24 Seconds presented by Ibotta: Josh Hart
Rugged and tenacious on the court, Josh Hart has one of the most interesting personalities off it among New Orleans players, a man actively involved on social media and via his “LightHarted Podcast.” Hart spoke to Pelicans.com early in the 2020-21 season, taking a look back at last summer’s unique experience in Central Florida, as well as discussing his new coach and a bit of his hopes and aspirations for his future fashion:
Pelicans.com: We didn’t get to ask you about this much last year, so to step back in time a bit, what was it like to play in the bubble? Was that just surreal?
Hart: Playing in the bubble was definitely weird. We played eight games there, and I don’t think there was one game where they announced us running onto the court and I didn’t laugh, because they were announcing us to no one. You might have two people clapping and that was David Griffin and Trajan (Langdon). So, it was a weird experience, but it was cool in terms of being able to bring each other closer together and get to hang out with people off the court.
Pelicans.com: Did you have to change the way you communicated on the court since everybody could hear everything all the time?
Hart: No. We didn't really change the way we communicated. I think it forced us to communicate a little bit more just because the other team could hear exactly what we were saying. So, we had to continuously make changes, make calls, let our other teammates know what we were doing. So it didn’t change how we communicated in terms of phrases and terms, but in quantity.
Pelicans.com: Did the officials have to ignore hearing a lot of stuff that they may not have heard in a loud arena?
Hart: The refs definitely had to let some things go. I think we’re all competitive and said some choice words or phrases. I know I did. So, I’m happy they let that go. And it was weird. I’m sure some of the people back home probably heard a little bit more than they normally would, but everyone had to be a little lenient with some of those things.
Pelicans.com: Stan Van Gundy and Griff have talked about this team being gritty, being tough. We know that that’s how you play. So, do you feel like that fits your style?
Hart: I think it definitely fits my style. At the end of the day, the most important thing to myself and this franchise is just winning. And that’s why you play the game, to go out there and win. For myself, I want to go out there and do anything I can do to help the team win, whether that’s rebounding, defensively, making shots, diving on the floor for loose balls. That’s what I do.
Pelicans.com: What's your first impression of Stan Van Gundy when he got hired?
Hart: It was good, (that) he’s going to make us work and he’s going to hold us accountable. And I think that’s the biggest thing, especially for having a young team and wanting to have a winning culture and build a winning culture – having a coach who can hold people accountable, who can increase our ability to have great attention to detail and to make us have good habits. He's going to try to drill that into us and implement that into this franchise. That’s how you develop a winning culture.
Pelicans.com: You are allowed to answer yourself if you’d like, but which Pelican has the freshest fits?
Hart: Definitely myself. I’m a big Lululemon sweatshirt kind of guy. Nickeil (Alexander-Walker) for some reason, it doesn’t matter if it’s a game or a practice, you always think Keil’s going somewhere after, (because) he always has some fly fit on. Hopefully, when I grow up, I can have a little bit of that swag.