Thad Williamson: Could you just talk about how tough it was to sit on the bench and your experience with that this year?
Joseph Forte: It was tough, but I learned a lot, so it was a good thing.
TW: What was the most positive thing to come out of it for you?
Forte: I think I learned a new position, the point guard position, so that was the best thing to come out of it. Just learning how to handle the ball, watching Kenny Anderson -- hopefully I can transfer some of that to the summer league.
TW: Do you feel a lot of pressure to perform this week?
Forte: Yeah, I've got to perform. But there's no pressure, this is what I do, I know how to do this.
TW: Is your relationship with the coaching staff good? Are you happy in Boston in general?
Forte: I'm still here! So it's got to be good. I'm still here, you know what I'm saying, so I must like it.
TW: Were you surprised at how much Carolina fell apart after you and Brendan left?
Forte: I was surprised, but Carolina will be back. It's just one of those things, it's a cycle, and last year was our year, but we'll be back.
TW: Do you believe Matt Doherty is the one who can turn it around and get the program back?
Forte: Whoever Dean Smith has down there is going to get the job done. Right now it's Matt Doherty so I believe he can get it done.
TW: How much are you touch in with Doherty, Guthridge, Dean Smith - all of them, all the same?
Forte: All of them. Doherty called me yesterday to wish me luck. I talk to Coach Guthridge regularly, so it's a happy situation.
TW: How's it been for you living in Boston apart from the basketball?
Forte: It's been fun. The fans here have a lot of love, a lot of pride for the home team, so I've enjoyed myself.
TW: Have you found someone to play chess against?
Forte: (laughs) No, I haven't found that yet, but I'll try to...
TW: How about your brother down at Brown, have you gotten to see him play some?
Forte: I saw him play when he came up to play Northeastern. I mean, he's punishing people, so that's good.
TW: Do you feel like he could have played at UNC?
Forte: My brother? No, I think he's too smart. I think he had to go Ivy League because of academics, he's so smart.
TW: What's your favorite thing about Boston?
Forte: My favorite thing is probably just the love for the team, the history, the tradition and how everybody's aware of it.
TW: You've gotten to play for maybe the best high school program, the best college program, and now the Celtics...
Forte: I've had a basketball career that most people can only I dream of, so now I just have to make it happen [here].
TW: What are your goals for this year, realistically?
Forte: Get some playing time, and get the most out of it.
TW: Would you want to go somewhere else if it's a situation where you can get only get 10 minutes a game here and 20 minutes somewhere else?
Forte: I really haven't thought about that - I haven't been traded, I've only played for Boston, so I've just been thinking about Boston.
Forte went on to make clear that he's not feeling sorry for himself - or short of his trademark confidence after his "redshirt" rookie year in green. "I'm making a living for myself doing something I like, something I love, so I can't complain. I just have to get it [going] and that's about to happen."
Forte started making that happen with a 14-point performance in the Celtics' summer league win over New Jersey, including five critical points in the final three minutes to break a 69-69 tie. Despite struggling with his shot (including at least two near-air balls) much of the game, the second year pro showed his promise in crunch time by nailing an open 20-footer followed by an acrobatic one-handed falling away shot from about 12 feet.
Forte shot 5-11 from the field and 4-5 from the line to open his week on a winning note.
Thad Williamson's book More than a Game: Why North Carolina Basketball Means So Much To So Many" is available at www.dollarsandsense.org/carolinabook.html and amazon.com.