Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Thunder

Jan. 22, 2014

(On if he has seen Kevin Durant play as good as he has been lately…)
“Probably not. Night in and night out, doing what he’s been doing for the last couple of weeks, that’s remarkable because there’s guys trying to keep him from doing that, and he keeps doing it anyways. So that’s pretty impressive.”

(On Kevin Durant’s hot streak…)
“The impressive part is that he’s doing everything he can to help his team win, and that’s what he cares about. He’s a great competitor and he’s also a team guy. Great players shoot a lot of shots, there’s nothing wrong with that, but he’s doing everything he can to help his team win and I think that’s pretty great. I just respect his game, very much.”

(On players getting playing time because of injuries…)
“It’s the same old thing, you hope that those guys gain experience and if they play in the playoffs hopefully the experience they’re getting now will help them. That’s always the hope. You’d rather have all of your guys. Oklahoma City would rather have (Russell) Westbrook back, even though his replacement (Reggie Jackson) is pretty darn good. We haven’t done anything with him, he’s killed us every time.”

(On Kawhi Leonard’s defensive progression…)
“Well sure, there’s no formula to say that he’s at this level or that level. Part of it is just familiarity with players. He’s a young kid, there was a lockout year involved there, he was hurt for a whole summer and he couldn’t do anything until he came back to camp, and then he was slow. So he’s had kind of a slow start really, as far as experience is concerned. But every time he plays against a Kevin Durant or somebody like that, it’s food for thought for the future. It’s great stuff. He’ll get smarter as he goes, but he has to be out there, that’s the best thing for him. He’s got the will, he’s got the drive, he has the body for it, so right now he’s going to be studying his Bruce Bowen films; see how we can make him like Bruce.”

(On Tiago Splitter’s sprained right shoulder…)
“It’s been steady progress. I think he’s still a couple of weeks away. So unfortunately I think he and Danny (Green) will both miss the trip we’re about to take, the ‘Rodeo Road Trip’, which is too bad. But that’s the way it is, every team has injuries, and everybody has to deal with it, we’re not different.”

(On Tony Parker’s right shin contusion…)
“Yeah, I think so. It didn’t react as well as we thought it would. It stiffened up at halftime of that game (against Portland), and we were disappointed in that, but he feels much better now.”

(On Reggie Jackson…)
“The first thing that hits you is that’s a confident young man. He’s taking no prisoners, he’s not differing to anybody, and he’s not doing it gingerly. He’s being aggressive and he’s playing to win, so that’s impressive. And secondly, he’s made pretty darn good decisions. A young guy can come out and maybe try too hard, do too much on his own, not find open people. But his decision-making has been really good, so I think those two things have been really impressive.”

(On his concerns…)
“Coaches are always concerned. I’d be here for days talking about concerns. The Miami Heat have concerns, Indiana (Pacers) has concerns, everybody has concerns. Too many to describe in detail.”