Sacramento Kings' point guard and former LA Clipper Darren Collison talks to Time Out about the upcoming China NBA games in Beijing, bring basketball to China and being the fastest player in the NBA
What were the main reasons for choosing to move to the Sacramento Kings?
The Kings were the most aggresive team that were interested in me and you always want to play for a team that shows that much interest. I see the Kings as a really exciting up-and-coming franchise that's on the brink of achieving something special, and I see it as a team I can move in the right direction with. Plus, they've got a really good fan base.
Have you set yourself any expectations for the coming season with the new team?
I guess I'll take it one step at a time. What's important is getting [our team's] chemistry right. We've got great talents like Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins so that will be exciting. My game time at the [LA] Clippers was limited so I'm really excited to take on a more active role with the Kings. Whenever you get more opportunities to play, you can definitely expand your game. I've made it to the NBA playoffs before so hopefully I can bring that experience over.
How do you feel about taking part in the NBA Global Games?
The NBA has been doing this for some time now and I feel that it's great that I can help promote and expand the business. It's going to be my first time inChina so I don't know much about the place, but everyone I know who has been there has had a good experience and they all come home with great stories to tell. My parents actually went to the Beijing Olympics and they had a great time. I think it's a good step for me as a player to be involved in this and I can't wait to meet the fans.
Several former NBA players like Metta World Peace are currently playing in the Chinese league, is this something you might consider in the future?
You never know. I'm sure a lot of players consider making the move at the tail end of their careers.
There are many strong players in the Kings this season. Does that translate to success?
Yeah we've got fantastic players but in the NBA, success is not just based on talent - everyone has to come together as a team. When I was at the Clippers there were a lot of good players too, but
talent can only get you so far. Playing as a team with get you even further.
The Los Angeles Lakers were dismal last season. Do you think they can make a comeback?
The Lakers can surprise people. They have got very good players and besides, Kobe Bryant is back for the upcoming season and everyone is happy to see that. It's going to be exciting because they've also signed Jeremy Lin who can carry them with his abilities. I'm really looking forward to see how they will perform this season.
You are known to be one of the fastest players in the NBA. Name three other players whom you think are fast, and what do you think will happen in a race?
I have to say LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) is really quick for his size. There's also Ty Lawson (Denver Nuggets) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder). But at the end of the day, I'll still beat all of them! [laughs].
Read more We interview Collison's teammate Ben McLemore