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  • How are you and your your family doing?

  • How is this offseason?

  • I know it's so different than years of the past.

  • So how are things going, man?

  • Um, this is going great.

  • You know, um, when we left the bubble, I pretty much was focused on just getting healthy and spending time with my son and my fiance.

  • You know, my mom and everybody.

  • Eso It's just been a lot of family time for me.

  • I'm just hanging out.

  • Once I got healthy, it only took, like, a week or two for me to start feeling comfortable.

  • Um, I've just been training every since.

  • You know, I didn't really know when this season was gonna come back, but I was assuming that it was gonna be sooner than later.

  • You know, everybody was saying february and March and, you know, I heard everything, but I just kept telling myself, You need to be ready.

  • And, you know, I'm glad I made that decision.

  • So I've just been training no spending time with my family and just kicking back.

  • So I'm excited to be bet.

  • Okay.

  • Next question goes to Jo Becker with Katie you Television Joe, I believe it's your birthday today.

  • Happy birthday, Jim.

  • Thanks a lot.

  • I appreciate it.

  • Birthday man.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Dame Dame.

  • Is there one thing that you learned from the bubble that's going to help you, uh, prepare for this season, especially not having fans?

  • Uh huh.

  • Um, I wouldn't say it's one thing I learned, I think, um, just having the experience of playing with no fans, you know, being in the empty arena.

  • Andi just playing for the love of the game.

  • You know, you and your team is all you got, and I think going into the season, that's what we're gonna have.

  • And I think based on what we showed in that type of environment, you know, we showed that we could be one of the better teams.

  • Um, you know, when that presents itself and we feel like we've added some pieces to our team that could really help us defensively.

  • Um, you know, and I guess, um, take some of the the burden off of me and c j a monarch offensively because of what some guys bring s.

  • So I think we were coming into a comfortable, you know, we, uh, we're excited, like I said, be back.

  • We're looking forward toa, uh, this season and, you know, coming off our effort and above what we feel like, you know, that was a step in the right direction, especially after, um, kind of season we had to that point.

  • Um, but, you know, we weather the storm.

  • We figured it out.

  • We got ourselves in in the postseason play.

  • We met the best team, the team that ended up winning it.

  • But now you know, we move forward.

  • Um, we don't get ready for it again.

  • Okay, Next step is Nick Kruky from Fox 12.

  • Go ahead, Nic.

  • Uh, so if you missed that, watching other pro sports is the bubble succeed or struggle and just dealing with the virus.

  • What makes you confident that the group of guys you have staying connected and looking out for each other, each other's families We'll be able thio weather this storm and make it through the 72 plus this year?

  • I mean, I think obviously you see everything with the NFL.

  • How you each week is like this guy's in the Kobe Proton card.

  • This guy might not play.

  • This guy's not playing.

  • Um, and I don't think that's always the player going and doing something he's not supposed to be doing.

  • E I remember even during the when, the time with a pandemic first hit, there was people who you know, we're following everything that they were supposed to be following and still ended up, you know, somehow coming down with Kobe so you guys could do the right thing.

  • And we traveling city to city, you know, we're gonna be in hotel.

  • That was even though it's supposed to be blocked off for our teams.

  • Um, you know, I think we'll come across situations where it's possible we could be exposed to something.

  • Hopefully not, but I think it's a possibility just because you know how we're gonna be moving around.

  • Um, but you would like Thio.

  • You would like to think that guys would be considerate of, you know, of our families and you know everyone else in the league and do their best toe, you know, keep it inside and not be, you know, overly exposing themselves thio the possibility of that happening and bringing it to the arena, bringing it to the hotel or anything like that.

  • So hopefully we're coming into this knowing, you know, we gotta handle our business.

  • Um, you know, we already up against it, and you don't wanna You don't put everybody else in even worse position by not being responsible.

  • Okay, Next step.

  • We have Jason quick from the athletic.

  • Hey, and what have the conversations between you and Neil been, like regarding your career timeline and kind of where you're at now that you're 30?

  • Um, I mean, for me is just, you know, let's let's give ourselves a really real shot, you know, at winning it all.

  • And I've been transparent with him about that.

  • Um, you know, just the fact that, you know, we've done everything, you know, I've, um, been swept a few times.

