Sports & Culture Media




On his experience being out with COVID:

“It was tough. It was tough, man. For three days, it hit me pretty hard. Recovery was going slow day by day. But, much harder than that, it was just watching my team from afar and not being able to be with the team. But I was proud of our team, the way that we handled our opponents, the way we handled the resiliency and we were playing really good basketball right now.”

On how much the team is looking forward to playing a team with one of the best records in the NBA:

“That’s always challenging and always rewarding. You, as an athlete, in sports that’s what you want. You want to play against the best and see where you’re at. Our guys are hungry. They want to continue to grow as a team, and we’re going to do our best tonight.”

On whether the team cares about getting national recognition:

“We just worry about our next opponent and the next day and things that we can control. Obviously, our team is playing really well. We’re proud of that, but this is not the final product. This is just a part of the process and we need to continue growing.”

On Taylor Jenkins:

“We’re going to miss him for sure, we’re going to miss him for sure. I’m going to try to fill in into his shoes, but he’s wearing a size 15 and I’m only a size 10. So, he’s got big shoes to fill.”

On Taylor Jenkins’ involvement:

“We’re on the phone all day long, we’re on Zoom calls. He’s with us every step of the process. He’s helping us with the game plan, the preparation, the rotations. He’s with us, but he’s physically not with us. He’s doing everything that he usually does.”

On whether he feels any pressure as Interim Head Coach since Brad Jones went 3-0:

“Of course, of course. Brad did a heck of a job. Our team is just playing great basketball right now and I’m going to try to not mess it up. That’s my main goal.”

On the return of Klay Thompson:

“This league missed him a lot. He’s a heck of a player. Definitely one of the 75 best in the history of this league, and players, coaches, the whole league was looking forward for him to come back. He’s an amazing competitor, and we’re looking forward to seeing where he’s at right now.”

On Ja Morant’s growth from last season to this season:

“Everything. Shooting, decision making, leadership. I mean, he’s been working in the dark the whole summer and a lot of people did not see that on social media whatsoever. But he’s been putting in a lot of work and this is not the best Ja that you guys are going to be able to see. He’s just going to continue getting better and better. In my opinion, he’s playing All-Star level basketball and he deserves to be a part of the All-Star (Game) this year.”

On Steven Adams:

“He’s feeling better. He’s questionable for the game tonight. At this point, we don’t know more about his availability.”

On the difference to the game plan that having Steven Adams available makes:

“Did you walk by Steven Adams by any chance to see how big he is? I’m just joking. His physicality and presence on the boards. He’s a great connector with us. He’s playing really well with the ball. We definitely miss him. We miss Dillon Brooks as well, who is our core on the defensive end and he brings so much to our team. But, we have all other guys ready to play and compete tonight.”

Tyler Butler