On his conversation with Eddie Jordan: "We had some things we had to talk about, we talked about it, and that's the end of it. I never came out and said I didn't want to return. There have been a lot of articles written, but there has never been a direct quote where I came out and said I didn't want to return....If you didn't get it from me, it's not the truth. I never came out and said I wanted to be traded. I'm happy to be here and we're going to see what goes on this season."
Wait, the media was wrong? "I was hoping to be in the best possible situation for Brendan Haywood, whether that was here or somewhere else I didn't know, but I didn't go to the media and ask for a trade. If you have a team source or anybody else that said I did that and it didn't come from me, that's not the truth."
On his relationship with Etan: "I haven't talked to him this summer," Haywood said. "At the end of the day, we know this is a business, and the things that happened last year can't happen again this year. You can't just get mad and every time you're mad, want to fight somebody, that makes us both look like idiots....I'm not the type of person that's going to start a fight. We'll get along, and hopefully he'll get along with me....I never started anything. I don't really know, but at the end of the day I think it became a situation where over time tension grew and everything came to a boil over and over again."
On who paid for that lunch with Eddie: "Of course he did," Haywood said. "I'm cheap. He can put it on the company card."
As for the content of their discussion, Haywood wouldn't discuss it, but he said Jordan "explained himself. I listened to him and we're going to go on from there. It makes me feel a little bit better. I had a lot of questions heading into the season about how things would be. I didn't know what to expect, but hopefully I can expect nothing but positive things....I don't want any tension with my coaches, I don't want to be known as a player who has a problem with coaches. I've never been known as a player who had problems with coaches. I want this thing to work, and whatever it takes, I'm willing to do it. I don't think we really had that big of an issue last year; I just think toward the end of the year we had different views about playing time."
So Brendan basically gets an A+++ for day one. And Etan Thomas? He was excused from media day to attend to a personal matter.
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