Describe what your mindset is prior to summer league, having been through the Summer League experience multiple times over the years.
“I feel like my mindset is just to get better. To be better, and to get better. Basically to fall into and learn the system, and pay attention to the details more. I’m not going to go out there and put up 30 shots, but I just want to get better at my craft, and my game. Right now, I’m blessed to be in the position that I am. In the past, in the summer league, I felt like I had to play for a contract. It’s almost like summer league was using me, where now I’m in the position where I can use the summer league to expand my game and get better.”
Your career summer league stats float around 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in about 19 minutes per game, how did you find other ways to stand out to teams, despite receiving limited playing time?
“That’s the thing about summer league. You never know. It’s a toss-up. What you always want to do is you want to be well-conditioned going into summer league, and you want to be well prepared, because you never know what will happen. So it’s all about staying ready, so you never have to get ready. So when you do get your minutes, when you do get out there, you have to play as hard as you possibly can. We will see it. We see it every year. A lot of guys think summer league is all about scoring, and that that’s the only way you can get a contract, but it’s not. At the end of the day, these NBA teams have their superstars already. So these are the young guys that they’re bringing in and looking for them to show what they can bring to a team, which is, nine times out of ten, not about their scoring.”
What has it meant to you to be able to work out with one team this year, rather than bouncing around and working for various teams? How has being under contract been an added benefit as you’ve prepared for summer league?
“The HEAT organization as a whole, as an entire club, has just been amazing. I’ve been here for months now, since January officially, and I’ve been able to settle in and get comfortable. This whole summer, after the season, I’ve been working out down here. I’m working out with the coaching staff, the strength trainers, everybody. I feel like I’m in a good position and I’ve been blessed to be here. I still need to get better though, you know? That’s what the HEAT organization is all about. I’m just trying to get better and follow the leadership that we have in the locker room.”
OFFICIAL: HEAT Announce Summer League Information
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) June 28, 2017
What are some specific things that you’re hoping to improve on, or refine this year during summer league?
“I’m really hoping to use it for my playmaking abilities. You know, last year I was thrown into what really ended up being a great situation, but at the same time, I was trying to find my fit-in place. I thought I did pretty well with that, but I wasn’t there for the full season so I wasn’t quite capable of showing my full capabilities. I’m definitely planning on using it for my playmaking abilities and to refine my leadership qualities.”