Fresh off of the Lakers 103-88 Game 1 win against Denver, Lakers point guard, Ramon Sessions, joined the Jim Rome Show on Monday to talk about the trade the brought him to LA, his first experience in an NBA playoff game, playing with Kobe Bryant and more. Here is a transcript of the interview:
How is playoff action compared to regular season play?
It was definitely different. Its so much more intense. It seems like one minute out there is like 5 minutes in the regular season. You gotta cherish every possession. But its one of those things where you really dial in, you do your homework and just come out and play the game of basketball.”
What advice have you received from the veterans on playing in playoffs?
Just play my game. Just like they said, its different but in the meantime its still 48 minutes on the clock. Just stay aggressive and continue to play the way I was playing.
What was your reaction when you heard you’d been traded to the Lakers?
It didn’t really sink in until I walked in the locker-room and saw the jersey with my name on the back. I’ve been on a lot of rebuilding teams, no playoff chances and then to end up in Cleveland and less than 24 hours being with a of a title contender….its definitely an honor to be part of the Lakers now and just looking forward to the challenge.
How was the mental transition from playing with Cleveland to now playing for a title contender?
It was one of those things where I was able to get games under my belt so it helped a lot when the trade came. So its one of those things where they didn’t just throw me in the fire right into the playoffs or right into the top action but its one of those things where I just got the games under my belt and just got comfortable with the guys and now its time to show.”
Did the fact that you replaced Derek Fisher enter into your head when you first arrived?
It didn’t because I knew I wasn’t coming in to replace Fish. What he did for the organization, for the community, it cant be replaced, he’s a great guy, he got us back to playing basketball again. I came into the situation just coming to play my game and the guys in the locker-room embraced me, you know the coaches embraced me, the fans definitely embraced me so it was all a good transition.
Did you get a sense that everyone was happy to see you come to LA?
I definitely got the sense, as soon as I checked into the game you know the ovation from the crowd you know I was like wow coming from Cleveland to this, it was different…It made me feel good. I think it helped my transition a lot too. It helped me be more comfortable out there knowing the guys believed in me and the fans were behind me so it just made my job easier to go out there and play the point and get those guys shots and also stay aggressive.
On defending Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson
He’s a big part of their team. We knew it was going to take all 5 guys starting with me and you know I was trying to get him to go into that lane and when you have Bynum down there doing what he does, getting 10 blocks, you know its tough. So hopefully he continues to play that way throughout the playoffs.”
Did you have any indication that Andrew Bynum would dominate before Game 1 began?
He showed signs of it and then took it to a whole nother lever in Game 1. It was definitely a statement game to play the way he did. Words cant explain how big he was in the paint.”
Is there a switch that just goes off in Bynums’ head when he plays that well?
I think its just that switch, I mean he has it in him. The guy is 7 foot, and last night he showed how versatile he can be. He’s one of the best centers in the game and he showed it last night how versatile he could be you know not just necessarily scoring the ball but with 10 blocks. That’s incredible.”
How is it playing with Kobe? Has it been a challenge?
It’s been a challenge I’ve been up for. Kobe has so much history and yea he’s demanding but he also respects guys who kinda put him in spots also so he respected my game and he’s giving me the green light to go out there and play.”
On the Metta World Peace elbow to James Harden
When it happened I was running back on the defensive end so I didn’t even see it until after the game. It happened so fast, I ended up watching it on SportsCenter….I know the player Metta Is. And after that dunk he was so hyped up with his aggressiveness. Its just one of those things where it was bad timing.”
Does the team miss Metta on the floor?
We definitely miss him. What the guys does on the defensive end and on the offensive end you know you can’t replace. But we’re definitely going to miss him but guys are going to have to step up, including myself and when he comes back we definitely going to be happy to insert him back into his position.”
Will you exercise his player option to become a free agent after this season?
You know what ,is coming but its something I haven’t really thought about in a way. Im just going to let it play out and let this playoff run happen and then see what happens after this whole playoff run.”