Utah Jazz v New Orleans Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 16: Nickeil Alexander-Walker #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Utah Jazz on January 16, 2020 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

Transcript: Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker media availability - July 13, 2020

Nickeil Alexander-Walker Media Availability – July 13, 2020

On using his left hand more after injuring his right wrist before the NBA hiatus:
“Right now I’m just trying to keep it simple. I used that time (off) to really work on my left and try to strengthen my left so that I’m capable of doing things with both hands. It wasn’t really a focus. I couldn’t really shoot with my right at the time, so it was just about practicing getting it off, reading the defense. I didn’t want to force anything while playing, so if I had a shot I had to shoot it. With the capabilities of my right, I just shot with my left.”

On competing for minutes:
“There’s so many great guards on the team. But at the same time, it’s just the love that I have for the game, the passion that I bring to it. I want to be great. I want to be the best player that I can be. It’s difficult when you’re young and you’re feeling like you’re kind of slipping away from the pack and you’re trying to keep up. I think it’s just taking it as it comes, staying confident in myself, believing in myself, trying to keep a level head. It’s a tough road, but it’s my rookie year. I can’t expect everything to come at once. That’s what Coach (Gentry) has been talking about, and I’m just trying to do that.”

On how he used his time during the NBA hiatus to work on his game:
"Fortunately I actually got a lot of time to reevaluate, (understand) where I’m at right now (and) at the time of the hiatus also, and just kind of focusing on what I need to improve on, where I lacked in the season and how (I) can improve with what I have now. During the quarantine it’s not as easy, but I was able to get in the gym, still work out, still try to get lifts in, try to stay in shape, watching a lot of film. I messaged one of the film guys about Manu Ginóbili specifically because I had to use my left a lot….his craftiness, his speed, his change of pace. He was a great player in my opinion, and (I was) just trying to pick up as much as I can from him. There are kind of ‘older era’ guys that aren’t really around right now but that were effective.”

On growing ¾ of an inch since March:
"I didn’t realize it until I got back, but I’ll take it. I’m never not going to take an extra inch. If I could get another ¾ that would be cool.”

On his perspective on social justice issues in America, having grown up in Canada:
“Regardless of everything that has happened and me not being from here, I still feel for all of the people that (injustice) has happened to. I am another black male in America, so that’s the reality I have to live with. I also live here and this is where I work. So for it to happen, I still have to educate myself as much as I can. I’ve been talking to Swin (Cash) about how Canadians can be eligible to vote here, being as that I’m going to be living here – God willing – for a long time. Just trying to do the best I can to stay in the loop and educate myself.”

On what has stood out to him in the first four practices in Orlando:
“The intensity. I feel like guys are tired, they’re trying to get back into shape, but at the same time everyone’s competing, everyone’s getting after it. There’s a lot of trash talk, so you always like that. When guys get heated and their emotions run high it’s because of the compassion for the game and everyone’s trying to do better. Everyone’s forcing each another to get better when you compete day in and day out at a high level.”

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