Denver Nuggets v New Orleans Pelicans
Orlando, FL - JULY 25: Derrick Favors #22 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots the ball against the Denver Nuggets during a scrimmage on July 25, 2020 at The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Transcript: Pelicans center Derrick Favors media availability - July 29, 2020

Derrick Favors Media Availability – July 29, 2020

On the importance of social justice and what he is most look forward to in that regard when games begin tomorrow:
“It’s an important moment for everybody, really. I think that we’re all appreciative of what the NBA is providing for the players to do. I’m just most excited about getting the message out, having everybody tuning in, watching, just to see that change needs to be made. I’m just excited that the message is able to get out and the NBA is allowing the players is express themselves that way.”

On his experience playing basketball while also dealing with personal family matters:
“Obviously family is more important. It’s always tough when you have things that go on in your personal life, or [a family member’s] life. You want to be there for your family, but sometimes you still have a job to do, so you just have to find that middle point in everything. Sometimes, you just have to put your family first, and if something happens drastic in your personal life with your family, everybody understands that you have to go away and handle your business with your family, but when the opportunity comes to come back and play basketball, we all welcome each other back with open arms, and we just try to support each other. Sometimes you have to remember that this is just a game, we still have a life outside of this game. It’s important to take care of your business and take care of your family first and foremost, and sometimes you just have to put basketball second.”

On where he thinks the team is at after the three scrimmage games:
“I think we’re in a good place, we had good practices, guys are in a good place mentally, physically. I think during the games we went out there and kind of picked up where we left off when the season ended, going out there playing hard, playing as a team, guys going out finding their rhythm. I also think even before training camp started guys came back in shape, a lot of guys came back ready to play, were hungry, [ready to] prove themselves, and I think we can come out here and surprise a lot of people. As long as we continue to stay together as a team, play hard and just stick to the one goal, and that’s to make the playoffs.”

On what he’s seen from Zion Williamson over the past couple of days and what people should expect of him:
“When he got back, just being around the guys and being around the team, that’s good enough for us right now. Obviously he’s going to have to work his way back into game shape and find his rhythm. You can’t just throw him into the fire right away and expect great things right away. It’s going to take some time, hopefully not too long, but it will probably take a week or so for him to get his legs back under him and kick some of the rust off and just get back to in-game shape. He’s been working out a lot since he’s been back, he’s been getting a lot of shots up and doing a lot of cardio stuff, so hopefully, I don’t know when, but hopefully when he gets back on the court, he can be his regular, dominant self again.”

On the NBA announcing for the second time that zero coronavirus tests came back positive for players in the bubble:
“I think that’s a good thing, having zero positive tests. I know guys have taken it very seriously and trying to keep it that way. I think everyone who is in the bubble is pretty happy and excited about that news. Definitely don’t want any [positive] tests, definitely want to keep everything negative, and just try to
stay as safe as possible and keep the spread (of the virus) down and finish the season. Hopefully it continues that way.”

On being the first game of the NBA’s return-to-play:
“I think everybody in here is excited about it, just ready to get the season back and started, but having that first game and everyone is going to be watching, I think everyone is excited about it. I know they’re anxious, just ready to get it going. We’re playing a good team in Utah, and I know they’re going to be ready, and we just have to come out there and be ready to play and try to get that win. I know for sure around the gym, everyone is excited about it.”

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