For what Washington Wizards Power Forward Trevor Booker lacks in size he makes up with his blue-collar approach. At 6-8, the Clemson product wore many hats this season for an exciting Washington Wizards team that made the playoffs for the first time since a DeShawn Stevenson – LeBron James beef turned into a Jay-Z diss track.
Behind the scenes of the 2014 edition of the Washington Wizards was Booker doing whatever Coach Randy Whitman asked of him. Whether it was averaging 8.2 rebounds per game when Nene was out during the month of December or giving his team a spark off the bench in the playoffs, Booker rose to the occasion shooting 55.1% on the season. His hustle during the playoffs even earned him recognition from new Warriors head coach Steve Kerr as he dubbed Booker his “new favorite player in the entire league.”
I recently caught up with Booker to talk about the Wizards playoff run, Marcin Gortat doing his best “300” impressions, the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, rapper Wale and more.
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Dime: You guys had a great run this season — what was the most memorable part of it for you personally?
Trevor Booker: The most memorable part for me was making it to the playoffs. It was my first time getting there and for a few of us, especially the players that have been through the ups and downs in the last four years (me, John Wall and Kevin Seraphin) — we’ve been through a lot with that team. To finally make it to the playoffs felt good. It felt like our hard work (finally) paid off.
Dime: With veteran bigs such as Gortat, Nene & Drew Gooden on board, how has their presence transformed the locker room culture and expectations in Washington?
TB: They’ve been huge for us. They’ve been around (the league) and have gone through some adversity, so when we go through some (tough) things, they help us out and tell us stories about what they’ve been through and the situations that they’ve been through and it helps us through the hard times. They’re big on the court but they’re definitely huge off of the court also.
Dime: Speaking of Gortat, we heard that he would scream out movie quotes from “300” or “Gladiator” to get you guys going before games. Did it actually get you guys pumped, make you guys laugh, or a little bit of both?
TB: It definitely didn’t get us going; he thought it did (laughs), but we went with it. But Gortat, he’s a cool dude. He would always yell a movie quote from “300” and I think it got him going more so than the team.
Dime: Do you have a favorite quote that he would yell?
TB: It was the same one every game but I still can’t even remember it (laughs).
Dime: He’s a pretty intimidating dude. Do you think he has a future in any historical or fantasy action films?
TB: I’m not sure how good his acting is. On the court, it’s pretty good (laughs). But I’m not sure about off the court. I guess we’ll see.