You guys have had some tough wins this season. Is it a sign of an elite team and growing maturity where you can win on nights you guys don’t have it? Whether it’s shooting or just defensively.
It’s definitely a sign of maturity. Like I said, playing together for three years also helps you figure it out. You know exactly what to do, you know who can do what, you know exactly where we need to go. It definitely helps you figure it out. It’s a sign of maturity because you are just growing together. Playing together makes a world of difference because you just figure out each others tendencies. So in those times, those pressure moments down 9 with three minutes to go, nobody is rushing, nobody is out of character, nobody is trying to make a certain play they shouldn’t be trying to make. Let’s stick to what we do, let’s stick to what we know and it will change, but that comes with maturity, not just forcing it. Stay within the floor of the offense and executing. It’s a sign of maturity for sure.
Is there a former or current player you can compare yourself to?
I really try to watch all players. One guy I watch a lot now is Boris Diaw. I think he’s so good. I really do think he makes that team better. Tim Duncan is a great Hall of Famer, Tony Parker is a great Hall of Famer, Manu is a great Hall of Famer, but I really think he makes that team go. He does all those small things: he gets into the teeth of the defense, finishes, and passes, getting everybody involved, even sometimes when you don’t think it’s anything, just a catch and ball reversal. All those things really really matter. So right now I watch a lot of Boris Diaw. But I have always watched a lot of guys just trying to put stuff together.
Going to some off the court stuff now. Your mom is really active on Twitter, how does that make you feel seeing her energized, excited and watching your every move?
She is the same person she has always been. She used to say stuff that would bother me sometimes on the internet. I used to get mad but she is who she is. But that’s where I get my fire from. She has been like that my entire life. She raised me with that same fire and energy. That is where I get my fire from, so it’s hard to get mad when I get pretty much got it from my mom, so how can I get made at her. It’s cool though.
You go back to Michigan and you put on free youth camps over the summer. How important is that for you to go back and put on these camps for them?
It’s very, very important always to go back and give back at least for me. Those that don’t do it, I don’t think they are wrong, you do what you feel. I just see it being important to me because I know where I came from and know how that has helped shape me as a person and a player. Guys like Lamarr Woodley, who I always like to say helped raise me, that is my older brother, he helped me so much, those were the things that he was doing and still does, and it showed me the way.
Charles Rogers’ free camp, Darvin Ham’s free camp, Mateen Cleaves’ free camp. They showed me the way. I would be remiss if I didn’t do the same thing because that is what was taught to me. I feel like the kids need that to see somebody that they know, ‘he went to the same school I went to, he’s from the same city I’m from, or he went through the same things that I go through on the daily.’ ‘If he can do it why can’t I?’ You always hear about the negative things in Saginaw [Michigan] and that’s all they hear and see, so to go show them something positive, it’s different than watching the Warriors play and saying ‘Oh, Draymond Green from Saginaw’ and walking up at a camp and seeing that you can touch them. It makes a big difference.
I can’t lie, when I was a kid, NBA players were superhuman to me, you don’t think they’re actually just normal people. You see them on TV, you hear that they make all this money, you see them with all their nice stuff, it just doesn’t seem real to you, especially coming from where we come form, so to be able to walk up and touch them and play with them and learn and listen. I think that makes a huge difference and I enjoy doing that. One of my passions is really working with kids. That has always been my passion. To be in the position where I can do those things, that means a lot to me and I enjoy doing them, it’s not like I feel pressure to do it. If I felt pressure I wouldn’t do it, but I enjoy doing it, I get a joy out of it. It is a phenomenal thing.