From Orlando Magic assistant coach Mario Elie:
“He’s a young player who wants to be great. He has the right frame of mind, the right attitude. He’s like a sponge. You tell him to do something, he goes out and does it. He can be a great leader for this young ball club. At 19 years old? This guy It’s fantastic to see.”
Be about the team. It’s all about your attitude. Learn to listen, listen to learn. Want to be a better player. Don’t be lazy. Go out and do all you can to improve.
On OKC’s players-organized workouts.
“Guys want to be together. Want to see how we can get better with Coach (Billy) Donovan’s system.”
“I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win.”
“I got to stick to what got me here. The grittiness, doing the things that nobody tends to want to do every night, dive on the floor, do the dirty work, set dirty screens, set nice screens to get somebody open. Those are the things that got me here and I like doing.”
Old School Entry
“All through high school, I practiced from June to September, four days a week, three hours a day; from September to March, I practiced three four hours a day Monday through Friday and five hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. In the fall, before basketball season began, I ran along the streets in town, through fields, over railroad tracks, down to the banks of the Mississippi and back. To improve my vertical leap, I wore weights in my shoes and jumped to touch the rim for four sets of fifteen jumps each, with alternating hands.”
“I think one of the most important things for a young player’s development is that they understand that they will play when deserve the right to play. I think it inhibits a guy’s development when he’s simply handed minutes and doesn’t have to do anything to earn them and thus there’s no reason to work harder or change the way you play.”
“We’re trying to instill our culture into these guys. We’re trying to instill work ethic. We’re trying to instill toughness. We’re trying to instill basic fundamentals of the game of basketball into them. And we’re trying to build cohesiveness among them.”