What’s it like to play at Madison Square Garden? It’s obviously a great place known for basketball.
“Yeah it [Madison Square Garden] has a lot of history. Anybody who’s done anything in the game of basketball has probably had a moment or experience in that building and you most likely get one chance to come play here and you’ve got to take advantage of it and enjoy the atmosphere.”
What do you most remember about your career high points effort at Madison Square Garden?
“Everything, it was pretty special. Just almost kind of like last night in terms of everything you throw up just goes in and kind of feel the buzz from the Knicks fans – it’s like a love/hate entertainment. They love the show but it’s against their team but it’s what you enjoy about the road atmosphere and it’s even elevated that much more at the Garden.”
Your teammate Jacob Evans was still in high school when he watched that game on TV. Obviously you broke in at a very different time in the Golden State history. How different is it for him coming to a Championship team compared to how it was for you coming here at the start of a rebuild?
“It’s obviously different experiences. There’s a deer in the headlights type of look when you’re first going to play for the Warriors when three out of the last four, whatever the case is, we are on stage all the time so you see us play and I would guess for him he feels like he knows us a lot more than any other rookie coming in just because you’re have so much exposure to what’s going on here. So he’s in a great situation and can hopefully be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge and wisdom as he can just being around our locker-room. We’re going to encourage him to keep doing what he’s doing and developing and when he breaks through, it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Steve said that you’re at your physical and emotional peak and he really likes where you’re at mentally too. How do you keep creating new peaks for yourself mentally when you have accomplished so much in your career?
“It’s part of my DNA – my success and my approach on and off the court. That doesn’t change no matter how successful you are, it almost reinforces it. Over the summer, the consistent approach that I had, my training and all that type of stuff and just the perspective I have in terms of no matter what noise is around me, what people say or where I’m at in my career and all that type of stuff – it’s just me waking up every day, feeling blessed doing what I get to do. Continue to try to find different ways to get better and push myself and that’s the goal every day staying in the moment and enjoying myself. That’s the best part of what I get to do every single day.”
It looks like a video game to some people, do you see this as the fruits of your labour and the work that you put in this summer?
“Oh for sure, I mean I don’t know how it sounds but every shot I took last night and every one I try to take each night, you work on it at some point or another. Still it’s mostly natural with the hours you put in and the muscle memory and all that type of stuff obviously – and you continue to push the envelope and take some chances or not and add some creativity to it but all that’s kind of built upon work. That deserves plaudits for sure.
You and some of your teammates were featured in a Documentary coming out next weekend called Shut up and Dribble about players speaking out on social issues, political issues. For you personally what has made you feel more comfortable stepping into that space and speaking your mind when you see things that aren’t right?
“I don’t know if there is a specific decision point on that – it’s mostly just being comfortable with what you stand for and try to be as educated as possible on what you’re talking about. Respecting the platform you have where what you say holds a lot of weight and reaches a lot of different people and you can speak for people who can’t speak for themselves. I think the way that the guys throughout our league have taken advantage of those opportunities is really empowering. And knowing we all have each other’s’ backs on any type of issue that comes up, it’s a great time to be in this League and be able to raise awareness or shed light on things. Not going to please everybody – you’re going to fall on one side of the equation or argument or issue but being comfortable knowing you stand for something is important.”
Are there any type of places that you like to go when you come to New York?
“If I say where we’re going you’re all going to show up! The City has a different vibe and energy anyway so no matter what you get into you have a little pep in your step just being here. I don’t know what specifically is on everyone’s itinerary but we’re going to have a good time obviously and enjoying the opportunity to play basketball and that’s what we came here to do. We have a long weekend here, Saturday whatever the case is, I’m sure the boys will enjoy the City refreshed and have some fun.”