It’s been an interesting year so far for Knicks rookie center Timofey Mozgov. He’s started nine of the 24 games he’s played, he’s been dunked on by Blake Griffin and it appears he’ll be playing in the playoffs this April. With all that said, he’s shown glimpses that there’s more than hope for Knicks fans. We caught up with Mozgov to talk about his favorite NBA players growing up, facing them in the NBA and the biggest cultural adjustments to living in NYC.
Dime: Who were your favorite NBA players growing up?
Timofey Mozgov: Shaq and Kevin Garnett.
Dime: What has it been like playing against them this year?
TM: It was great. It was a great experience for me. When I was young, Shaq played in the NBA and I watched him on TV every time. It was my dream and now to play against him is great. KG, he’s a little bit bigger and stronger than he looks on TV (laughs).
Dime: When you signed with the Knicks, did you think you’d be starting right away?
TM: No, of course I don’t think that. I think just about trying to practice hard, to show the coach and he gave me some time. I don’t think about that stuff.
Dime: What was your first road trip like?
TM: We go to Paris and Milan.
Dime: What was it like heading back to Europe?
TM: Of course it’s different. In the NBA, we have our flight right after the game and we just go to the flight and after one hour we can be home. When I played in Europe, it was terrible. Every time we had to go to customs, you need to wait at baggage claim. It’s great being in the NBA.
Dime: What has been the biggest cultural adjustment to living in New York?
TM: With Russia and the USA, it’s a big difference. It’s different, but life in Moscow is really similar to life in New York – it’s the same crazy. People may not crazy like here, but the traffic is terrible.
Dime: Which city has better looking girls?
TM: (laughs) Moscow.
Dime: What type of music do you listen to?
TM: Mostly Russian music.
Dime: Are there any bands you can name?
TM: I can, but it’s a Russian name and you won’t know it.
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