Q&A with Wolves Swingman Martell Webster

Thanks to wins over Indiana and Utah this week, the Timberwolves upped their to record 17-50. While that’s improvement over last year’s miserable 15-67 mark, it isn’t exactly what most fans had in mind. The same could be said of Martell Webster’s season.

Acquired on a draft day deal with Portland, Webster figured to be a key part of the Wolves attack this season – a proven marksmen whose smooth jump shot would make him the team’s top scoring threat off the bench. While his 10.1 points per game average isn’t bad, the 24-year-old has missed 36 games with back issues and struggled to find his niche on the young team.

After disposing of teammate Sebastian Telfair in a quick game of one-on-one following Thursday’s practice, Webster took some time out to chat.

DZ: You guys had a big win last night (against Indiana) and you’re back playing this week (after a 7-game layoff), how are you feeling right now?

WEBSTER: I feel a little hesitant. I need to be a little bit more aggressive. But ultimately, it’s been good to actually come back - it was a tough loss against Dallas – to come back and get the win versus Indiana feels a little bit better. These last 16, 17 games, what we are trying to do is really try and establish ourselves as a team that can play with anybody. We’ve already kind of proven that this year, but to really take care of the games that we know we can get.

DZ: You’ve been in and out of the line-up…have we seen your whole game yet? How comfortable have you felt this year?

WEBSTER: I haven’t felt that comfortable. Playing five years in a set offense and then coming here and really running the Triangle – which is a set offense too – but it’s a different type of feel. To already have five years of something else and then come here and learn something that is completely foreign to me has been quite the adjustment. I am excited to really learn it and to really explore all of its potential, but it takes patience.

DZ: Then you had the health problems which had to make things worse…

WEBSTER: Yeah, even worse. This offseason I am really going to focus in on tuning into my body and really listening to it and figure out ways to make it all pretty much as perfect as I can get it.

DZ: Jason Terry is your cousin. He was just in town this week (Monday with Dallas), did you guys do anything?

WEBSTER: Naw, I am a home body type of person. I am really private and just like to sit at home. (Terry) is the same way. We see each other in the summertime, hang out and stuff like that. Other than that, we focus on the game.

DZ: I noticed you and Sebastian Telfair playing a little one-on-one. Do you guys do that a lot?

WEBSTER: No, but I think we should start doing it more. I need to start guarding a lot more quicker players – I am really working on my footwork. It was fun playing against him, so hopefully we can make it a habit.

DZ: You guys go back a little ways, back to Portland. Have you become pretty good friends over the years?

WEBSTER: Yeah, we’re cool. (We have) mutual respect for each other and friendship. That’s just the way it is.

DZ: When you were with Portland, they were a young team and they’ve gotten pretty good the past couple of years. How far is this team from making a run at the playoffs?

WEBSTER: I mean, we’re about 30 wins (laughs) – 30 wins from being in the playoffs. I would say 20+ games this year that we lost have been decided by five points and really come down to the wire – that we could’ve had. That is our next step for the evolution of this team is really taking care of those games. If that were the case and we had gotten those games, it might be a different story right now.

DZ: You were one of the last guys to come from high school right into the NBA. What was the hardest thing about that, just looking back? It’s been a few years, you have a little perspective.

WEBSTER: It’s just the adjustment. In the high school season, you’ve got like 26 games. In this league, you play four of those. Really, coming out of high school that was one of the hardest adjustments – the amount of games and all of the travel. Other than that, it was fine…Basketball is always there, about three or four times a week, but outside of that there’s a lot of stuff that you have to do. It is a job – that’s the job – basketball is the fun part. The job is doing other of the other stuff – the extracurricular stuff outside of basketball.

DZ: At this time of year do you ever wonder what it would have been like to play in the NCAA Tournament?

WEBSTER: No. That’s basketball, I don’t really care about the basketball aspect of college, it is more the experience – meeting friends and going to class. Education was fun once it became easy and interesting.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Timberwolves players:

February 24: Lazar Hayward
January 21: Darko Milicic
January 11: Luke Ridnour
December 24: Wesley Johnson
December 14: Sebastian Telfair
November 30: Anthony Tolliver

One Response to “Q&A with Wolves Swingman Martell Webster”

  1. MinnesotaSCORE » Q&A with Wolves Forward Anthony Randolph Says:

    […] 12: Martell Webster February 24: Lazar Hayward January 21: Darko Milicic January 11: Luke Ridnour December 24: Wesley […]

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