I just had time to get Manu's words. Figured you wouldn't really care what Romes had to say. Question topics are in parens.
(On the "difference" this year): We are feeling confident now and our offense is going great. Defensively we are not quite there yet, but shots are falling and confidence is huge. Things are looking good now.
(New strategies): We're trying to push the ball a little more and attack the rim a little earlier. Not wait 20 seconds before we take the shot. I don't know about now [referring to last night's 8 of 29], but we were leading the league in three-point percentage.
(Contract extension): I know he [Popovich] was going to be a free agent pretty soon, so we had our conversation and he told me he wanted me and I told him I wanted him. [This said with a laugh.] I think I probably would have stayed anyways [if Pop had left] because San Antonio is my city now.
(You make the incredible plays and TP gets Player of the Week--how do you feel about that?): He was the one who made the huge plays for 45 minutes, I just played for three! I know my job is to take the big shots or to make things happen down the stretch, but Tony Parker is unbelievable.
(MVP chances): I really can't see myself winning MVP. I'm just very happy with the way things are going now. These conversations are way too early and inappropriate.
[At this point Rome said something like, "You know, when players say that sort of thing, humble, too early, in most cases I don't buy it, but in yours I do. I think you mean it."]
(Analyzing the West): I think the Lakers deserve all the respect as back to back champions. They are still the team to beat even though they didn't start strong. Dirk is doing amazing things.
(TP marriage woes and effect on team): I wasn't worried about the locker room, I was worried about him. I like him as a good friend and I wanted him to do good and be good. We could see him struggling at times but now it's better. When it first started happening we could see he was devastated and that was hard to watch. (Rome asked: Do you take sides?) I'm his friend and I want to help him and support him, so it is personal.
(On the possibility of becoming a coach): I like playing, not making the calls. I can see myself helping younger kids and trying to develop players, but not as a full-time thing. I doubt it.
(Big name players going to big markets): I guess I'm different. I'm very lucky to be in a place where i want to be and where they love me and my family. This place has been amazing for me since day one. My goal is to finish my career here.
At this point the interview ended. After Manu left, Rome went on to say this:
Manu is the most polite guest in the history of the Jungle. (Plays compilation of clips of Manu from past appearances saying hi to everyone listening, thanking Jim for being on the show, etc.) My very imperfect approximation of Manu's interview with Jim Rome on 12/21/2010