Listen to the full conference call:
On signing with the Pelicans:
“I’m definitely just excited for the opportunity, just to come back home and play. But at the same time, I knew that this is a young core in New Orleans. This is a great opportunity for me to compete for the Pelicans.”
Overall, what do you think about the guys with you, like Terrence Jones, Solomon Hill, and E’twuan? How do you feel about the incoming group of free agents, along with yourself?
“I think we’re all ready to compete and go out there and play hard. We know we’re going to give 100% effort every night and just try to continue to help this team win.”
Just wondering what sort of conversations you had with management, Alvin and Dell, about you’re fitting in both offensively and defensively with this team and just sort of the opportunity at hand for the different roles you’re going to play.
“So far, getting a chance to meet with Coach Alvin and Dell, we just had a chance to say that this is a great opportunity for me to just work hard and compete. I guess you can say at the point guard and off-guard positions. Just be able to be out there and know the guys around me are going to work hard and I think that will bring the culture of being a professional to a whole other level.
What has kind of been your family’s reaction, you know getting a chance to see you play close to home?
“It’s definitely a great opportunity. They’re definitely excited, when I first got a chance to tell my mom and dad and my wife’s family they all just started crying because it’s a great opportunity to see me play as a professional back home. So it’s definitely excitement back home for me.”
On thoughts about violence in Baton Rouge:
“Growing up in Baton Rouge was a great experience and I just enjoyed growing up there. I think it’s definitely a time for the city to bounce back and continue to move forward from here.”
What’s the last few weeks been like for you? I know you got married not that long ago, you’re changing teams. I’m sure you’re either going on or have been on a honeymoon. How hectic has it been these last few weeks?
“It hasn’t been too bad. Getting a chance to just work out, my trainer Drew Hanlen and I have been traveling around and working out. And just getting ready for the upcoming season. I know the wedding was a great opportunity for me and my wife to share that moment. We’ve just been on the move, enjoying this time together and like I said, just working out and getting ready for the season because I know it’s up and coming.
I was wondering, have they told you as far as point guard, off-guard, I know you can play both spots. Have they told you where you’re going to spend more time or where you hope to spend more time or do you feel like that’s something that will progress throughout the season?
“I think it will progress as the season continues. I think just going in there and competing and just being ready to play hard. I think that will definitely show and definitely put me on the floor wherever that might be.”
Is there either spot where you feel more comfortable or does it all sort of work out?
“Whatever position. As long as I get a chance to get on the court and just show what I can do. Given the opportunity I think I can help out in any way."
You mentioned culture and the culture of being a professional. How much when they talked to you was that stuff, professionalism, hard work, and all that kind of stuff, how much was that kind of stuff part of their presentation?
“That was definitely key. I think just through the grape vine they’ve heard that I definitely continue to bring a professional mindset to the locker room. And they know that I’m a hard worker. So I just want to continue that and continue to help the organization move forward.”
On leaving New York:
“It was definitely a great experience in New York, but at the end of the day it was just a great opportunity in New Orleans to go out there and compete and show what I can do on the court, as well as off the court. I think from just talking to Coach Gentry and Dell we definitely came to a great understanding for what they want me to do going forward. I think that definitely played key into my decision.”
Can you talk about what defines you? You’re a guy that went undrafted, you went through the D-League and just your presence as far as hard work. What else drives you to be where you are right now, and what else drives you to be with this Pelicans team?
“Definitely the unseen hours, where I’m just able to work hard when nobody is looking. I just want to go out and prove to those 60 teams that passed me that I really want to show that I can be a professional athlete and continue to be an NBA player. I definitely go out there every night to prove that and continue to show that now.”
Coming from a small school, like Christian Life, when did it actually hit you that you could probably make it to the NBA? Was there a time in your life that you said I can do this?
“When I was at Christian Life, we always had the chance to play against the bigger schools and travel around the country and have a chance to play against all the best teams. It was definitely key. With Coach Foster leading the way and the group of guys that I had around me, I think we definitely competed every night and we really got better as time went on.”
Have you had a chance to talk to some of your high school teammates about returning close to home? Have you heard from them?
“Yes, I’ve heard from the teammates from high school who I’m still in contact with, most of them. Also from my family and friends who are just so excited to see me play and to have the opportunity to just go out there and show what I can do.”
As far as your communication with those inside the organization when you were kind of deciding where you wanted to go. Did you talk to Anthony Davis, have you talked to him since? Did you talk to Dell and Alvin? What was the courting process there and what has it been like since you’ve signed?
“The main thing was just trying to talk to a lot of people in the organization. Just trying to get a feel for everything that is going on right now. I just felt comfortable. It’s a comfortable feeling to know that they wanted me around and wanted me to be a part of it. I think that definitely played key into the deciding factor.”
Have you heard from Anthony Davis yet?
“No I haven’t had the chance to talk to him, but I know he’s probably working out right now and as soon as he has a chance he’ll probably reach out.”
Listen to the full conference call: