There was a throng of reporters inside the visitors locker room on Saturday night – at least 40, waiting for LeBron James to bless them with some quotes prior to the Miami Heat’s Game 3 battle against the Brooklyn Nets.
In front of a stall, just two down from where James was to field questions, sat Mario Chalmers, the Heat’s often-lambasted point guard. There wasn’t a line of reporters waiting to talk to the sixth-year Heat starter, and much like his game on-court, Chalmers flies under the radar when it comes to media attention.
Make no mistake about it though, the Big Three appreciate their ‘little brother’ and Chalmers is an integral part of any Miami success – he has started every game he’s played since the 2011-12 season – despite what it may seem like to the untrained eye. Chalmers’ confidence has never wavered, and it’s led him to an NCAA title, and two NBA championships, as well.
We caught up with ‘Rio prior to Game 3 to get his thoughts on how if he’s satisfied with the Heat’s form in the playoffs so far, and where he gets his incredible confidence from.
Starting5: You guys are undefeated in the playoffs so far. Are you happy with the level that you’re playing at?
Mario Chalmers: Yeah, we’re happy with the level we’re at, but we can still move it up. It’s the playoffs [so] there’s a lot more intensity, a lot more fire, we can bring to the game.
S5: Everyone has been talking about how hard it will be for you guys to go to the Finals four-straight years. Is that something the team is conscious of? Has it affected your preparation at all?
MC: Na, we’re not even thinking about it. We’re just taking it round-by-round, and we go from there.
S5: You once mentioned that you felt you were a top-ten point guard in this league. Where does that confidence stem from for you?
MC: It’s just something I’ve always had. I’ve always been that type of person – being confident in what I do, and I’m confident in my abilities.
S5: Do you feel overlooked at times that you’re not mentioned as an ‘elite’ point guard?
MC: Na, it doesn’t bother me. I just do what I can do. I’m confident in my ability and I never let anyone deter me from what I want to do.
S5: What other point guards do you look forward to playing against? Do you relish battles against Chris Paul and Deron Williams?
MC: Yeah. All the time. Anytime I go against an All-Star guard, I want to do my best and hold my own against them.
S5: President Obama had your back during last year’s White House visit. If you win again this year what are you expecting from him?
MC: [Laughs] I don’t know!
S5: Maybe a one-on-one battle?
MC: [Laughs] That’s so far in advance, I’m not thinking about it yet.
Feature Image via: AP
Bottom Image via: USATSI