  • We've been out in the first round.

  • We've been in the second round.

  • We've been to the Western Conference finals.

  • You know, we've got a lot of experience, a zone organization since I've been here, you know, highs and lows.

  • We created a great culture, you know, I think we've we've done just about everything, except when it all.

  • And I feel like we've we've had a, you know, maybe two teams, you know, one or two teams that it was realistic for us to go and do it.

  • You know, I feel like the team with L.

  • A and West, and between them and all those guys, we had a realistic shot, you know?

  • And I feel like from top to bottom, we went into that that third my third year, feeling like, you know, we can win it.

  • And then I think the year we went to the Western Conference finals, we legitimately felt like we could win it.

  • Um, you know, But that's just what I've been communicating to him is, you know, Come on, man, that's let's really make a run for it.

  • Let's go for it And that's not, you know, be the organization that says, Oh, we made the playoffs this many years in the road.

  • We've got a good culture.

  • We've got this, you know?

  • Let's let's put ourselves out there and, you know, try to do whatever we can do.

  • Thio give ourselves a real shot, you know, Let's try to bring let's try to bring their glory back toe, support them, you know, it's been what, 50 years?

  • How long has it been?

  • 77 has been a long time and I wanna be a part of that.

  • You know, I get up every morning, and, you know, I trained my ass off, Take care of my body.

  • You know, I don't live a wildlife, You know, a lot of the steps that I take in my life so that I could, um, come out here and be at my best and play at the highest level so that I could win a championship for this organization and for this city.

  • Eso I I've communicated that to him.

  • You know how much it means and what my desire to do that is.

  • And, you know, I think it's clear, and I think he's I think he's doing his best.

  • You know, I think he's really trying toe, um, do that as well, because it means something for him as well.

  • So, um, that's what that's what the conversation has been, you know?

  • Has been transparent, you know?

  • And it is that simple?

  • No.

  • I think that's where all of our heads should be at this point.

  • Okay.

  • Next question goes to Aaron Fentress with The Oregonian.

  • Go ahead, Aaron.

  • In terms of winning a championship, which you just started again is your goal.

  • How do you feel the off since he's a move, which is you closer to that?

  • Specifically the additions of Covington and Jones and the defensive prowess they bring, Um, I think it improves our chances on, and it's hard to say.

  • You know, I think everybody looks at, um, every team that acquired big, big name players or, you know, guys that we recognize and you say, Oh, they're gonna be the best team or this is what it means for them and sometimes it's right and sometimes you know is not is not what you think is gonna be when it when the time comes.

  • And sometimes, uh, you know, you add a piece here, you add a piece there that's really complimentary to your team, and you know, you might do what some people consider is over overachieving and you do more than what's expected and you're capable of doing more.

  • Um, just look at Miami, you know, when they got Jimmy brother, everybody said, you know, that's a great pickup.

  • He'll fit really well with him, but nobody said you alright, they might end up in the finals, so we're not the Miami Heat.

  • But, you know, I think that's a great example of that.

  • Um that that says, you know, you just never know.

  • You don't know.

  • And I think we've never had a problem scoring the ball.

  • You know, we've always been a good offensive team, and defensively is where we've been pretty inconsistent.

  • Um, and we've added to really good winning defenders, great athletes.

  • They both have experience.

  • Um, they both take that challenge, and I think they elevate us on the defensive end of the floor and on the offensive end of the floor.

  • Um, Covington is ah, you know, very reliable three point shooter or, you know, certified three and D Guy.

  • He can rebound.

  • He's, uh, good friend, protector for a wing.

  • He gets steals, he's he has experience.

  • He knows what his rollers is.

  • And then you look at Derrick Jones Jr.

  • Who is a super athlete.

  • A za athletic.

  • Is anybody in the league great length?

  • Love cigar, The best player on the opposing team.

  • You can rebound.

  • Um, just brings that excitement, you know, And I think once you get to the postseason and teams are giving myself in the CJ all this attention, you got slashers and you got shooters and you got guys would feel, um, you know, that that could bring something to the table and kind of change that for us.

  • So, um, if all goes well, you know it and they fit, you know, just right with our team, You know, it's possible.

  • So we shall see.

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How are you and your your family doing?

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