Seldom does Mika Vukona sit back and speak in such a sentimental manner.
The Breakers and Tall Blacks skipper, known for his aggression, tenacity, and incredible work ethic, is New Zealand basketball's quiet leader. Loud on the court with his actions, quiet off it in his reflections.
But he's not afraid to share how tough the last couple of weeks have been since the Breakers were eliminated by Melbourne United in the semi finals of the Australian Basketball League.
"I was pretty dark for the first couple of days. You're pretty devastated, because you work so hard. And to come so close, was a really hard one to take," he concedes.
Thankfully for Vukona though, he now has a rather big distraction to pry his mind away from the disappointment.
"Once you see all the boys with the Tall Blacks jersey on, it's pretty easy to forget about that quickly. We now need to think about this. And it's a great opportunity."
The "opportunity" is the Commonwealth Games.
Basketball's returning to the Games on the Gold Coast after not being part of the last two editions. The last time it was held, Mika Vukona, the seemingly ever-present figure of New Zealand basketball, was just 24 - one of the younger players in a team full of icons of the game in this country, such as Dillon Boucher, Pero Cameron and his now club-and-country coach Paul Henare. Vukona is unsurprisingly the sole survivor from that team.
"You could see it as poetry in motion. But hopefully this time there will be a different ending to that poem."
New Zealand were edged almost 12 years to the day, going down 81-76 in the gold medal game to Australia, seeing them end with silver.
It's the same coloured medal many are expecting New Zealand to end up wearing next month. Already, without stepping a foot inside Australia, this Tall Blacks team has a big silver underdogs tag around their necks. A team missing several key players due to overseas club and college commitments, against an Australian boasting plenty of talented names.
But Vukona just laughs when the topic of the Tall Blacks being named the Tall Silvers is brought up.
"It's a great rivalry with Australia. And if that's the path they want to take then that's great. That suits us fine. We'll just come in and take that gold."
While the 2006 loss isn't something that's consumed Vukona's mind, all of a sudden it's jumped back into the forefront of it.
"Now that I'm saying I'm going to the Commonwealth Games, it's a reminder that last time I was part of this, we lost in the final.
"But it's exciting. What this team has been built on is defying odds. Ever since basketball was introduced to this country. It's never been the number one thing. And let's be honest to defy the odds is in our DNA."
As for Vukona, he doesn't think he's changed one bit since he last headed across the Tasman for a Commonwealth Games.
"I'm still wild, I'm still out there fouling and still trying to play my absolute hardest. But to be honest I just enjoy basketball a lot more."