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Oklahoma City Thunder Q&A: Why Steven Adams finds it important to return to New Zealand in the offseason

In a Q&A with The Oklahoman from Taiwan, Adams talked about his offseason, his desire to grow the sport in his native New Zealand, his growing offensive game and, of course, food.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: August 23, 2014
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Steven Adams traveled to Taiwan this week to appear at NBA 3X, the league’s grassroots international program that features a 3-on-3 tournament and several interactive activities for fans.

In a Q&A with The Oklahoman from Taiwan, Adams talked about his offseason, his desire to grow the sport in his native New Zealand, his growing offensive game and, of course, food.

Q: How’s your offseason treating you?

A: It’s good. I’ve done a lot this offseason. I’ve been all over the place.

Where have you been?

Outside of New Zealand, the only other place I’ve been is Taiwan. Other than that it’s just been back and forth from New Zealand to (the states).

With this being your first offseason as an NBA player, what’s been your best experience so far?

Probably getting new rookies. Because I can call them my rookies. That’s probably the best part. I’m pumped.

So are you officially no longer a rookie?

No. I have to wait for my first regular-season game. But the coaches look to me for teaching the young guys. I call them young guys. I’m still the youngest, but I call them my young boys.

Why is it important for you to continue to go back to New Zealand so often in between coming back and working out in OKC?

Not only because it’s home but I just want to promote basketball as much as I can in New Zealand. So that’s why I keep going back to try to do camps and just help out. I just recently presented a scholarship to a kid for my school. So just doing stuff like that to continue to try to be in New Zealand and not be distant from them. Because I am an American, and I guess what people sometimes do is not be as involved with your own as much as I do. That’s what I’m trying to do. Keep it genuine but go back as much as I can.

Do you feel a certain level of responsibility or pressure to do that in New Zealand?

Nah. I don’t think I feel any sort of responsibility. I don’t really see it as pressure. That’s just the way it is.

How would you describe how you’ve been welcomed back home this summer?

I’d say it’s been different each time. There were three welcomings really. The first time I went back that was the big one, like ‘Hey, welcome back, Steven’ or whatever. It was full of media and stuff. And then the second one was (quiet). I didn’t tell anyone. And the third one was just recently with (Thunder general manager) Sam Presti and (assistant coach) Mark Bryant.

What did it mean to you to have Sam Presti and Mark Bryant travel to support you in Wellington?

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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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