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Read the transcript from Chris Whitney's discussion.

Read the transcript from Jahidi White's discussion.

Wizards Section

NBA Draft Section

  Legler: Wizards Have the Talent for Title Run

Wizards Logo Wizards shooting guard Tim Legler was on a special edition of Sports Online on June 30 to talk about the NBA draft at MCI Center. Legler said he is back from injuries and is ready and excited about the upcoming season.


Gaithersburg, MD:
Since you've been injured the last two seasons, how are you preparing for this upcoming season? Also, why were you chosen as the player to introduce Gar Heard as the new coach? Does this mean that the marquee players were not happy with the choice?

Tim Legler: I'm totally healthy now after battling injuries for the past couple of years and I'm probably more excited for this season's start than any other season. The reason I was here to introduce Gar Heard was because I played for him in Dallas and they wanted somebody who was familiar with him and get the city of Washington acclimated to the guy.


Fairfax, VA: With scoring down and some proposals on the table to correct the 'problem' - do you think something should be done to improve offense and if so, what would you propose?

Tim Legler: I think one thing they can do to improve scoring would be to limit the amount of time that one player can spend dribbling the ball to back his opponent down to the basket. The league has become too much one on one oriented. I think you have to do something to emphasize ball movement.


Herndon, VA: Tim do you agree with Jahidi about the Wizards having the talent to win an NBA championship?

Tim Legler: I definitely agree that we have enough to win the NBA championship if we had an inside presence offensively. In today's NBA, the championship is really up for grabs now that Jordan is retired.


Colesville, Md.: You've been a very positive figure in the DC-Metro area as a member of the Bullets-Wizards. Do you plan to stay here locally after basketball?

Tim Legler: definitely making plans to stay in the community when my career is over regardless of whether I'm playing for the Wizards beyond next season. I plan to come back here when my career is over and establish my post-career opportunities. Broadcasting is high on the list but I would love the opportunity to stay with the organization. I've never talked to them about it but I think it would be a natural evolution for me.


Silver Spring: The Spurs won the title for one main reason: They won the lottery and choose Tim Duncan. But they weren't the worst team that year, or even the second worst. How could anyone think this lottery is a fair process, especially the Wizards, who are constantly denied higher picks than they would get in any other sport?

Tim Legler: I think the NBA draft lottery was not instituted to insure fairness among the teams. It was put in place to create more excitement for more cities about the NBA draft. Now, any team can end up with the number one pick that didn't make the playoffs. So you have 13 cities that are glued to the television when the ping pong balls are bouncing around.


Fort Washington, MD: Having played for Gar Heard, what do you believe he brings to the table as a head coach and are the players enthused about playing for him as opposed to Doc Rivers or Isiah Thomas?

Tim Legler: I think Gar's biggest strength is his ability to communicate to his players without coming off as condescending or arrogant. Players listen to what he has to say because he has spent 11 years in the league as a player and 11 more as an assistant coach under some quality head coaches.


Bowie, Maryland: Tim,

Although it seems like forever, it was only 3 years ago that you were giving the team a consistent 3-point threat. Given good health, I think you could repeat that. How have you prepared this off-season to become more durable?

Tim Legler: The truth of the matter is that I spent seven years without missing even one practice. Injuries are just as much bad luck as anything else. I had a devastating knee injury that almost ended my career and it took me longer to get back to get back to the level I was at than someone with a simple injury. Right now I feel better physically than I have in three years. I'm looking forward to a great year.


Leawood, Kansas: Of all of the players available in the draft tonight, who would you most like to be teammates with next year, and why?

Tim Legler: Two of my favorite players in this year's draft would be Elton Brand and Steve Francis. Elton Brand is going to be a solid pro in the league for 10 or 12 years. he's smart, physical and he would be a good inside presence for us. Steve Francis is the most creative player in the draft. I think he would be a guy that could draw a lot of attention and create shots for other shooters such as myself.


Washingtonpost.com: That's all the time we have with Tim Legler. Washingtonpost.com would like to thank Tim and Chris Whitney for spending time with us on Sports Online.


© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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