Monday, March 2, 2009

Sacrificing for the betterment of the team

Like most 10-year vets, Wally Szczerbiak seen a lot during his NBA career.

As a 22-year-old rookie in 1999, he was a member of a 50-win MIN team, starting 53 games alongside Kevin Garnett, Sam Mitchell, and Joe Smith.

Last season, in SEA, he played for a time with the Sonics, which won just 20 games, then finished the season in CLE, helping the Cavs to the Eastern Conference Finals.

But this season has been one to remember because, as LeBron James puts it, Szczerbiak has had to "sacrifice... for the betterment of the team."

CLE coach Mike Brown "has used Szczerbiak at shooting guard, small forward and power forward. He has counted on him for offense and defense, as well as rebounding on both ends of the court."

This has required Szczerbiak to become "a student of the game" and take "a completely selfless attitude, know it's all about the team and all about winning."

"Wherever you need that guy to come in and plug a hole, I've been capable of doing that. Whatever we need, I'm there to do -- anything that's going to get me out there on the floor for more minutes. I'm just going to work my butt off, and we can pose matchup problems on the other end, too. Mike's such a good coach that he realizes that. If I'm guarding a center, the center's got to guard me out there on the perimeter."