Locker Room Cleanout and the Occasional Random Observation, Part 1: The Young Guys
** “It was a roller coaster from the beginning.”
** Offseason plans: Probably go back to Kentucky where I went to school, work out there with the coaches and some of the players, and maybe come back here before the lockout.
** [What are you working on this summer?] Probably my handles and my mindset. Just being more aggressive.
** [You and Gordon kind of become inseparable during the season…] We had to. The vets, they were together. They all have their wives and families. There’s nobody else really to talk to.
** [What do you know about Gordon Hayward that we don’t?] He’s a good guy, loves his girlfriend, likes Starcraft, ready to go home, oh and another thing, he loves saving his money. He’s not going to spend it on anything. Subway, that’s the only reason we went all the time because it was free.
** “It was a roller coaster season.”
** [Will you be going home, back and forth…] Right now I’m planning on going back and working out where I worked out before the draft, St. Vincent’s, which is 20 minutes from my house. I’ll probably be there most of the summer.
** [What’s left on the Subway card?] Well, I started off with $2,500 and I gave $1,000 to my girlfriend, and me and Jeremy went almost every game and we only used $500 so I’ve still got another $1,000. I really am sick of it, but it’s free so you can’t pass that up.
** [Living at home or getting your own place in Indiana?] Can’t go back to home after being with yourself, so I’ll be there probably 2 or 3 days, hopefully find an apartment real quick and get out of there.
** “Like a roller coaster season for me.”
** [What was going through your mind when you first joined the team?] I was like, I can’t believe this just happened. It happened so fast. All-Star break and Melo got traded to the Knicks, and I’m like OK, Imma be in Jersey then. Come back for practice and next thing I know I just got traded. It just happened so fast. … I was shocked and just surprised by it. I was speechless about it. I was like, man. It just happened so fast. It came out of nowhere. I just had to deal with it.
** My confidence just went through the roof when I got traded. [What was it about being traded that made that happen?] Just anger. I just had a lot of anger built up in me from just the whole time being in trade rumors since I got drafted…and got traded to another team so fast, and [it] just boost my confidence up.
** [Do you have that drive in you that’s going to maximize everything?] Of course I have it. Can’t play basketball unless you have it. People say I don’t have it because I don’t go out there on the court yelling or doing all that crazy stuff. I don’t understand it, but yeah, I have it.
** [What does a 19-year old millionaire do? Do you go back and live at home, rent a condo…] I go back home. Bought my mom a house, and I’m going to live in it too…Best thing, just to buy your mom a house and make sure she happy.
** [Where will you be working out this summer?] Pretty much be back and forth, Utah and Atlanta.
** [Do you plan on being back next year?] Well yeah, that’s my goal. Get back to the NBA, hopefully get back to the Utah Jazz. That’s my main priority.
** [It’s been a crazy season with Jerry and Deron…] I’m just going to say about not making the Playoffs. That’s frustrating. That’s super frustrating. About Jerry and Deron, let’s just move on. Let’s stop talking about it.
** [Goals for offseason] I want Ukraine to win the European championship.
** “I’m leaving tomorrow [to Ukraine].”
Between Gordon leaving the day of locker room cleanout and Fes leaving the day after, no question who Ross Siler is being all judgmental about today…
** [How do you deal with the team option?] Wait until they tell me if they’re going to pick it up or not, basically. I don’t really make any decisions on that…If they pick it up, I’ll be ecstatic, it’d be great if I can be here…This is where I want to be. These are the guys I want to play with.
** Consistency is the word that explains what I need to do, what I want to do, what I want to be. … I think that might be the biggest problem is how bad I want it. I put so much pressure on myself, I’m my own worst critic. I do so much to myself mentally sometimes that I allow myself to play myself out of the game.
** (During the exit meeting, there was talk about) coming back down a little bit as far as size. It didn’t hurt me, I don’t think, but it didn’t do wonders for me either. I think I would rather be back down between 220, 225 and be a little bit smaller to be flying around everywhere faster and quicker than I was this year…every year, I was trying to [get stronger], and my body would never change. This year, it finally did and it blew up so fast. Next thing you know, I was 230 lbs. I was still athletic and I could still move, but I could be a lot more athletic and a lot more faster being this strong but 7 less lbs.