At the Houston Rockets Media Day Nene Hilario took to the podium and clearly couldn’t contain his exuberance about landing in H-Town.
Grinning from ear to ear Nene Hilario response to joining the Houston Rockets was “I feel like a little kid at his first day of school.”
Throughout the interview Nene maintained his smile even moments where he vacillated to serious answers the smile would creep back onto his face.
Some of the high points from his interview were as follows:
Familiarity with players and coaches:
- Has known D’Antoni a long time, and looks forward to playing for him.
- Loves D’Antoni’s philosophy, especially the offense
- Played with Prigioni on National Team
- Corey Brewer and he played on the Nuggets together
- Calls Trevor Ariza a good friend
- Played for many of the coaches prior including Bzdelik in his first season
- He played for Bzdelik in his first year and says he learned so much from him and is excited to work with him again.
- Referred to James Harden as top player in the league.
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Chemistry of new roster is evident:
- Expectations: high, says how they practice and treat each other will build confidence allowing the team to succeed.
- Asked if he looks forward to working with Capela he responded “of course”.
- Calls the atmosphere in camp very healthy.
- New team, new players, new franchise, new look which is all adding up to his excitement.
- Speaks to six years ago when the team tried to sign him and says he wanted to come to Houston desperately.
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How he fits the team:
- Nene Hilario views his role: doesn’t like to talk about himself but says he’s a team guy who will use his assets to help young guys, James Harden and others excel.
- Will give his best effort to make things possible for the team to win.
- Made assembled group laugh when he said don’t look at my age, I can still do my damage. Says his energy and knowledge of game will help the team.
- Made it clear as much as he can say everything the assembled media want to hear ultimately actions are what counts.
- Repeatedly referred to the process needing to be approached on a a day by day basis.
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Why he chose Houston:
- Like others before him Nene cited James Harden as the best player in the NBA
- Furthermore, Hilario says the team is there to support Harden and to help him reach his goals.
- Notably the above statement seemed to indicate Harden has made it known he wants to win MVP.
- Based on comments made by several players regarding Harden’s organized mini camps this offseason , it definitely seems like the gauntlet has been thrown down to the team to excel.
SCS video diary series will offer insight from Media Day, Training Camp as well as bring you tidbits to allow you to become more familiar with new players.