Sam Cassell on how few players can help turn their Teams around, Veteran Leadership and Performance of Stars:

"I know for a fact not a lot of them could do it -- mentally, you know. You have to have been through some things. I've been through a whole lot in my NBA career. I've seen it all. Played with Hall-of-Famers in Clyde [ Drexler ] and Dream ( Hakeem Olajuwon ) and have seen their approach to it. Was Dream the best practice player in the world? No. But for a seven o'clock game, you knew what he was. Was Clyde the best practice player in the world? We knew at 7 o'clock what we were going to get."

On Drexler's unique approach to pregame tardiness and stretching:

"Forty-one home games, and Clyde was there early once. If the game was at 7:30, I had to be in there at six o'clock. Clyde was a 7:05, 7:15 man. I'd tell him, 'When Rudy [ Tomjanovich ] is talking in front of the board, that's when you're coming in, taking your clothes off.'

We'd sit there and Rudy would be talking -- this is 20 minutes before the game, 30 minutes before the game -- and Clyde would be strolling in. That's the Clyde I know. But that whole team understood that.

"It was the most amazing thing I've seen in my life. [Clyde] didn't stretch at all. He was 35, and the only stretching I saw Clyde do was before the jump ball. (Cassell leans over, hands on knees, legs apart.) I said, 'CD, you're amazing.' You know the [way the typical player lays] on his back stretching his hamstrings? I've never seen Clyde do that. Then the first play of the game, if you threw it to him on the wing, he'd haul ass back upcourt and dunk that thing.

"We used to talk all the time. I'd say, 'It amazes me, man, not what you do on the court but how you do it. You don't stretch, you don't ice, you don't do nothing.' If something's a problem he'd put a band-aid over it. Amazing."

On Olajuwon's preseason habits:

"I remember my first season, I thought we weren't going to win any games. I was sitting there like, 'Man, is this the Hakeem Olajuwon I used to watch last year?' But I was young, I thought you were supposed to go hard in preseason and everything. And Dream might get 8 points, 4 rebounds in a preseason game. Then --  I'll never forget this -- [in a regular season game against] Golden State, Dream went for 37 [points], 16 rebounds. I was telling everybody, 'And there's the Dream I come to see play!' Because I wasn't playing then. I said, 'There's the Hakeem Olajuwon I'm coming to see play! That (expletive) you were doing in preseason, I don't know who the hell that was.'"