GRANGER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
Brandon Ehrlich | 3/1/2014
Read the full transcript of Danny Granger’s introductory press conference at Staples Center prior to the Clippers matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans:
Q: What made you choose here, with the Clippers?
A: "Number one, I’ve always like the style that Doc [Rivers] coaches. I’m not saying I don’t like Pop [Gregg Popovich]’s style or Spo [Erik Spoelstra]’s style. I just think this team, I can have the biggest impact, and feel like they’ve got a role [inaudible]"
Q: Your conversation with Doc, it’s sort of like he's been in this recruiting process... Tell me the conversation that you guys had and how he kind of sold you on this.
A: "Doc [Rivers] is a laid back coach, and that's really kind of a breath of fresh air. A lot of times in the NBA, you have coaches that are really sticklers about a lot of things. His laid back nature is very appealing. The style of offense he said they play...I was familiar with it; we played against them. They run and [inaudible]. They get up a lot of shots and a lot of alley-oops. It's an exciting way to play. It's a fun way to play; and that's always intriguing, especially for an offensive-minded player like myself."
Q: What has this time been like for you?
A: "I think it's been more emotional for my wife. She was following the media, and when heard about the trade, she was like, 'What happened to staying in Indiana forever?' I was like... I realized the trade could happen. I was in the last year of my deal, and that's a valuable expiring contract. So when it happened, I packed up the next day. I was in Philadelphia to talk with those guys. They're a great organization, by the way. And, we found something that works for both sides. Then I left...actually i was in Philadelphia for probably about three days, then I left and went back to Indiana. I saw my family. I saw my kids. Then I came to Los Angeles. I have an offseason home here and my agent is based here. So, we took a couple calls from different teams and made a choice. This all happened within three or four days, too. So, it was crazy"
Q: You played in the league when the Clippers were not so good. Seeing their facility now that you're part of the team, talk about the decision to come here and how the culture has kind of changed here.
A: "The culture has changed tremendously. First off, when I play here in the offseason, a lot of us come to the Clippers' facility. So, I'm familiar with it. It's one of the newest facilities in the NBA. [There are] a lot of state-of-the-art things that they have there. And the culture's really changed. I think bringing Doc [Rivers] here, and CP [Chris Paul], obviously probably the best power forward in the League, with Blake [Griffin]; it's a winning culture now. I think playing in the Western Conference is such a challenge because you have so many teams that are so good. In the East, it was really just Indiana and Miami. Out here, you're two games away from the seven-seed, and three away from the first seed, so it's exciting basketball."
Q: What about your conditioning right now?
A: "It's good. Throughout the week that I was off, I trained. I worked out, training hard. Obviously, that doesn't compare to real NBA minutes on the court, but I don't think it's terrible and I think I'll get back pretty quickly."
Q: How long have you lived in LA. Does that make the transition a little bit easier?
A: "Yeah, I've been here for seven years, every summer. And it makes it a lot easier. I already have a house here. I'm familiar with the city. I know my way around really well. My wife is thrilled because she knows her way around. We have two 19-month old twins. So, they're running our lives right now; so it makes it a lot easier just to be able to bring them to the home here and kind of [inaudible]."
Q: How do you think that you help the Clippers?
A: "If you look at the way they play...they get the ball up fast, they space the court, they shoot a lot of threes, that's the optimal type of system. That's the type of system that I would probably thrive in. That's the system I have thrived in, in the past. And believe it or not, playing that way... I think all of the players want to play that way. Everybody gets their shots, no one's upset about this or that. It's just, you play, you have fun, and you win."
Q: It's your first game here with the Clippers. Did you feel like today, you were able to be in your pre-game rhythm? And you're feeling like, 'Ok this is where I am now.' Has it sunk in yet?
A: "It really hasn't sunk in yet. I don't even have a pre-game rhythm yet, because they told me here that a lot of games are at 7:30 [pm] and in Indiana, it was usually at 7:00. We had our practice court attached to the facility, so that changes things. Here, we don't have it here [at STAPLES Center]. It's a different organization. Every organization does things differently, and it just takes a while to get accustom to it. I'm still... I got lost walking in here. I couldn't find the players' entrance. I must have been here a thousand times playing throughout the years, and I still couldn't find the players' to drive in."
Q: It's different when you don't have the bus, right?
A: "Yeah, because I don't pay attention. We are usually on the bus, so I drove around like five times to find the players' entrance."
Q: Since you live in LA, and I know that [you have] and expiring contract, would you be open to signing a contract to play in LA?
A: "Definitely. I've always loved LA. Like I said, this city... I'm so familiar with it. It would be a dream to play here, honestly."
Q: What do you tell the doubters out there that say, 'Hey, Danny Granger hasn't been the same in two years'?
A: "I haven't played in two years. I don't let it bother me. This year, early in Indiana, I was coming back. I had hurt my calf. I had to lay it off for a year. It doesn't bother me. I know I'm getting healthy, and I'm really healthy right now. And I know what I'm capable of. I've never been the one to even read the media. Even when I would have a great game, I didn't read. When I had a bad game i didn't read. You know, it just keeps you more even-keeled."
Q: Danny, having been a starter, do you feel like that would be your best role on the team, or can you adapt if Doc says you're more effective off of the bench? Or do you think you're a starter?
A: "Well, I've always been a starter in my career. But, to [make a] point on that now, coming to a new team, we have 25-26 games [remaining in the regular season]. Whatever role Doc [Rivers] sees fit for me is the one that I will do. I'm not one of those players that says, 'I have to do this, or I have to do that.' I just want to play, have fun, shoot some threes, throw some lobs, and go celebrate."
Q: How much are you salivating over the opportunity of playing with a guy like Blake?
A: "I'm loving it. I just remember how hard it is to defend his screen-and-rolls, and him jumping all over the place, and all of the people [inaudible]. It was very hard to defend. So, to be able to play with someone like that is really special. You've got to take advantage of the opportunity."
Q: I would imagine that it would open things up offensively for you, then?
A: "Oh, it does. A shooter loves Blake [Griffin], because they've got to hold him and try to stop him. And then, you've got DeAndre [Jordan] on the other side, who's just...you just throw the ball by the rim. [And] you get so many open looks as shooters, so that is the biggest gift a shooter can have, is dominant bigs."
Q: Is your family out here yet?
A: My family will get here Wednesday. Like I said, the twins make things a little difficult. So, they'll be here Wednesday... my wife and my mother-in-law, with the babies.
Q: When you signed with the Clippers, did you hear it from any of your ex-teammates?
A: "Yeah, they all texted me. We all were like brothers there. I watched most of those guys get drafted. I wish them the best, just like they wish me the best. So, I called a few of them. I called David West before I even signed here to ask him about Chris [Paul]. I texted Roy [Hibbert], I texted Paul [George]. A lot of us always keep in touch. We have great relationships."
Q: What did David West say about Chris?
A: "He said that he's the most competitive guy he's ever played with. He said, 'If you do choose Los Angeles, you will love playing with Chris [Paul], and he's going to do whatever it has to take to win.' He said, 'You'll love playing with Chris. He's one of the greatest players he played with."
Q: Going through shootaround, have you picked up on that yet?
A: "You know what, I wouldn't... I was going through shootaround, and they were going through plays, and I was sitting on the side, trying to figure out what they're running… because, I had an iPad last night, and I went through all of the plays. So, I kind of just sat around at shootaround and tried to figure out what they were running. So, we've got some plays that I'm comfortable with. Maybe we'll run those."