NBA / Jul 6, 2010 / 4:30 pm

Rudy Gay: “I definitely think I can dominate”

Rudy Gay, Dime #57

Before the Memphis Grizzlies confirmed it by locking up Rudy Gay with a five-year, $82 million contract on the first day of free agency, Gay was seen as the future of the franchise. Memphis gave up Shane Battier to acquire Gay in a Draft-day trade with Houston back in ’06, and he’s repaid them by averaging 17.4 points and 5.5 boards over the first four years of his career.

In Dime #57, Rudy talked to us in a “10 Sense” article about playing in a contract year and leading the Grizzlies’ return to respectability:

*** *** ***

1. We’re better this year because of the time people put in during the summer. Personally, I was lifting a lot more, trying to add more power and explosiveness. I put on about 20 pounds of muscle. On the court, we just had to get to know each other. We paid more attention to details and helped each other out.

2. On the road, for the most part we all just get together and eat and laugh. Mike Conley, he’s a big video-game guy. Him and Darrell Arthur, that’s all they do. I used to be like that, but I kind of got away from it.

3. People said me and O.J. (Mayo) would have trouble sharing the ball, but I didn’t think there was any truth to that. We knew we needed each other to be good. I think it’s more about learning how to play with a new guy. We both have kind of the same personality, so that was the only thing. I feel as though I can take over a game, and he feels the same way.

4. I don’t wanna use any excuses, but just having a coach who you know is gonna be there throughout the season really helps. (Editor’s note: In Rudy’s first three seasons, the Grizzlies had five head coaches before Lionel Hollins was hired full-time.) It’s difficult having to learn a different strategy and a whole new way of playing all the time.

5. When I didn’t get an extension (before last season), I was just thinking, “OK, it’s time to play ball.” A lot of guys try to pick their game up in a contract year, but that’s not me. I’m going to pick up my game because I want to be great. I want to be known as one of the best players in the League. Being in a contract year has nothing to do with it. I play because I want to be respected.

6. I’m the only guy on this team that’s been here the whole four years during my tenure. I feel like I’ve seen it all.

7. I’m not a gaudy guy. I have some jewelry and stuff, but not much that’s too crazy. I bought a necklace a while ago; it’s just a little Jesus piece.

8. I’m not really sure what went wrong with (Allen Iverson). Obviously he’s a great player, but I’m not sure what happened with his whole blow-up. I think we could have made it work. When he was here I learned from him. I soaked up as much as I could.

9. Scoring is what I do. I want to get to a point where I could score 35, 40 points in a game and it’s nothing new.

10. I definitely think I can dominate. People who say I’m only a secondary guy, obviously they don’t know me. I’m only 23 years old; I’m only in my fourth year in the League. I’m learning more and more how to do different things and how to be a dominant player.

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  • UncheckedAggression

    I can’t wait to revisit this in a couple years.

  • Valenfat

    Nice Gay article (giggety)

  • kudos

    “They said me and OJ mayo would have trouble sharing the ball.” I don’t really think that’s ever been the problem, as you can have more than one ballhog on a team these days. The problem is that he’s getting 80 million on a team he can’t even take to the playoffs.

    And i highly doubt throughout the duration of his contract, they will be stuck in mediocrity to worse. I wanna know who’s bright idea was to sign this awkward doofus.

    The whole interview he doesn’t talk about the one thing he needs to work on: DEFENSE. This dude can’t guard a middle school girl.

  • http://twitter.com/SaggyWheels SaggyWheels

    this toolbar has GOT to GO

  • BCap

    Pause of the day?
    “@coachthorpe: Holiday was the best prospect here yesterday. The one issue I have with him is, can he grind? 7 minutes ago”

  • ehwill

    Rudy has the right mindset to do great things in the NBA. He has the skill set and the focus. He will surprise most. Just watch

  • IGP

    @ Saggy

    I agree, what the hell is the point of this toolbar anyway? o

  • icey


    dime needs to make dough…

  • the unknown known

    am i the only one of thinking of ditching this site PURELY on the fact they continualy place HUGGGGE ads at the top pages and that annoying as devils home yahoo toolbar at the bottom screen? holy telito!!

  • the unknown known


  • KnicksFan84

    I honestly think Rudy may go T-Max explosion career wise. I think OJ Mayo isn’t all that special imo. Just an above avg combo guard.

  • frmkt

    Off Topic:

    ESPN’s Chris Broussard, citing anonymous “independent sources,” reported Tuesday night that James will announce his future NBA plans during a one-hour special on the network at 9 p.m. Thursday, with proceeds from ad revenue going to charity. Broussard said James’ “representatives” contacted ESPN and asked for the unusual arrangement, which neither the network nor the two-time MVP’s circle would confirm.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/07/06/lebron.tv.special.ap/index.html#ixzz0sy7h00Rs

    That’s the straw that just broke the camel’s back! Win something fucker!!

  • OneZero

    you dont THINK. you DO

  • cov

    @Saggy you can minimize the toolbar on the left

    Rudy’s solid and it’s great that he has the confidence and ambition but he just doesn’t have the undefined “it”.

    He’s a great athlete, has a good jumper and even a solid pedigree. Things he needs to work on include, defense and running the offense. But overall he’s just not a player that wins games.

    With Lebron right now you’re winning 50. Kobe gets you 45, Wade is gonna get you 41-45 and that’s if they’re on bad teams. Gay will get you 25. However it’s that Jordan era mindset. It’s not good enough to be a solid player and to try to get the most out of your abilities, you have to want to be the best and try to dominate like MJ did.

    We should take a lesson from the Samurai. Basketball can be, just like Martial Arts, about healing yourself through the competition. Maximize your abilities to contribute to a team. Not about cliche phrases like “i want to be one of the best,” or “i want to be the go-to guy.” You are what you are. Be the go-to guy if its the best fit for you. If not then do what you can.

    If Rudy was a dominant player there never would be a question about him and OJ co-existing. The question would be whether OJ would flourish under another star.

  • QazQami

    good to know Gay can dominate …

  • http://twitter.com/SaggyWheels SaggyWheels

    Thanks @Cov
    its the right though

  • Joe’s Momma

    Gay “thinks” he can dominate, the true dominators of the game KNOW they can dominate.

    No doubt Gay is a good player, but not worth the max. Why did Memphis outbid themselves? They could have just matched if a team offered the max. Silly move by a desperate GM.

    Just another case of a solid #2, getting paid #1 money. This is why the NBA is threatening a lockout. GMs cant keep their d***s in their pants long enough to read the situation.

    Whats worse, losing a good player to another team who outbid you, or overpaying a player and being stuck in the luxury tax on a team heading nowhere? Nobody is going to touch that contract when they see he has reached his ceiling, unless the Knicks strike out again next year.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Not sure how I feel about this, but does anyone see this 4th year, 23 yr old player possibly getting better? If Gay continues to develop, he COULD become a #1 either this year or next?