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Transcript: Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball media availability – July 6, 2020

Lonzo Ball Media Availability – July 6, 2020

On his confidence level in the NBA’s return to play in Orlando:
“I think it’s going to be a day-by-day thing. Obviously nothing is going to be perfect. This is something that’s never been done before. There’s still a lot of question marks. Like I said, I think it’s going to be day-by-day. As long as we try to (abide) by the rules, I think that’s going to help get us through the season. I can’t really tell you whether it’s going to work or not. I don’t know how I feel about it, I’m just happy to see my teammates and at least be out there as a team trying to win for the organization.”

On his approach to quarantining in Orlando for a few days upon arrive:
“Really just stretch, watch Netflix. I mean there’s nothing you really can do. Try to get my in series in, whatever that is, and keep you updated on that.”

On what he was able to do basketball-wise during the hiatus:
“When I first got home, I had a gym. They closed it for about a month because of the 10 people (capacity) rule or whatever. They started taking the rims off at the parks as well. So for the last month and a half, I didn’t have a gym until the last two weeks I was out there. I’m trying to do as much as I can do right now.”

On how the player’s coalition was formed and how he became a part of it:
“I got a phone call asking me if I could be a part of it. I told them I’d definitely do that. I know JJ (Redick) was happy to do it as well. Basically to just try to bring change as fast as possible and do whatever we can to bring awareness to the situation, spread light to the situation, and try to get things fixed.”

On how important it is for him to be involved in the Black Lives Matter movements, attend protests in Los Angeles, and be vocal in that regard:
“When I was back home, obviously I was in Chino Hills. I’m the biggest name to ever come out of there, so it’s only right that I use my platform, use my voice that I have to spread light on the situation. I just feel like us as the whole NBA, people look up to us. So, anything that we can say or can do, I feel like we should take those steps and do it because all of the eyes are on us.”

On how tough it was for the season to end when he was playing some of his best basketball:
“Yeah, I thought I was playing good basketball going into the virus stopping everything. Hopefully I can pick up where we left off – not only me, but as a team I feel like we were moving in the right direction and I think we have a chance to make the eighth spot.”

On if he ever had a hesitation about returning to play in Orlando with everything going on across the country:
“I definitely think right now it’s bigger than basketball. I really don’t know how I feel about that, going over there and kind of taking away from everything that’s going on. But hopefully we can have that spotlight on us and just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, and go what we can to promote change.”

On the possibility of Alvin Gentry not coaching the team in Orlando and how his relationship with him has been:
“It’s been great. As the year has gone on, I think having a full team back has helped us a lot…me and
Alvin. Just knowing everybody’s tendencies and knowing our strengths and weaknesses as a team. Without those two guys going, Jeff (Bzdelik) as well for the defense, I think that puts more of a responsibility on my back to definitely speak more and get people in the right spots to enable us to win.”

On what he expects to see from Brandon Ingram when the Pelicans start playing in Orlando:
“He’s definitely going to maximize (the opportunity). We’re looking to him to score the ball, doing things for us on both sides of the ball. I think he’s going to pick up right where he left off. He’s been that guy for us all year long, I don’t think anything is going to change.”

On if he has given any advice to his brother LaMelo about the upcoming draft which will be under abnormal circumstances:
“I just tell him to stay in the gym. I know he’s in Detroit working with JJ (Jermaine Jackson) right now. As long as he gets his work in, regardless of what happens – the draft is going to be in October I believe. He should be ready by then, and then whatever happens next year it should be good. I just told him to stay in the gym, don’t worry about everything going on. Thankfully our family is healthy, so that’s cool. He’s just doing his thing in Detroit right now.”

On what he thought of the Pelicans at full strength:
“I was just happy to be out there, really. It was a lot of fun. Obviously winning is a lot more fun than losing. Like I said, I think we can play with anybody when we have everybody healthy. We’re going to Orlando with a full team, so that should be good for us.”

On how Zion Williamson has looked during workouts:
“He looks amazing. He looks fully healthy. He looks even stronger than he was before, if that’s even possible. I was happy to see him, happy to see that he’s in shape, and I’m looking forward to playing with him.”

On if he has ever played in a meaningful game without fans and how the team will have to adjust:
“I don’t know if I’ve ever played in an empty gym other than a scrimmage, so that’s definitely going to be different. The way I look at it, it’s kind of going to be like AAU in a way I guess, just with all of the games being played in a day. It’s just basically an NBA AAU tournament, I feel like.”

On if he will change the name on the back of his jersey for the upcoming NBA restart:
“Yeah. I submitted ‘Equality’ to be on mine, so we’ll see if I can get that. If not, I think the second one was ‘Black Lives Matter’, so one of those should be on there.”

On how the NBA is handling social justice with allowing messaging on the court and players’ jerseys:
“I think a lot of players – I know our whole team wants to do it. Hopefully the rest of the league buys in and takes part in the movement. As far as next year, I’m not sure. It would be nice for it to keep going moving forward, but that’s not up to me.”

On his relationship with Chris Finch and the possibility of him (Finch) having a bigger role in Orlando if Alvin Gentry is not allowed to attend:
“I think we’ll be OK, just because we’ve been kind of in the system for a while now. Everybody knows what we’re supposed to be doing. I think everybody knows their role. Everybody knows their spots. Finch goes through the offense with us all the time. I think everybody knows the offense by now. I don’t really see too many problems.”

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