It was media day in Auburn Hills yesterday, which allowed me the chance to talk to some of the Pistons about their plans and expectations this year (and beyond). From my latest from HOOPSWORLD (updated link):
"I love to have the ball in my hand," said Stuckey. "I love to be able to create for my teammates and get them in a position to score, so I think in the long run I probably see myself as being a point guard down the road. And I think I’m blessed to be in this situation to be able to learn from Chauncey and Rip."
As his team’s primary scorer in college, Stuckey has been labeled by many as a shooting guard. Billups sees a bit of himself in Stuckey and is eager to help the rookie develop into bona fide point guard.
"You know, when I came in the league, people saying I was a two guard, which is the same thing they’re kind of saying about him," said Billups. "So, he’s really in a privileged situation to be able to be on a team like ours, playing behind me, [who’s] going to teach him everything I know."
The Billups quote was the result of a question (not mine) answered in front of a whole scrum of reporters, but Stuckey's quote came from a conversation between just the two of us. I'm glad I asked it, because everything I'd read up to this point indicated that Stuckey was a shooting guard who could also play a little bit of point, not that he (and his teammates) actually viewed himself as a point guard who just happens to be able to score. One myth dispelled and it's not even training camp; not a bad start to the season.
I didn't have room to get this into my HOOPSWORLD article, but I asked Stuckey about whether he felt any pressure wearing No. 3. I thought he handled the question well:
I really don’t see it as pressure. I mean, No. 3 has always been my favorite number. You know I always had it in high school, college, now I have it here. It’s just a number I always liked. And you know, I know Ben Wallace had it and he was a really good player when he was here, [but] I really don’t try to look at it in that situation. A number is just a number. A number really doesn’t make a player, a player makes a player.
He downplayed the significance, paid homage to the past and alluded that he'd pave his own legacy. The kid's polished, I tell you.
Pistons: Expectations Remain Sky-High [HOOPSWORLD]