Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Catching up with Deron Washington ... and his injured foot

After Deron Washington's impressive return to Los Angeles on Monday, I wanted to catch up with him and ask him about his plans for All-Star weekend, including his participation in the dunk contest. His answer surprised me.

"I'd say right now, there's a slim chance I'm going to participate," Washington admitted. "I hurt my foot in Utah, and then hurt it again in Bakersfield. I'm trying to let it rest as much as I can, and I'll decide after the game Wednesday (in Los Angeles) if I'll be able to be in the dunk contest."

While Washington's foot may keep him out of the dunk contest, he didn't let it bother him against the D-Fenders on Monday night. Washington came off the bench to have 16 points and eight rebounds in Tulsa's 101-100 win. He even played some guard after Cecil Brown went down with an injured ankle.

"The foot felt pretty good last night," Washington said. "I knew we were short on guards so I needed I would need to help out. Right now, everyone is helping bring the ball up the court it seems."

And how did Washington like being back in L.A.?

"It felt good to be back. It was good to talk to some of my friends. We were having some fun. There may have been a little motivation for me to do well against L.A., but it was good to see my friends."

Washington has now been with Tulsa for 20 games, averaging 9.7 points per game. After a surprise trade from L.A. (in exchange for Keith Clark), Washington said it took him about three weeks to settle into the Tulsa lifestyle, but he's glad to be in the Midwest ... and glad to be getting playing time for the 66ers.

"As long as I'm on the court, I'm happy," Washington said. "I'll take the minutes anyway I can get them, bringing the ball up the court or playing in the post."

Now we'll see how Washington responds in his second game in L.A. ... and how his injured foot will respond to another test before All-Star weekend.

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