Ross Kelly CBS Local Sports
For the four NBA teams who will begin preseason outside of the United States, they held their media days on Friday. But for the other 26 NBA teams, their day was Monday and we’ve collected the best quotes and notes from the sessions. NBA media day, obviously, is nothing compared to the Super Bowl media day but there are always some interesting things said or done such as Gregg Popovich having some fun with an NBA TV reporter.
Here is what else happened during NBA media day:
John Wall on if he’ll be recruiting impending free agent Kevin Durant: “There’s gonna be an opportunity to throw a pitch at him to try to get him to come back home…When the time is right and he can get away from all that, yeah, we’ll probably have some conversation and throw a pitch.”
Metta World Peace on comparisons between himself, Derek Fisher, and Kobe Bryant: “I can never be Derek. But I know I can be myself. Me and Kobe are similar as far as competitive natures. He’s still competitive and I’m still competitive…I’m direct, but I’m not going to give you a spoon full of whipped cream. I’m definitely intense.”
Derrick Rose on if he’s thinking about free agency in 2017 amid the impending rise in player salaries due to the new TV contract: “When you talk about that much money, the only thing you can do is prepare for it. I’m trying to prepare, not only myself, but my family. And I’m doing this all for my son. Like I said, I’m thinking about his future. Even though we’re all right, we’re comfortable, when you talk about that x-amount of dollars, I think it raises everyone’s eyebrows, so there’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared.”
Nikoloz Tskitishvili, the No. 5 pick of the 2002 draft who’s attempting an NBA comeback with the Clippers 9 years after his last NBA game. NBA.com had a great piece on him and it’s well worth a read. Here are some quotes from it:
-On his first stint in the NBA: “As much as I enjoyed being in the NBA, the basketball stuff didn’t click in a lot of ways.”
-On playing overseas: “It’s not less pressure than here. Over there, what makes it tougher is if you have one bad game, they kick you out. One bad game, you’re out of the team, maybe two bad games. I was doing my best to not get cut and doing it every day.”
-On his NBA comeback: “I enjoyed playing so much (overseas), I was like, ‘OK, I’m really enjoying this.’ I’m just enjoying what I do. With this mentality, I got better. All of a sudden, I was like, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’ I think I’m ready for it.”
Andre Iguodala on how life has changed since winning Finals MVP: “My (8 year old) son has higher expectations for me.”
Shane Larkin, current Net and former Knick, responding to Phil Jackson’s quote about his ‘tiny hands‘: “I was going to palm a ball and put it on Instagram for him, but I felt like that wasn’t the right move. I never met a man so concerned with another man’s hands, but it’s all good.”
LeBron James: “I feel just as healthy as I did my rookie year, (pause) I absolutely don’t. I could have definitely used a couple more months off.”
–“I know that Father Time is undefeated, but I definitely don’t think about me not being the best basketball player in the world. It’s been that way for a while.”
–“In September I was doing three-a-days, five days a week. So I believe I improved. Did I get enough rest? No. I don’t think so. But I definitely improved and I feel good about where I’m at right now.”
Approximately 231 NBA players said some variation of the following: “I’ve put on 10-15 pounds of muscle…I’m in the best shape of my life…I took 1000 shots a day…I’m not worried about my contract…etc.”
Lastly, Kevin Love is rocking an ‘interesting’ new hairstyle.
NBA preseason begins October 2 and the regular season starts October 27.