Twenty-two of the NBA’s teams held their media day on Monday, and that included the bulk of the University of Kentucky’s 31 players on rosters heading into training camp.
Here is a collection of quotes, photos, tweets and videos from the day.
What they said
From Herald-Leader wire services:
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▪ DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis sounded intrigued by how different the New Orleans Pelicans’ brand of basketball could be from the rest of the league.
“I do believe we’ve got to chance to basically change the style of play in the league,” Cousins said. “We’ve got a unique setup going here, something that hasn’t been seen in a while. Me and AD having a unique skill set that we do — that’s definitely a first-time thing.”
Added Davis, “We’re not going to go small because other teams are going small. We’re going to try to punish them inside. … We’re going to take it to the post and just try to overpower them.”
▪ Devin Booker, who turns 21 next month, is the Phoenix Suns’ rising star. He scored 70 points in a game against Boston last season.
“The next step for Devin is rebounding, rebounding and solid defense,” Coach Earl Watson said, “being accountable at both ends of the court. He’s phenomenal offensively, one of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen at such a young age.”
▪ John Wall and the rest of the Washington Wizards’ core is exactly the same as it was last season, which essentially amounts to a radical decision to stand pat in today’s NBA.
“We know how each other wants to play. We know what they’re great at, what they’re not great at. It makes the job a lot easier for us,” Wall said. “I don’t like new change. I don’t like dealing with new people, new stuff.”
▪ DeMarcus Cousins has embraced a new diet and workout routine. Cousins said he didn’t want to get into numbers, but asserted that he’d lost “a significant amount” of weight from the 270 pounds at which he was listed last season.
“I feel great. I feel healthy,” he said. “I’ve got a bounce in my step — definitely lighter on my feet than I have been in the past. … I put in a lot of work this summer preparing for this moment. I think we’ve got a chance at a very special season. You can just feel the energy in the building.”
▪ New addition Rajon Rondo said team defense could be what helps the Pelicans compete in the Western Conference.
“What I’m trying to bring to this team is the defensive mentality we have to have night in and night out,” he said. “We’re not going to outshoot Golden State. No team does. So it won’t be offense why we beat those particular teams. It’s going to be our defense.”
▪ The Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray doesn’t care if he plays point guard or slides over to shooting guard. He just wants to be on the court.
“I’ve got a game that can get along with everybody and score when I need to,” he said.
▪ Enes Kanter talked about his trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the New York Knicks.
“After I went home and packed my stuff, I woke up in the middle of the night and punched myself. I said, ‘Is this a dream? Is this really happening?’ … When you get traded to a new team you feel a little weird in that locker room. But when I stepped in that locker room everybody was just laughing, smiling, having fun. That’s what I was looking for — a young team that sticks together.”
▪ Julius Randle on whether the Los Angeles Lakers’ hard work in the offseason will translate to the regular season:
“It’s hard to tell at this stage,” he said. “Nobody comes in with a bad attitude. Everybody’s close when they come in. It’s hard to tell at this stage because we haven’t played too much together other than pickup. But everybody looks great. Everybody’s excited. It’s always high energy. Everybody’s excited, they look great, everybody’s been working hard this summer.”
Check out the gallery below for more media day photos, including Derek Willis in his Detroit Pistons uniform and Jodie Meeks’ fresh look with the Washington Wizards.
These were just some of the highlights from Monday’s media days. Find more on our Twitter feed (@ExCats).