Foye discusses return to Minnesota
In my story today on the Washington Wizardwolves, I touched on the mixed emotions that Randy Foye will be feeling when he hits the Target Center as an opposing player for the first time. Foye had a lot to say about tonight's game and how he had hoped to stay in Minnesota, even after Kevin McHale was dismissed last June.
"I had a great relationship with all the guys out there. Al [Jefferson], Kevin Love, Ryan Gomes, [Corey Brewer]. All of us, we all had a really strong bond," Foye said. "I felt last year, toward the middle of December on, our bond grew even stronger and I felt as though this year, we was going to take a big step, but they made changes and I'm here now."
Foye started feeling uneasy when David Kahn refused to meet with him after taking over general manager, but he still was startled to get the call from agent and Ernie Grunfeld that he was headed to Washington in a multiplayer deal.
"When the change came, it was a shock. But it was a new beginning for me," he said. "I felt as though I got to take advantage of this. This is an opportunity for me to make it into the playoffs. Doing well on this team. When they made the move, it was no looking back."
The trade has yet to yield major results for either team, with Mike Miller missing 18 games because of injuries to his left shoulder and right calf and the arrival of Earl Boykins and Nick Young's progressing both combining to diminish Foye's minutes until he was inserted in the starting lineup two games ago. The Timberwolves traded Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila and the fifth pick, Ricky Rubio, stayed in Spain, so the only player remaining in Minnesota is Oleksiy Pecherov.
The Timberwolves were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league, but I asked Foye if he was surprised that the Wizards are only a few games better in the standings. Foye said the Timberwolves are struggling because of youth and injuries, but he doesn't expect the Wizards to remain among the dregs of the Eastern Conference.
"Ours is a little different. Ours is chemistry," Foye said. "It's early. I think our team is a team that in the middle of the year is going to knock a lot of games off. I'm not saying they can't knock games off. I'm just saying that they are a little bit younger and I know the situation when you're on a young team. Like, there is no panic here. It's a lot of veterans and they understand the situation. Coach [Saunders] understands the situation. He's been there before and he's won big games before. Toward the middle, we're going to win a lot of games. For them, they just got to keep learning. I know where they are at."
Foye said he won't try to go overboard to prove a point tonight. "I want to play well, but I want everyone to play well. The biggest thing for us, is no matter what, the team has to win. It ain't about me. As long as we win, I'm going to be happy."
December 26, 2009; 1:31 PM ET
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