The 2008-2009 season has been quite productive to the player affectionately known as The Red Rocket.
The San Antonio Spurs forward is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, minutes and games started. He and Roger Mason Jr. have become major three-point threats on the team, and Bonner has the distinction of leading the NBA with a 49.7% three point shooting percentage. During the Spurs eight game, 20-day road trip that started in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors and ended in Washington D.C. against the Wizards, Bonner was a key contributor averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds in eight starts. The Spurs went 5-3 during that span.
Right after the Spurs 98-67 blowout victory against the Wizards, Matt Bonner talked to Hoops Addict about the importance of the win, the special field trip Coach Popovich took them on, and on the advantages of a long road trip.
Rashad Mobley: How important was it to get that last road win before you go back home?
Matt Bonner: Oh, it’s very important, you know? It’s easy after all the travelling you’ve done to have an emotional letdown going into your last game before we finally get to home. But we stayed focused and played a great game.
RM: Was there a conscious effort tonight to get Roger Mason Jr. (scored a game high 25 points, on 5-of-9 from the three-point line in his return to D.C.) the ball tonight?
MB: No, I mean, not anything different than normal. I think that’s always the case when there’s a great shooter, we’ve gotta’ find him, and he was definitely on tonight.
RM: Coach Popovich said you went to the Holocaust Museum (in Washington D.C.) yesterday, can you talk about that a bit?
MB: That was amazing. I’d never been there before, and for me it was great because I’ve been to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis; I’ve been to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa last summer, but this takes the cake. It was unbelievable. You know you learn about it in school, but until you’re there and you actually see what happened with the displays, it doesn’t really hit you.
RM: How important is it to get away from basketball like that every now and then?
MB: It’s great because it puts things in perspective. We play a game that entertains people and a lot of times I think its easy to get caught up in the pressures of that and experiences like this help keep that in perspective.
RM: How do you compare this long road trip you’ve had to the others the Spurs have had? You’ve been gone for so long, and you had the All-Star break in between.
MB: This is for me the first time, this my third season with the team, where we were actually gone for a week after the All-Star break, so it kind of makes it longer. A lot of guys obviously went away for the All-Star break, and came home just to go away for another week, so it seemed like it was extra long this year, but I like it. I think it brings us together and gives us some adversity to overcome during the home stretch of the season.
Photo Credit: Nathan Gilbert