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May 26, 2005

Joe Johnson


Q. How are you doing?

JOE JOHNSON: All right. I sweat a lot in it (the mask). I will get used to it.

Q. Is this the mask, is this the one that you will be wearing for the weekend?

JOE JOHNSON: I have got two. This is one of them.

Q. What is the difference between this one?

JOE JOHNSON: We just got two in case anything happens.

Q. Tony Parker is the guy you will be on. Talk a little bit about defending him, that challenge?

JOE JOHNSON: I am kind of going to make it tough for him, you know, getting in the lane, shooting those floaters, and by me guarding him, putting a bigger person on him, maybe he won't get as many easy shots.

Q. I know that you have defended Manu Ginobili previously, have you ever gone head-to-head with Tony Parker before?

JOE JOHNSON: Yeah, as a matter of fact, the game -- I think it was last game here -- I am not for sure, but not the last game here but the regular season game. It was a challenge, but I am up for it.

Q. Talk about playing?

JOE JOHNSON: It's fun. This is what I live for and I am enjoying myself playing basketball. Finally getting a chance getting out there. It is going to be fun.

Q. Any question that you won't be out there on Saturday?

JOE JOHNSON: From right now, no, it's not a question. I think pretty much put in the slot, but no, I don't want to speak too soon, but I still got a doctor's appointment before we get out of here, so we -- I am going to go up there, and whatever the doctor says.

Q. Any hesitation on your part because of the injury?

JOE JOHNSON: No, not at all. I wanted to get out sooner, but I couldn't. I got the mask. I was ready to get out here and play.

Q. Talk about the mask?

JOE JOHNSON: I think it will be a challenge, but I don't think it is going to bother me. Like I said, it makes me sweat, the sweat dripping down my face. But other than that, I think I will be all right.

Q. What about the challenge of Parker?

JOE JOHNSON: Just put a bigger person on him. I am going to try to stay in front of him, make it as difficult as possible for him.

Q. Is your vision fine?

JOE JOHNSON: My vision is great. I don't have any problems other than I got this -- the redness still in my eye. But it doesn't bother me at all.

Q. Can you see the red?

JOE JOHNSON: If I look in the mirror, yes.

Q. But in your vision?

JOE JOHNSON: No, I can't see it at all. It's healing up well.

Q. How tough was it, you are not used to sitting out?

JOE JOHNSON: Very tough. It was my first time. I am more nervous sitting over there just watching because I can't do anything than when I am out there. So like I said, it's great to finally get back out on the court again.

Q. Any sports psychologist involved in terms of keeping your mental game sharp?

JOE JOHNSON: No, my mental game is right here. I am not worried about anybody hitting me in my face, anything like that. I am just goiing to go out there and play. I don't need no sports psychologist or whatever, I don't need none of that.

End of FastScripts...

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