"I don't know who had the best team, but I know the team in 1960 was a hell of a lot tougher than we were," Bird said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. "Because I couldn't imagine the '92 team getting in them covered wagons for eight days, going across the country, jumping in the Atlantic Ocean, swimming for six days, then walking 3,000 miles to the Colosseum in Rome - for a dollar a day."
"They got the wrong guy if they think I’m going to sit here and try to lose," Bird said. "That ain’t going to happen. I want to win and I die for these guys [when they lose]." Without being Pollyanna-ish, Bird does see progress. "My main concern was changing the culture and we’ve done that," he said. "I don’t worry about them playing hard, I don’t worry about them practicing hard, and I don’t worry about this group going out and getting in trouble. So now it’s just basketball and directing everything toward making this team better."
"It was tough because Jermaine really didn't want to be here the last couple of years," Foster said. "It was tough to become a team when your best player did not want to be on the team."
"There are a lot of guys that are new to this and want to be part of the culture change," Foster said. "You have holdovers that are hungry . . . There's been a black cloud over us the last few years. We're ready to have a nice sunny day."
When asked if the arrest affected his decision to remain in the draft or return to UNC, Lawson replied with the following: "Yeah, I think so, because Coach [Roy Williams] talked to Larry Bird and they were real high on me. I was either going to be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick [on their draft board]… They’ve had a lot of problems with things like that, like with Jamaal Tinsley and Jermaine O’Neal – there were a couple of people that he named – so he called and said that they just couldn’t take a chance."