We got up with Jameer Nelson yesterday at the Gillette – EA SPORTS Champions of Gaming Tournament down in Florida, where he was going up against some of the best NBA Live ’09 players in the world. For someone who had just received just about the worst news that an NBA player can get – that he tore his labrum and could need season ending surgery – Jameer was in pretty good spirits. Clearly, video games can cure everything.
Dime: How are you feeling about the shoulder injury? Are you considering season-ending surgery?
Jameer Nelson: I’m trying to stay positive. You know, everything happens for a reason, so I’m just keeping a positive attitude at this stage. I know that I’ll be down for at least a couple of weeks. But I still think that I can help us get better every day in practice until I get back.
I haven’t decided on surgery. I’m going to seek out another opinion or two before making any decision.
Dime: What’s been the key to your season – career high’s in points, field goal percent, and three-point percent – as well as the team’s success?
JN: Well I’ve been sticking to my training program with a ton of core work. Man, I definitely don’t lift with Dwight. He’s all power, all the time. I’m more on the Steve Nash program, doing a lot of cuts and core work in every single exercise. When I was in college, I was lifting heavy all the time. But now I’m a grown-man regimen.
Dime: In or out of the weight room, what are some of the most amazing things you’ve seen Dwight do?
JN: There are too many to pick out – Dwight’s unreal. People don’t understand just how humble he is. Sometimes it surprises me too – I mean, he comes to me for advice at times. That shows a lot about him.
Dime: Who are the three toughest guards for you to match up with in the League?
JN: I’d say Chris Paul, Steve Nash and Tony Parker. Those three guys have the ball in their hands that much – and it’s real hard to stick with them when they have so many screens and so many chances to try to break you down.
Dime: Who are some other young guards like yourself who you think are going to make a big impact on the League?
JN: You’ve got to look at a guy like Brandon Roy. He’s at the top of his game right now. He’s in stride. And he’s only going to get better. I think that he’s got the potential to be a star – like Kobe, LeBron. For me, he’s a tough match-up too because he’s so tall. But on the other end, he’s gotta deal with me too.
Dime: How do you think you’ll fare in the video game competition?
JN: It’s hard to play as much as I’d like. But I have a 7-year old son who likes to play and we do that together a lot. He loves basketball. He told me that his future is in basketball. I know that I can usually beat him, so we’ll see.