It must feel even greater knowing the Warriors have been doubted more than ever. What defines this year’s version of the team compared to previous years, when players like Kevin Durant were balling in the Bay?
I think those earlier Warriors teams kind of spoiled Warriors fans. I’m saying that as someone who has been a Warriors fan my whole life. That’s not regular, you know. Making it to the Finals, getting there multiple years in a row, that’s not regular. Winning so many championships isn’t the norm. Warriors fans kinda got spoiled. That’s not to say anything bad about Warriors fans—they just got used to winning it. Those are some big shoes to fill, the ‘16, ‘17, ‘18 teams. All those guys were vets, they were stamped in this league. Now we have a team with guys trying to, you know, revive their careers. Or improving themselves after injuries, like Otto [Porter Jr.]. Wiggs [Andrew Wiggins] is trying to get over a hump, too—there’s people saying he’s overrated. Then you got GP II [Gary Payton], myself, D Lee [Damion Lee], who’ve all been trying to make the league for so long. We just have lots of guys with individual goals and journeys to navigate and manage. Just look at GP. He has been trying to crack the league for seven years and he’s finally found a home that has allowed him to thrive. It’s beautiful to see, man. It says a lot about our depth and how the Warriors develop talent. They have an eye for it and gave us all an opportunity.
You also share the locker room with some of the best players in the sport’s history. What game have you soaked up from being around guys like Steph, Draymond, Klay, and Iggy?
Every game is different, brother. I think what’s been the most significant is the playoffs. This is my first time here. Just watching guys like Draymond take his approach to the next level. His attention to detail and his attitude towards the playoffs is totally different. He’s super locked-in in a different way how he’s approaching each and every game. I’m noticing that now.
What about off the court?
For me, I’ve learned how to accept criticism from watching them. Fans talk shit to everyone, including Steph, Draymond, Klay. So who am I to think that fans won’t talk shit about me? That’s something I definitely admire about those guys. They just approach the game with greatness. Everything from how they show up in this profession to the people they have around them. They handle all that well and carry themselves on a different level. It’s championship basketball. These guys are all future Hall of Famers. They act and work like it everyday.
Yeah, it’s crazy how so many people talk wild about Steph.
[Laughs] Yeah, it’s crazy. But you know people will say anything.
What about the younger guys? How has it been watching players like Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and James Wiseman as they develop?