(Big C ) So, who is Ronny Turiaf? He's the passionate, hustle man, Mr. “I can do it all” Ronny Turiaf. Now that he's a Knick I wanted to know more so I set out on a mission to get more. This week I ended up landing a great interview with Ronny Turiaf and learned many interesting facts about his life and his view of the game.
To share my experience with you, here's my interview with Mr Ronny Turiaf:
The Early Years
FromtheBaseline.com: Growing up in France, how did you get introduced to the game of basketball?
Turiaf: I got introduced to basketball by the older guys in my projects when Michael Jordan was playing in the Finals vs the Utah Jazz. They used to invite us "the young fellas" to watch the games. It was somewhat of a reunion for my friends. My second introduction to basketball was when my dad drove me to a basketball game when I barely knew how to play basketball. The rest is history.
FromtheBaseline.com: At what age did you start playing basketball? When you think of your early experiences with basketball, did you ever imagine you would make it to the NBA?
Turiaf: I was 14 when I first started playing basketball. I never fathomed that I would one day play in the NBA. I always thought I would play professionally in Europe.
FromtheBaseline.com: As a child who was your favorite player?
Turiaf: Tim Duncan
FromtheBaseline.com: Describe your experience coming to the U.S for the first time and playing for Gonzaga University?
Turiaf: That was close to the best time of my life. I made great friends, we are a family. The Assistant Coach Tommy Lloyd is like a second dad to me.
FromtheBaseline.com: In college you were a big time scorer and of rebounder, how does it feel to be one of the best players to come out of Gonzaga?
Turiaf: I feel a tremendous amount of pride for being considered one of the Gonzaga greats. Anytime you are mentioned next to John Stockton or Frank Burgess it is special.
FromtheBaseline.com: On draft night you got drafted 37th. Did you ever feel you would not be drafted?
Turiaf: No I didn't.
Being in the NBA
FromtheBaseline.com: How did it feel when you finally got drafted to the Lakers?
Turiaf: It felt great! I knew about this possibility around the 19th pick. Great franchise and great history. I was thrilled to be a part of it.
FromtheBaseline.com: In college you were a big time scorer, yet in the NBA you are known for playing hard nose defense. Is there reason you focused more on playing defense rather than scoring?
Turiaf: I do as I'm told. If you want to succeed in this business you have to adapt to any situation thrown at you. I feel like I've done that so far. Trust me, I know how to put the ball in the basket.
FromtheBaseline.com: Describe Phil Jackson as a coach?
Turiaf: He is a zen master. I will be forever thankful to Coach Jackson for giving me a chance to succeed in this league and for the support he gave me throughout the toughest time of my life.
FromtheBaseline.com: How did it feel leaving the Lakers and going to the Warriors?
Turiaf: It was a business decision for both sides. Situations happen and you have to make the best of it.
FromtheBaseline.com: Describe your relationship with Donnie Nelson.
Turiaf: I'm very happy to have experienced playing for Coach Nelson. He put the ball in my hands to create stuff for others. It was fun.
FromtheBaseline.com: What can you say about Stephen Curry?
Turiaf: Greatness in the making. Watch out for my "Rook" (He hasn't played 82 games yet). He has everything it takes to be one of the greatest. He has the "IT" factor.
FromtheBaseline.com: What are you going to miss the most about playing on the Warriors and life in California?
Turiaf: My house, my habits, the weather, the fans (they were great to me), and most of all being able to go watch my little sister's high school and AAU games.
FromtheBaseline.com: How did you feel when you found out you were being traded to the Knicks?
Turiaf: It felt great becoming a part of this storied franchise that has been waiting for success.
FromtheBaseline.com: In the past the Knicks have had big men that were known for their defense like Charles Oakley, Larry Johnson, and Patrick Ewing. What kind of defensive intensity do you plan to bring to the Knicks?
Turiaf: I guess you will have to tell me.
FromtheBaseline.com: How do you feel playing next to Amar’e Stoudemire?
Turiaf: I feel great about it. I can alleviate him from having to play the big guys and big bodies. I feel like we can be very complimentary to each other and can't wait to go to battle with him.
FromtheBaseline.com: What can you tell about the other Knicks players that were part of the trade to the Knicks Anthony Randolph and Azubike?
Turiaf: You will be surprised on what they can bring to the table. Expect greatness out of them.
FromtheBaseline.com: What should Knicks fans expect from you this season?
Turiaf: Success, excitement and hard work.
FromtheBaseline.com: You are a player that plays with a lot of energy. Where do you get that energy from?
Turiaf: I don't know how to answer that question. I guess it must be the Caribbean way in me.
FromtheBaseline.com: Who was the toughest opponent you had to play against?
Turiaf: Dwight Howard, Yao Ming, the BIG SHAQ DIESEL, Pau Gasol.....
FromtheBaseline.com: Is it true that you only can play 15-20 minutes?
Turiaf: No, this statement is not true.
FromtheBaseline.com: You are known to be a good locker room guy and a guy that gets the players pumped up, do you plan on bring the same intensity to New York?
Turiaf: I plan on bringing myself to New York. I only know one thing, I play hard, have fun and enjoy myself.
Off the Court
FromtheBaseline.com: Now that we have talked a lot about basketball let’s talk about your life off the court. What types of music do you listen to? Who are you currently into? Who is your favorite artist?
Turiaf: Reggae music all day, everyday. Right now I’m bumping Guerilla Warfare by Capleton. Lieutenant and Celcius artists from Martinique and French rappers La Fouine and Booba... y'all dont know nothing about that...
FromtheBaseline.com: Favorite movie?
Turiaf: Malcom X. I had a chance to go to dinner with Spike Lee and tell him how much I enjoyed this movie and how it marked my family.
FromtheBaseline.com: Are you into video games? If so, what game(s) do you play?
Turiaf: Call of Duty. My two friends bdiddy and RCS are my sidekicks on there...Gotta love online video games.
FromtheBaseline.com: Did you really invite Knicks fans to eat with you for lunch on twitter? What’s your favorite food?
Turiaf: Yes I did invite them to lunch unfortunately no one responded to me so i ate lunch by myself. It's all good. One Twitter fan told me New York Knicks fans are on their hustle during the day. I guess I'll try dinner next time. Hahahahaha.
My favorite food is Mexican, oh yeah...but chicken, rice and cheese with asparagus and cashews is my favorite dish.
FromtheBaseline.com: And finally, one word that best describes you?
I would like to thank Ronny Turiaf for taking the time out on his busy schedule to sit down for an interview with From the Baseline.com. We look forward to Turiaf bringing his energy and leadership to the Knicks.
For more information on Ronny Turiaf go to his website http://www.ronnyturiaf21.org/