Pelicans.com Give-and-Go: Brian Roberts
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
We caught up with New Orleans Pelicans point guard Brian Roberts at Saturday’s local Class AAA minor league baseball game, to ask Roberts a series of fan questions from Twitter. The 6-foot-1 point guard was on hand to do the honors of throwing out the first pitch minutes before the Pacific Coast League contest between the New Orleans Zephyrs and Tacoma Rainiers. The one-year NBA veteran later signed autographs for Pelicans fans and appeared as a guest on the Zephyrs’ radio broadcast.
Give us your assessment of the ceremonial first pitch you threw tonight?
Roberts: When I got out there, home plate was a little further back than I anticipated. That kind of threw me off my rhythm. But I still made it over the plate, but it was a little up and away. Ball one. [smiles]
Your baby boy is now two months old. Getting any sleep?
Roberts: No, not too much. I’ve been getting some good rest, but he’s keeping me active, I’ll say that. He eats a lot and is growing so fast. I’ve used this time to help my wife out and help with the kids as much as possible. Because I know it’s tough on her during the season, with us traveling all the time. It’s something that I take pride in, to be able to help and be with my son and daughter. So it’s all good.
How much have you been watching the NBA playoffs? Are there any aspects of successful teams you see that may translate into what the Pelicans will try to accomplish next season? What have you taken notice of most so far?
Roberts: It’s been pretty obvious to see how the game picks up physically from the regular season. That’s one thing that sticks out in the games that I’ve watched. Guys are getting after it. At this point in the season, even though everybody’s banged up, guys are giving whatever they can and teams are battling. That kind of mindset is something we have to move forward with and take with us. If we want to be successful and make a playoff run, it’s going to take some toughness and hard work.
OK Brian, on to fan questions via Twitter. From hunnisher3: You had a few games last season where you got to shine. How are you going to capitalize on that to have a great season?
Roberts: This is a big summer for me. I know that. I want to use those games as momentum to – not be content – but to try to improve my game. It was good for me to have those games, to really show what I could do. But to do that on a more consistent basis, I think that’s going to be the next step for me.
From @mknkachow: Was the food better in Europe or New Orleans?
Roberts: Definitely New Orleans. The food over there in Europe is good, but there’s not too much variety compared to where I’ve been. I’m not downing that food, but you experience so much here in New Orleans. There are so many different places to eat. The variety is very limited over there.
A food-related follow-up from @ mknkachow: Do you take your potato salad IN the gumbo or on the side?
Roberts: On the side. Wait, people put potato salad in their gumbo? I haven’t seen that.
From @chekiri: What’s the funniest situation you’ve been in overseas where the language barrier really caused a problem?
Roberts: Actually, the places where I played, pretty much everybody spoke English. So there really wasn’t much of a problem that I can remember. There were times when people messed up my (food) order. They would add something you said you didn’t want, or take out something you wanted. Something minor like that would happen, but nothing very major.
From @connormullany: What is the transition like from the Euro league to the NBA on the court?
Roberts: The game is faster and there is more athleticism on the court in the NBA. With the speed of the game, your reads are quicker and where you can get to on the court closes up much faster than in the European game. It’s more physical in Europe. Here there is more open space and you can kind of move a little more freely (without getting bumped). In terms of physical defensive play and hand-checking, they let a lot of that go in Europe. It’s a little more physical there in that respect.
We imagine this one must have been written by someone you knew at Dayton… from @CoachAFarrell: Who was your favorite student-manager?
Roberts: [laughs] Oh, my favorite definitely was Andy Farrell. He’s a good guy. He was at DePaul this past season. I actually talked to him pretty recently. It’s funny that he wrote in.
Dayton doesn’t generate many NBA players. What’s been the response from people there after your successful debut season in the league?
Roberts: I can kind of feel that love from them, from a distance. They have a huge following of people who support the University of Dayton. Even without a lot of guys in the NBA, they have strong support in terms of alumni and former players. I know that everyone’s excited that we’ve had a couple guys in the NBA recently. Chris Wright also played for Golden State (in 2011-12). The Dayton community is excited to have guys reach this level, because it doesn’t happen that often.
From afnola37: What do you think about the future of the Pelicans?
Roberts: It’s promising. With this up-and-down year, there was a lot of frustration and a lot of injuries, things that we couldn’t control. I think we’re all excited about this offseason, to improve and get everybody back healthy. As far as the future, it’s definitely bright.