Media day has ended and the potential of a new season entails a ton of optimism for players and fans alike.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was particularly lighthearted while also interjecting his usual blend of sarcasm and insight. He talked about why Boris Diaw, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard will benefit from extra practice time, the loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Leonard and the potential that he finishes his career in San Antonio, what he expects from Nando De Colo and whether he is interested in the Team USA head coaching gig. Full audio of Popovich’s interview can be found here.
On the Spurs and their missing “identity”:
“We are looking for a lot of corporate knowledge increase for those guys and I think that will help us defensively,” Popovich said. “We have to make more stops in the fourth quarters than we did last year, it’s about keeping our identity.”
Tim Duncan talked about his routine, the emergence of Leonard, why consistency is the Spurs’ secret to success, Popovich’s candicacy for the Team USA head coaching job and his free agency options (or lack thereof). He also discussed Tony Parker’s goggles, which he isn’t too fond of. Full audio of Duncan’s interview can be found here.
“Everybody has improved,” Duncan said. “Oklahoma City is a young team that basically stayed the same but they are incredibly talented. The Lakers, with the additions that they’ve made, and teams are getting better left and right. We hope that we are right in the mix. We put ourselves in a great position last year and we hope we can do that again.”
After undergoing tests for three hours, Tony Parker has been cleared to play without goggles this season. (Which is probably a good thing.) Parker also talked about the ramifications of the bar fight and how it puts his life into perspective. Full audio of Parker’s interview can be found here.
Manu Ginobili is entering a contract year and he is 35-years-old. This is a pivotal season, not only because he is vying for another contract, but because Ginobili could potentially retire at the end of the season. The money, Ginobili adds, is irrelevant. (Full audio of Ginobili’s interview can be found here.)
“So I really don’t care (about being a free agent),” Ginobili said. “If it’s for a lot of money, a huge amount of money, I don’t care. I’m fine with what I’ve earned in my career. That is not a point of emphasis this year.”
DeJuan Blair looks leaner. He says he never asked for a trade from the Spurs and he is not surprised that he is back for training camp. He doesn’t seem too happy, though. That is about it. Full audio of Blair’s interview can be found here.