Transcript: Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball media availability - July 18, 2020

On the defensive focus in practice:“Our main focus is definitely on defense. We feel like we have enough weapons to be cool on offense, so as long as we stop people, we put ourselves in a good position to win and we’re kind of harping on that in practice.”

On being mentioned in the Most Improved Player conversation:"It’s nice to be in the convo, but I really just want to win. I’m happy that we started turning the season around towards the end to put ourselves in the position to at least have a chance at the playoffs, and that’s really all I care about.”

On if he has talked to Zion Williamson since he left Orlando:"I have not. I wish him the best though.”

On how important Brandon Ingram has been to his development this year and vice versa:“Both of us are gym rats. We’re very close off the court, which helps as well. Like you said, if I don’t want to go in the gym, he’s going to go in and it’s going to make me go in. Vice versa: if he doesn’t want to and I’m in there, he’s obviously going to come as well too. It’s always nice to have somebody run the same race with you, just supporting each other on and off the floor.”

On John Lewis’s passing and the impact that he made:"I didn’t know too much about him, but Coach Gentry definitely touched on him, encouraged us all to read about him today…so that’s what we’re going to do when we get home.”

On playing a lot of five-on-five in practice this week and how ready he is to play in a scrimmage five days from now:“Yeah I think that’s necessary. The quick turnaround we had, being off for three months and then coming back and getting right into the season, I think we have to. We have no choice but to start playing five-on-five early and competitively. I think these next couple of days are definitely going to get us in tune for not only the scrimmages, but when we start playing on (July 30th).”

On what stands out to him about JJ Redick’s veteran presence:“JJ is a ‘Grade A’ professional. He comes in early, he gets his work in. He goes hard every day in practice. You don’t ever see him complaining, taking days off. You can come to him for any advice, whether it’s basketball or non-basketball related. He’s going to help you out. JJ has been around a while. He’s been through a lot in life, seen a lot of things, so he can help all types of different guys.”

On his knack for making long passes on the court:“That’s just how I’ve been playing my whole life, so I guess it’s credit to my pops. My little brothers would always be leaking out so I could get them the ball. On this team, we’ve got a lot of different guys who can penetrate, get in the lane, and start the offense as well. To get it to them, kick (the ball) up ahead before the defense is set, usually puts us at an advantage.”

On if the Coronavirus situation adds a sense of urgency to take advantage of the moment he has now:“For me personally, I don’t think so. I play the same every day. Whether the Coronavirus is going on or not, you never know when you’re going to pick up the ball again. I play the same way regardless.”