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Facing the Washington Wizards for the first time since they traded him to the New Orleans Hornets on Dec. 10, point guard Antonio Daniels said before the game that things would seem strange for a little bit. But he's happy to play for the Hornets and be in a situation that better suits him at this stage in his career, he added.

After he started a career-high 63 games last year, Daniels experienced a drop-off this season with the Wizards. His body could no longer carry such heavy playing time, and his production lagged.

Since going to New Orleans, Daniels' minutes have dropped from the 22.2 a game he averaged in Washington to 11.8. But Daniels isn't complaining.

"At this point in my career, 12 years? I don't need to be playing 30 minutes a game," said Daniels, who in six games is averaging 3.7 points and 2.2 assists off the bench. "Come in for 15 minutes and relieve [Chris Paul], running the pick-and-roll? I'm good. They have just one thing they've told me: When you go in, be aggressive. And that's it. I'm just happy to be able to do what I can to help this team win, and with this team, it's all about winning."

Daniels wasn't surprised when vice president of Basketball administration Tommy Sheppard got Daniels off the Wizards' practice court Dec. 10.

"I could tell," he said. "Tommy had a real sad look on his face and said Ernie [Grunfeld] wanted to talk to me. He said, 'You know I love you to death, right?' I just said, 'Where am I going?' "

Daniels has no hard feelings toward the Wizards.

"I always say everything happens for a reason," Daniels said. "And I truly am blessed to be [in New Orleans]. I have the utmost respect for that organization. Ernie Grunfeld, Tommy Sheppard treated me first-class from the moment I got there."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 31, 2008


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