Free agent Andy Rautins said he wasn't scared to face you in a shoot-out from long range. Have you two gone at it yet?
“No, not really. We haven't had the opportunity to shoot together. We shoot at different times.”
This is your third season here. Who has taken on the leadership role of this team?
“To be honest, a lot of guys are more vocal this year, and that's important. Almost anyone will lead by action, but a lot of guys are more vocal. We've got four or five new guys on the team, this year and we just want to teach them and make sure they know their roles on the team.”
How was the first week of practice?
“It was intense, a lot of energy, a lot of guys were all getting after it. We've seen a lot of progress, a lot of maturity on the floor and that's one of the biggest steps for us right now.”
How's your twisted (right) ankle?
“Feels good. Felt good out there today practicing, so it was no problem.”
Coach Scott Brooks said Monday's practice got pretty physical. Do you like it when it gets a little chippy out there?
“Oh, yeah. No question. That's what's going to help us out, being an aggressive team, especially on the offensive end. So we feel like it's important for us to be just as aggressive on the defensive end. We did a great job of playing half-court defense today.”
It seems like you guys have done a good job of putting last year behind you.
“We know we played very well last year, but there's a lot more we can do. We just don't dwell on it. The most important thing for us right now is to continue to get better as a team.”
When you started in place of injured Thabo Sefolosha for 22 games last year, what did you prove about yourself that people maybe didn't know?
“That I can play my role, what I'm always capable of doing every time I go out there. Doing whatever is needed for me to be out there and help the team. Rebounding was probably one of the biggest things.”