Here we are in the stretch run of the season. We just came off a big road win at Olympiacos and it was nice to see my teammate, Kyle Hines, get some love there. He's been around a long time and won the EuroLeague with Olympiacos. Kyle has worked for everything he has. Kyle is the leader of our team. He's the first guy I go to for a lot of things on and off the court. He's just an amazing guy to talk to, an amazing guy to get advice from. He's been all over the place. He's seen it, he's done it. He's an incredible leader. He listens. That's all you can ask for as his teammate.
Kyle is an unbelievable guy who can do a multitude of things. Now he has this new podcast. I think it's about him finding another challenge to take on. He already did Chacho [Rodriguez] and Othello [Hunter] and I hope he will have me on it sometime. I'd really like to sit down and rap with him about a lot of things. That's just the kind of guy he is. He is always thinking about other people, making sure that everybody is happy.
"We need to make a statement that we're ready to go and can't be messed with."
On the court, it is important for us to play well, both offensively and defensively, in every game down the stretch in the EuroLeague regular season. That will give us momentum going into the playoffs. It's not only important to win against teams that are in the playoff race, like Olympiacos, but against every team. There are not too many games left and we need to make a statement that we're ready to go and can't be messed with.
As a basketball player, you have your great days, but you also have your down days. I think that even on your down days you still expect yourself to perform good enough to win. I think that in the EuroLeague if your team isn't performing up to par or as good as you can be, on an off day you're going to come up short. That can be against any team if you're not at your best or are faltering in some aspect of the game. The competition in the EuroLeague is so good throughout the league, so we have to be at our best every day to be successful.
Our team is really deep and I think it shows. We've had important players miss games and we've still been able to step up and get what they give us from different guys. That is really important for a playoff series when you are playing a couple of games and maybe some guys are a little banged up and someone else needs to step in.
"If we just win all of our home games, we will be in the Final Four."
This week we play Milan and my old friend Mike James. He's playing really well and has them in sixth place, so I know he's going to be ready to go like he always is. Mike's going to try to put on a show and it will be our job to try to contain him as much as we can to try and help CSKA win. He's been unbelievable all season and everybody is now starting to notice as Milan gets better and has been climbing up the standings. He's been real consistent all year long and now people are starting to appreciate that. He deserves that credit. He's one of the EuroLeague's best in scoring, assists and index, and it shows. I am looking forward to seeing Mike and catching up with him a little bit.