Media day was yesterday, and the players talked. Here's what they said, organized into several prevalent topics. Jonathan Tjarks and Doyle Rader both helped with transcription, while I set up the post.
Tyson Chandler is back
Chandler: It feels great to be back. At first it felt a little surreal.
Dirk: Looking forward to playing again with him obviously. He's a great defensive player. He erases a lot of my mistakes. He's a great rim protector, he finishes above the rim, he's very athletic and he gets up and down the court really fast. There's great chemistry there and I'm looking forward to getting out there again.
Carlisle: I love that we got Tyson Chandler back. That was a huge acquisition for us. Tyson has always been a guy with great personality and energy.
Chandler: It's similar but different. I'm a different person, different player. The faces are different - different cast. But the motivation is the same. I don't think anyone knew what to expect the first time around. Clearly this time around having success and winning a championship here, the expectations are a little different.
Dirk: A lot of that is Tyson Chandler being back. Everywhere I go that's the first thing everybody says. He had a great year and everyone is excited to have him back. That's created a huge buzz.
Chandler: I'm here to try and help Dirk and make things easier on him - the same thing I did the first time around. His career kind of speaks for itself.
Carlisle: He's one of the most popular one-year players in the history of any franchise. In a couple speaking engagements I had, the first thing I said was Tyson Chandler was back and everybody stands up and go crazy.
Chandler: It's funny I spent one year and everyone thinks I spent my whole career here. Even guys around the league, they ask me how long I played in Dallas and I tell them one year and they said "what?"
Training camp starts this week
Carlisle: Well, we want to get off to a good start in training camp. One month from [Tuesday], you know, we open the season. With a lot of new guys, we have a lot to get done on the one hand. On the other hand, it's going to be a real effort by the staff to get things simple so that our new guys can get to know each other without a lot of confusion because you are trying to do a lot of different things. So, simplicity is big and we've got to develop chemistry as quick as we can.
Dirk: [My knee] feels good. I had another busy summer, lifted a lot of weights to keep my legs strong. I've had no problems and I feel good.
Parsons: We play [the Rockets] in like a week, so it's coming up quick. It's funny how they scheduled that. But, no, I have no hard feelings. It ended a little ugly media wise, but I've talked to those guys and have respect for all those guys. It was home for three years. I really enjoyed playing there, really enjoyed playing for coach McHale. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't weird when I go back there and play.
Carlisle: There have been very few training camps in my 30, 31 years in the league where you look at it and you just don't know it's going to shake out. I want to see these guys compete before giving an answer about how you want to go.
A bunch of new faces, again
Dirk: I feel like we got better again. Every summer that should be a franchise goal. You never want to stay the same or take a step back, especially in my situation as I get older. I feel like we got better and took a step forward but we all know how tough the West is.
Parsons: This year, I think it's just a fresh, new team. We have so many new players and new faces, hopefully the people in Dallas are excited and we have a chance to be really, really good. We have a lot of veterans who have been through it and are very experienced. We have no egos; we have no bad guys in there. Just being here for that month, you could just tell that everyone's here for the same reasons and everybody is working so hard.
Carlisle: Jameer Nelson is going to be a leader for us. Felton has some of that personality, some of that toughness. Jefferson's got some of that. I see the team taking on a bit of a different personality than the last couple of years. There's going to be at least seven new guys on the roster, possibly eight or nine depending on how it goes in camp and who wins jobs.
Tyson: I try to help the young big guys beside me help them grow and teach them.
Carlisle: There will be a lot of guys competing. Ledo is in that group - him, Crowder, Jefferson all those guys can play a lot of positions.
Tyson: I told Aminu he should watch a lot of tape on Scottie Pippen, with his length and athleticism and how Scottie could disrupt offenses. He can do a lot of those same things. He is in kind of a similar situation when I first came here - high draft pick, bounced around a bit, hasn't really found a place where he can stick and make a name for himself. I feel like he will learn a lot here and grow a lot as a player.
Chandler Parsons does Dallas
Parsons: I love [Dallas] so far. The whole process of getting settled, it's obviously new to me. I feel like the new kid at school a little bit, but everybody's been great. The whole organization has made me feel welcome and at home.
Carlisle: He's a very good all-around player. He's another guy that brings personality. If you don't believe me, just ask him. He can do a lot of different things. He passes it, he shoots it, he drives it, he makes plays. Defensively, he's done a good job in this league. We believe that he can continue to get better. It was a big acquisition for us on a lot of levels. He's a very good young player and we need to get the roster young. He's a big part of this.
Parsons: [Carlisle's] persistent, man. He's all over me. When I was training in LA this summer, he would come out to LA. When I was here, he's here. He would just sent me a picture of him in the locker room at night, like, 'Where are you, man?' He's unique and different, but he's such a perfectionist. He's helped me this summer with just different things on my jump shot, shooting the same shot every time. Messing with my form a little bit. He's a great coach and a big reason why I signed here, just to get a chance to play for him.
Dirk: We want him to expand and evolve his game. He's only 25 he's still in his prime. He can still get a lot better. We like what he brings to the table. He can play a lot of positions and guard a lot of positions. He can handle a screen and roll for his size. I think he 3-pointer is much improved.
Parsons: I'm ready for the next step of my career. I'm ready to come here and have a bigger role, be more of a leader and that's why I came here. I think I'm ready for that .. if [people] haven't seen me, they will this year.
Carlisle: I would like to continue to work Dirk's minutes gradually down, if we could. This roster is a strong roster from top bottom in terms of depth - there's a lot of multi-positional players. If we can get a high energy level from our guys and play with a lot of pace, and if we can do that, I think we can move his minutes from 32 to 30 or 29, who knows. A lot of it is the spacing and how you play them. He played some bigger minutes later in the year but the important part is he had the energy to do it. We have to look big picture with him. Tyson is the same way. We don't want to wear him out or tax him too soon.
Dirk: Yeah, I worked on some stuff. I worked with Holger the last five or six weeks. Just being more efficient. Changed some of the stuff going on with my shot so we'll see how that works. I don't think it's going to change much from here on out. Try to spread the floor for the guys. Post up some. Try to make the game easier for the young guys.