Pacers Media Day- 2017

By TYLER SMITH (@TylerSmith_ISL)
ISL Editor 

New uniforms. New players. And a new start for the Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Pacers Sports and Entertainment)

New uniforms. New players. And a new start for the Indiana Pacers.
(Photo by Pacers Sports and Entertainment)

Another NBA season is upon us, and the new-look Indiana Pacers are ready to show the world what they can do.  Here are some of the best quotes from Media Day-

 

Pacers Coach Nate McMillan

“We’re going to play team basketball.  We have a lot of guys that have something to prove, and we’ll figure out how to give guys opportunities.  Victor is a huge part of this organization.  I want to put him in a situation where he can grow.”

 

Myles Turner

Expectations: “I know we can compete this year.  We have the versatility at every position.  I know I’m going to be heavily relied on this season to make plays down the stretch. I’ve just got to make sure I’m ready for those situations. With PG’s departure guys are going to undermine us, but we’re going to take the highs and lows of this season, and I feel like we are a playoff caliber team.”

On the Paul George trade:  “There was a lot of drama that came with it. We got some great pieces.  KP (Kevin Pritchard) did a great job.

On playing with Victor Oladipo: “Vic is explosive. I didn’t realize how athletic he was.  I’m looking forward to his explosiveness on the court.

On becoming a leader:  “We have leaders on this team. It’s not like I’m the lone leader. But this year’s going to be great for me to grow into that leadership role.    I don’t really feel pressure. The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself.  I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

On the veterans that were brought in: “Year’s past, the vets were here, but their voice didn’t always resonate too well in the locker room.  I feel like that’s something that’s going to change this year.

 

Lance Stephenson- 

On being 6th man–  “I love it. I’m going to embrace it and try to come in with that energy off the bench.  When you come off the bench, you can analyze the game. You come in, you already know what you have to do.”

On the new season- “I feel like this is a new beginning.  Three years ago, I was going through my ups and downs.  This year is a new start. I feel like a rookie again. I feel happy coming into this season and feel very confident.”

On losing Paul George-  “It was tough.  Me and Paul came in together. Him leaving when I came back, it was tough on the whole organization, but I think we’ve moved on and we just have to get ready for the season.”

On the Eastern Conference– “I feel like the East is very open.  With the team’s we are playing against, I feel like we can get there.”

On the low expectations– “I love it.  I’ve been doubted my whole, and now my team is being doubted. When you’re the underdog, you’ve got to come in with that tough energy and prove everybody wrong.  We lost Paul, but I feel like have a group of guys that are very hungry.  We have a lot to prove. We’re gonna show them.”

 

Victor Oladipo-

On playing for Indiana- “It’s feathery to be back.  That’s my word.  I’m excited to be here.”

On growing as a player– “Sometimes you second guess yourself and get nervous. Now I’m so much more mature and realize the situation I’m in.  It humbles you and makes you grow.  That kid (at IU) was comfortable.  I don’t ever want to be comfortable.  My back is always up against the wall.”

On his teammates– “I think we compliment each other well.  I’m looking forward to playing with these guys.”

On Coach Crean– “Coach Crean made me who I am today.  He taught me how to be a guard.  He taught me to do things I couldn’t do before.  He believed in me before anybody else.  He’s a father figure.”

 

Darren Collison-

On Turner/Oladipo- “Myles knows it’s his team. His personality makes guys want to play with him.  We have a lot of young guys that can step up like Vic as well.  He has All-Star potential.  A lot of guys shy away from it, but him and Myles want to lead this team.”

On playing in the East– “I’m happy I’m out of the West, I know that much. We have more of a shot in this conference.”

 

Thad Young-

On not getting traded– “I didn’t know what would happen.  But this is a good situation for me to help these young guys and grow my game.  Now I have to step up into a different role.”

On his wrist– “It’s great.  I was rehabbing all season and getting it back to 100. Now that it’s 100, I’m ready to rock and roll.”

 

Kevin Pritchard-

On the starting lineup: “The battle at center is set, we know that much.  But I like battles at every position. Healthy competition brings out the best in you.  I want guys going at each other and then picking each other up.”

On tanking– “I don’t like that word. I always want to be competitive. I want us leaving the court saying we played hard, we played smart, and we played together.  That will give us a chance to win, and I’ll be happy with that.  I think this team is going to have an internal toughness and are going to fight hard.  We’ve put all of our focus into a culture of development.  That doesn’t mean we aren’t trying to win. It means we are trying to develop the best we can.”

 

 

 

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