“The way I feel, I’m not the coach, so whatever he says goes. If I’m starting, I’m playing the same. If I’m coming off the bench, I’m playing the same. If I’m playing three minutes, I’m playing the same. If I play no minutes, I”m thinking the same thing. It’s just go in there and do what you’re supposed to do.”
“I have a chip on my shoulder and I’m going out there and playing as hard as I can.”
“We preach and we talk about it (morale) all the time. They give us their attitude and their effort; I am with them unconditionally. They bust their tails. They are 20-year-old kids and I love coaching them. I respect them and we believe the good days will add up.”
This is not a finished product. I want to continue to progress as a player. I want to become the best player that I can possibly be for this organization. I want to try to take us to a place we’ve never been before.
I’m just learning how to be an even better pro. I mean, you’re talking about some of the best pros to ever play the game. The ability to have them on this team and be able to speak to them every single day and pick from the knowledge they have of this game, it’s amazing. It’s a blessing. You’re talking to Hall of Famers every single day about how to be a better player. When you’re around Hall of Famers, you realize how special it is and how blessed you are to be in their presence.
I’ve worked tremendously hard in the gym to be able to counterbalance [opponents’ experience and strength] with my quickness, speed and a different kind of skill set. I work tremendously hard to be as versatile as possible so that whatever situation I’m in that night, I can always excel at it.
I’ve learned a lot. You learn little tidbits here and there from playing against great [big men] such as Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Hassan Whiteside. Everyone has their little things that make them special. Being able to play against them and learn a little bit from them on the fly, it has helped my game. It’s made me learn some things about myself and I’ve been able to add some things to my game. It helps me tremendously.
From assistant coach Luke Walton:
From the first day of camp, the players were on the court ready to work and were competing. That’s what makes it so much fun to coach these guys. They put their personal goals aside and it’s all about the team goal.
From Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich:
He’s a grown up. He’s a professional who really takes pride in what he does every day, (every) practice.
He came in and tried to learn the system quickly and asked a lot of questions. Even though he’s been in the league awhile, he was like new born in a sense.
That professionalism engenders leadership and it engenders respect from other players. That was established very quickly. That’s one of the first things I noticed about him.
Brett Brown on the culture of the Spurs:
“It’s just brilliant, and what it speaks mostly to, apart from that preparation, is the view that other great players have looking in. To have David (David West) sacrifice like he did, to have LaMarcus (LaMarcus Aldridge) choose whatever he wants and choose the Spurs, that’s just a really powerful statement of them. They’re not going away. They’re just sustaining annual success. It’s amazing.”