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#TrueToAtlanta it’s that time of the year

How are you feeling so far? Excited about the season? Are you getting some good messages from the fans about coming to Georgia?
I’m feeling good, I’ve changed a lot of things around me to help focus on getting in the best shape possible to be ready for an 82 game season. Also the fans are showing me a lot of love. At first most of them questioned me and I totally got that because I have been over seas but I think they will come around to like and appreciate what I have to offer the team.

Atlanta Hawks made a lot of changes during this offseason. So far during this preparation process how do you see the team chemistry coming along?
Everything has been going well. Everybody has been in the gym working hard and off the court everybody seems to like get along well. Very competitive on the court but nobody takes that stuff off of the court.

What are you looking most forward to during this basketball season? Playing again in the US? Possibility for friends and family to watch you live? Playing against the best players in the world?
All of the above. Initially to be honest the main reason was for my family and friends to see me play more. Now I actually enjoy the process of NBA development and it makes me more competitive going against the best players.

How different is the preparation for a 82-game season in the NBA in comparioson to a European season?
It’s a huge difference. Most European preseasons are a month long with minimum breaks. The NBA is more controlled and less demanding on the body. You work hard but for purpose and we have people that genuinely care about developing players.

You recently mentioned Stephen Jackson ( link ) as one of your inspirations. Who would you say is your biggest mentor, in private life and on the basketball courts?
My brother has really been the biggest inspiration to me. Growing up I followed everything he did and he always showed me the right way to do things. Also always gave me good advice and ideas about my game.

What are you going to miss the most about Europe? Culture? Food? Fans or teammates?
I think the only thing I really miss is seeing new places I’ve never been and making new friends. The guys I became friends with in Europe were genuine and we were stuck together for 10 months so we built real friendships, not just work relationships. I also appreciate the fan support but playing in the NBA in front of big crowds will be pretty dope.

Which game early in the season are you looking most froward to?
The first game vs the Wizards only because it will be my first NBA game. Just ready to get the season started.

Are there any particular players / friends that you are looking to play against this season?
Not exactly… I’m just ready to compete with everybody.

Getting to the NBA had to be on top of your list of dreams. What is next? NBA Championship? Marriage/Family? Something else?
Just to continue getting better and to be a big piece to a team. Just to establish myself in the league and be appreciated for what I do

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