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Sierra: Mickael Pietrus Prepares for the Season Ahead

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Jorge Sierra of recently published this wide-ranging interview with Orlando Magic swingman Mickael Pietrus. I'm not sure of the context of the interview--the entire post is a transcript, without any narrative--but parts of it are indeed illuminating. Sure, there's the sort of bland optimism that one has come to expect from M.P., but also some facts worth knowing. Like this bit about his role, for example:

To me, it doesn’t matter if I come off the bench or I start. The most important thing for me is to finish the game.

Pietrus often found himself finishing games despite playing with the second unit last season. Coach Stan Van Gundy sometimes elects to split wing minutes evenly between starter and reserve, playing the starter for the first and third quarters and the backup for the second and fourth. We saw it late in the 207/08 season with Maurice Evans and Keith Bogans, and at times last year with Matt Barnes and Pietrus. Sierra's question is relevant because the Magic brought Quentin Richardson aboard as a free agent last month, and he figures to give Pietrus a healthy competition for the starting small forward gig.

I also enjoyed reading this exchange between Sierra and Pietrus about Pietrus' play style:

You’re mostly known as a defensive player. Do you like having that type of reputation or would you rather be known as most of a scorer?

MP: I want to do everything on the court. I don’t want to have a tag, "Oh, he’s a scorer" or "Oh, he’s a defender." I want to do both. I want to enjoy myself defensively and offensively and just try to win games. A lot of players, they want to win games. But what I’ve learned the last couple of years, especially once I made the Finals, is defense wins championships. I’m going to do what I do and enjoy offensively and defensively.

Pietrus also discusses the visit Van Gundy paid to him last month, as well as his time with the Golden State Warriors.