NBA media days – The best quotes from around the league as teams kick off the 2022-23 season

With NBA training camps and the 2022-23 season just around the corner, players and coaches will be previewing their teams’ upcoming campaigns at their respective media days this week.

For some teams, this year’s Media Day will be the first unveiling of some of their big off-season signings. These include new Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Dejounte Murray, new Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Donovan Mitchell and new Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. Each of them will meet with reporters for the first time as a member of their new respective squads.

This year’s rookie class will also make their NBA Media Day debut. Paolo Banchero, the first overall winner, will be fresh off his Summer League performance with the Orlando Magic beat reporters as he prepares for his first NBA training camp.

The same goes for the Houston Rockets’ Jabari Smith Jr., the Sacramento Kings’ Keegan Murray, and a handful of other coveted freshmen who are expected to help their teams right away this year.

Then there are some seasoned teams that will have some serious questions and concerns ahead of the season that they need to address. The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, who are under pressure this year to be serious win-now contenders, drew a lot of media attention last year for all the wrong reasons.

LeBron James and Russell Westbrook must explain to Lakers reporters why they will bounce back from last year’s loss.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have to account for their off-court distractions and near-offseason departures in their first media appearances since exiting the first round of the playoffs last season.

Here’s what players are talking about as media days kick off across the league:

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25th of September


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Giannis says Steph is ‘the best player in the world’

For Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s best player debate is easy.

He doesn’t consider himself the current best player in the league because his team failed to win the championship last season. So he was willing to cede that award to Warriors star Stephen Curry instead.

“I think the best player in the world is the one who stands last,” said Antetokounmpo on Sunday afternoon at Bucks Media Day. “It’s the person that takes their team to the final and the finish line and helps them win the game. …that’s how I see it. I think the best player in the world is Steph Curry.”

Antetokounmpo, who was named the No. 1 player in ESPN’s NBArank, acknowledged he’s one of the best players in the league and could have claimed first place after the Bucks won the 2021 NBA Finals. But after losing to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs in a seven-game series last season, Milwaukee fell short of claim.

Antetokounmpo also finished third in NBA MVP voting after averaging 29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists last season, but he pointed out how individual awards compare to the thrill of winning of the NBA Finals failed.

“The feeling I had was a beautiful feeling,” he said. “I got jealous of Golden State when I saw them in the parade and the ESPYs. You know that feeling now. You know what is being taken away from you.”

– Yamal Collier


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Can the Warriors bring it back? “They want to experience it again”

Following their 2021-22 NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors reiterated that their journey through the rigors of the past three seasons made that title feel different. Their fourth championship in eight years was a statement: the dynasty was not Above.

Now the champions are ready to prove themselves once more.

“I don’t think it’s the same chip [on our shoulders]. I would be lying to you if I told you that it is. But there are fries. There are fries. There’s no shortage of chips, I can tell you that,” Draymond Green said on Sunday. That opinion is about as far removed from relevance as it can get.”

Steph Curry added: “It would be foolish to try to contradict us and actually believe that people are going to take you seriously. But we also know that there’s a lot that goes into winning a championship and it’s not a guarantee every year, no matter how much we have a chip on our shoulder. They just accept the work and the motivation.

The Warriors still feel strongly motivated: For the first time in three seasons they are starting the season completely healthy. They want to show that their 2022 title was no coincidence. Perhaps most importantly, their star core knows their championship window won’t stay open forever.

“I mean, the guys who come back, who won it the first time, I just know they want to do it again,” said Klay Thompson. “And I mean for me personally and probably Steph and Andre [Iguodala] and Draymond, think of the players who have won five championships, the list is so short. And to have the opportunity, just the opportunity to be able to do that, is very special.”

– Kendra Andrews

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September 24th


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Can Murray and Trae take the Hawks to the next level?

The Hawks are hoping that pairing Murray with their franchise point guard Trae Young can take their backcourt to championship levels. Murray, coming from the San Antonio Spurs, will play a key role in a postseason contender for the first time since 2019, when the Spurs were eliminated in the first round.

Murray and Young know their chemistry will be key to Atlanta’s success, and Murray has given some thought to what the team’s approach will be once he’s on the ground.

“You will see the ball moving. I think that’s the most important thing – playing right. Lots of excitement, playing defense and like I always said I love defense and I think the best offense is always stop and get out and run,” Murray told reporters.

“I’m just excited. We have a lot of guns around us, guys who can do a lot of things. It starts on defense and will carry over to the offensive end and it will be exciting.”


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Porzingis is motivated by his NBArank crash

The Wizards are coming off their fourth straight losing season, but the trade for Kristaps Porzingis at last year’s close gave the franchise at least one potential franchise piece to build around going forward. Porzingis has been on a statistical decline in recent years since his 2018 split. But he had a productive 17-game stint at Washington late last season, during which he averaged 22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists, reminiscent of his only All-Star season in 2017-18 .

Porzingis was ranked 86th in this year’s ESPN NBArank, his lowest since his rookie season in 2015, and admits he’s using that ranking as motivation this year.

“Especially this year I come with a chip on my shoulder because of the ESPN ranking.” Porzingis told reporters. “I use it as fuel, as energy. I look forward to reminding everyone what I can do on both ends of the floor.”

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34656484/nba-media-days-best-quotes-league-teams-kick-2022-23-season NBA media days – The best quotes from around the league as teams kick off the 2022-23 season

Emma Bowman

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