Anthony Morrow, Greg Stiemsma Introductory Press Conference Transcript

Anthony Morrow:
Opening statement…
Just glad to be here. I’ve gotten a great warm welcome from everybody. I love the city of New Orleans, but I haven’t found somewhere to live yet, so I’ve got my girl (friend) on my back about that. It’s good being here and I’m really looking forward to getting to work with the team.

On his role with the team…
”Really just continue doing what I’ve been doing the first four or five years in the league. I want to fit in and play my role. Whether it’s off the bench, whatever they ask me to do scoring the ball, really challenging myself as a professional in Monty Williams’ system. I talked to Jarrett Jack who was here, and everybody loves him, he is one of my closest friends and he told me that I would really enjoy it here. He told me a lot about what Monty (Williams) will expect from me defensively. First and foremost, I want to do that and continue to work my way in offensively. They know what I can do, so I want to continue to do that as I challenge myself defensively.

On talking with other players before joining the team as a free agent…
“Jarrett (Jack) played with Monty in Portland and New Orleans. He had seen him as an assistant and a head coach so he had a lot of good insight for me. I knew a lot of these guys here coming in like Tyreke (Evans) and Eric (Gordon) as well as Al-Farouq (Aminu). It’s good to know a lot of guys that have been here and been in the system here and I think I’ll fit in real well.

On his ability to get open shots with this team…
“Well we’ve got a lot of guys that can get to the rim, a lot of guys that can penetrate: Jrue (Holiday), Erik (Gordon), Tyreke (Evans) and Austin (Rivers). Also, we have a three point threat in Ryan Anderson who can knock down shots. I’m seeing ways I can get shots now in pick up (voluntary workouts) and it’s going to get even easier when we start throwing sets in this season.

On what he sees from the team offensively in voluntary workouts…
“Like I said we got a lot of guys that can get to that rim, everybody plays hard. I had two different matchups, yesterday it was Farouq and today it was Austin. So just seeing a lot of the things those guys do, we move the ball well and we play as a team. It’s a fairly young team so Monty being the coach he is, he’s going to get everybody on the same page. Once that happens we won’t have any problems scoring with myself, Eric, Austin, Jrue and all of those guys.

On makeup of team…
“We’ve got a lot of guards, I’ve usually been on teams with more shooters in Atlanta, Dallas and Golden State. I think we are more talented than my first year in (New) Jersey. It’s kind of a unique situation with a mixture of Tyreke, Eric, Jrue, Austin, and Brian Roberts. We’re really athletic and we can get out on the break, I hope to get in mix it up and stretch the floor a little bit with Ryan (Anderson) and B-Rob (Brian Roberts).”

On competing for minutes, defense…
“I think playing with Avery (Johnson) for two years, I think Monty is in that same mold. I’ve seen and heard a lot of those same comparisons. That was one thing I was worried about when I was playing for Avery. Now it’s just coming in and competing and it will be a similar type of situation. I’m excited to just come in and do what I can do.”

On free agency process…
“It is a blessing, I thank God for being here and being in this situation. After coming out of Atlanta and Dallas it was a learning experience and part of the game. I knew I was cool and I understood it was part of the business. It wasn’t a character thing or anything having to do with me, it was mentally tough to be strong. But after talking to Dell Demps the last few days of free agency it was real comforting to know they wanted to me here. I was accepted by Coach Williams and the entire staff. It’s a good situation to be here and understand my role with the team and still being able to challenge myself for minutes. I told them I didn’t want anything, I just wanted to come in and work.”

Greg Stiemsma:
Opening Comments…
“I’m very excited to be here. I’m still getting acclimated to the city and this warm weather. The warm weather is a little bit different than what I’m used to, but I’m looking forward to being in a new place and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

On being brought in as a physical presence for the team…
“We haven’t gone into too many details on what my role will be exactly, but my resume kind of speaks for itself as far as what I have done so far. What they want me to do here is not going to change.”

On the opportunity to emerge as a starter…
“I’m definitely looking for big things this year for myself personally. This is a good opportunity to be a part of a young team that is building and trying to turn around a franchise. I think we have the right pieces to do that and I think I can fit in with that pretty well. We have guys that can score and guys that can get up and down the floor, so I’ll just do what I do. I’ll rebound and block shots and help out however I can.”

On what else he plans to bring to the team besides his shot-blocking skills…
“Obviously, Anthony (Davis) can block shots too. That’s what it means to be a physical presence inside, not let (the opponent) get anything easy. I kind of take it personally to own the paint. You have to do the small things that don’t always show up on the stat sheet, but the little things that guys do to help their team win. Dive on the floor, be in the right spot, be in the right position, and hopefully I do all of those things.”

On Monty Williams, a defensive-minded coach, being a dream coach for a defensive-minded player such as himself…
“Absolutely. Everybody knows that everyone can score in this league, and the teams that are successful and go far are the ones that can stop people. Any coach that makes defense his number one priority makes you lick your chops a little bit when you get that opportunity to be a part of that. I think Coach Monty does that and I’m excited to be here and excited to be a part of what we are going to accomplish this year.”

On players in the NBA that contribute most of their skills on the defensive end of the floor…
“It just kind of justifies the role that you play. When you pride yourself on defense and you have a coach like Monty, that’s what you want.”

On his conversations with Monty and what the coaches are expecting from Greg this season…
“We haven’t gone into the details about starting spots and bench players yet. I’m going to look at this as a great opportunity to start a lot of games. That’s the mindset I’ve got going into camp. Somebody is going to have to take those (starts) away from me. I’m going in with the confidence to play at that level and kind of own up to that position too.”

On why he thinks he’s ready to take that next step…
“I think I’m a fit for this team. I think we have guys that can get up and down the floor and guys that can score. Obviously, I’m not a go-to scorer, but I can definitely hold my own. My defensive presence is going to be what this team is going to need.”

On what sold him on New Orleans and the Pelicans…
“I think the other pieces coming in and the potential that this team has played a major part. The opportunity to play a lot of minutes and to be a starter, a bigger part of a team with a bigger role was a major factor. Those are things that we looked at collectively and then I just made the jump.”