You were drafted by the Thunder in 2010, then you and just-drafted Craig Brackins were traded to the Hornets for just-drafted Cole Aldrich and Morris Peterson. Did you know you were being traded?
Pondexter: “I knew before I got drafted that they were going to trade me. I was real fortunate that they took the pick and made the trade. No hard feelings against 'em. It would have been nice to have been here. But at the same time, I went a different route and I'm blessed to be here.”
How did you find out about the pick and trade?
Pondexter: “We got a call that morning and kind of had a feeling they were going to trade their two picks, 21st and 26th. You know, you have no idea, a lot of times, when you're in the position I was in, I was the 26th pick, I didn't know exactly where I was going to get picked at. But my agent worked things out. Glad I went where I went.”
How have you felt your role has developed in this series?
Pondexter: “I'm still a young guy in this league. I'm happy I'm even out there on the floor, man. It's truly a blessing. To be able to contribute and do whatever I can for this team to win games has been really great. I'll do whatever it takes. Defend, rebound, make shots if I have to. Just as long as my team gets the win. That's all I care about.”
You've done a lot of things in this series. How many different players have you defended?
Pondexter: “Man, everybody. Every single player out there. First two series, I've guarded every position, every player . I'm just out there trying to get wins. I'll play any position I have to.”
Memphis' defense is so tough, is Lionel Hollins' philosophy, play defense or don't play?
Pondexter: “We have a lot of guys that have a defensive-first mentality built in 'em. So it's not like we're doing anything necessarily different, per se. Everyone's just playing their game, playing within themselves. Everyone's really hungry on the defensive end, because they know that's what it takes to win.”
In Game 1, did Hollins set up the final play for you to shoot a game-tying 3-pointer?
Pondexter: “He set it up. Wasn't much time left on the clock. I wish I had made those free throws. But everything happens for a reason. I've moved on from it, but never forget.”
Is that a confidence boost, that your coach would put that kind of trust in you?
Pondexter: “We needed a 3-pointer. Mike Conley, they (coaches) knew they were going to be guarding him. I didn't think teams would be guarding me as tough from the three. I got an open look at it, got fouled on the shot. I wish I had made it.”
Were you surprised Reggie Jackson came so hard that he fouled you?
Pondexter: “If he didn't, I would have made it.”