Q: Kobe Bryant said Tuesday that he doesn't take charges because of concern over how it could be detrimental to his health. Have you ever worried about it or what effects it might have on your body when your playing days are done?
A: “No. I don't worry about it. I've never really gotten hurt from it. Every once in a while you'll catch a knee in the thigh or the groin, which doesn't feel good at all. But long term, I haven't had anything really that I'm worried about. A guy like Kobe and I are different players. I have to do other things than he does to be effective, obviously. Defensively, I'm not a great shot-blocker, so I have to be able to do something when guys are (going) to the rim.”
Did you learn early on how to protect yourself when drawing charges so you limit the risk both short term and long term?
“I'm not sure. It's kind of a feel thing. I think I've learned to fall. I kind of slide back as opposed to falling straight into the ground, which I think decreases the blows that your back will take. And also, I usually keep my hands out so I'm not falling back on my wrist. I think that's a way guys can get hurt, too. They put their hands down first. So those things I think I've picked up. But I can't necessarily say I was taught. I remember in ninth grade, in freshman basketball, we had to take a charge drill a couple of days. But I think it's something that over time, with experience, you figure out how to do.”
What is the best way to take a charge?
“I think the biggest thing is anticipation and seeing the drive come. Most of the time when there's a charge, it's when an offensive player doesn't really see you or thinks he can get there before you can. So it's about getting to your spot quick. That's the biggest thing. If you can get there, then it's easy because you can hopefully take it in your chest.”
Has drawing charges changed your athleticism or what you're able to do in any way?
“I think with a little bit of a decrease in my athleticism, I'm looking for charges more than blocked shots. It doesn't necessarily change how I take them. I remember when I started really taking charges probably two or three years ago, it was when I was coming off an ankle sprain. I just didn't feel like I could jump very well, so I was trying to get in a position where I can take a charge because I knew I couldn't block shots That's what I'm looking for now with a little bit less athleticism than when I was 22, 23 years old.”