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OKC Thunder: Forward Lazar Hayward getting intense at Orlando Summer League

Lazar Hayward says he's been working on his defense and leadership in Orlando.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 11, 2012

Q: What went into your decision to play in Orlando this week?

A: It's a decision Sam (Presti) and I had talked about. With me not getting a lot of time this past season, I felt that it would be a good idea for me to come out here and get some competitive run in. And a lot of the guys that are out here can play. I just love to play. I don't mind. Just because it's summer league doesn't mean it's a bad thing. So anytime I can come in and get some competitive minutes I'll do that.

Is there anything that you're trying to develop while you're in Orlando?

I would say maybe just fine-tuning, just working on the leadership, playing defense, playing hard. Nothing in particular, but just overall, making sure I play as best as I can and try to get us the win.

You've been real intense this week. Where do you get that from?

(Laughs). I've always had that. Sometimes I may not get to show it as much in OKC, because we have a bunch of guys that beat me to it. So I've been able to showcase that a little bit more.

You also look like you're an extremely vocal leader. When you're on the court, you're always talking. What's up with that aspect of your game?

I think it's just a carry-over from college. Maybe some guys get a little nervous. Some guys may forget some things. And I just want to make those guys feel as comfortable as possible. I don't want them thinking I'm like a big-time player or anything. I've always been a guy who thinks about his teammates first. If I can do that vocally then I'll make that happen.

Your rebounding has stood out this week. Have you always been a good rebounder?

Yeah, I've always been a crash-the-glass guy. I think it's just a mentality thing. Once I'm doing a really good job rebounding I'll probably play better.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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