Spain vs USA today in the semi-finals at 2:30 PM. The T-Wolves point guard went through tough times last season with the loss of his mother and head coach.
“I had a lot going on in my mind. It started with doubts. I started wondering if all the sacrifice was worth it. I put a lot of pressure on myself, like I’ve been doing my whole career. At one point I decided to forget about all the pressure and just play for fun and do my game and enjoy what I do.”
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.
“What happens is we played stupid. We’ve been trying to break that habit of gambling. And we get up and we take two gambles and they score two threes out of our gambles. We have to get through to them that they have to play the right way.”