AT&T Center – It was NBA Finals Media Day in San Antonio yesterday where the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat gave their thoughts on the Finals before Game 1 set to kick off tonight.
And among the flood of media and players, was Aron Baynes sitting on the scorers table, by himself and just soaking in the media hoopla.
Baynes was kind enough to speak with Project Spurs about being in his second NBA Finals with the Spurs, facing Miami, and much more.
Jeff: It’s your second time here at the Finals. How are you feeling?
Aron: I kind of feel like something was taken from us last year. We know why we’re here, we been working to get to here. We just want to go out and continue to play they way that got us here.
There’s been a lot of back and forth from the two teams. Miami saying they know the Spurs do not like them. Heading into a big series like this, are there any personal feelings towards the Heat seeing how this team came up short against them last year?
I mean anytime you step on the court you want try to prove yourself against who you’re playing against. That’s definitely one aspect of it. At the same time, we got to focus on us. At the end of the day, if we’re doing what we need to, then it should take care of itself.
Talk about the game that will be going in the paint versus Heat players such as Udonis Haslem, and Chris Bosh. What is your mindset as you might be going up against them?
It’s the same as every other game. Like I said, you got to focus on what you need to do, what my role is. I know what I want to do – I want to bring energy and I want to be a presence inside defensively and offensively and play within our system. At the end of the day, what happens happens.
What’s your favorite thing about the NBA Finals?
(Laughs) Playing! It’s what it’s about. It’s the pinnacle of professional basketball right here! Everyone works to get to this point and you got to capitalize on it and make the most of it. You want to go out and play your best basketball but at the same time you don’t want to go out and do anything you can’t do. You just want to play within yourself.
Is last season’s Game 6 loss during the Finals still in the collective mind of the team?
I mean we watched it, we’ve learned from it. That’s one thing is great about being with the Spurs. We don’t shut it out. We try to embrace what we did wrong, what we didn’t do right. We learned from that and in this series, we don’t make those same mistakes again.
How is Tony Parker’s ankle?
I don’t know how it is but Tony is a competitor.
The road to a title goes through San Antonio. How is having home court advantage?
I mean it’s good. It’s something I wouldn’t turn down. We worked to get this all year and now we got it. Now we have to go out and do what we did to get here and take advantage of it.
Any butterflies before Game 1?
No. I know what it takes, what we need to do. I’m ready to get out there!