DeRozan and Poeltl Discuss Preparing to Resume Play in Orlando

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Thursday San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan and center Jakob Poeltl participated in a virtual press conference with the media.

Here are some quotes from each player on a number of topics as they prepare to resume the season in Orlando at the end of the month.

DeMar DeRozan

Once the season concludes, DeRozan will have to make a decision in the offseason on whether he’ll exercise his player option and stay with the Spurs next season, or decline the option and become an unrestricted free agent. DeRozan said the upcoming offseason choice didn’t weigh on his decision to go to Orlando to compete with the Spurs.

“I never think about the next year,” said DeRozan. “For me, it’s about the times that we’re living in,” he said. He mentioned the Covid-19 pandemic and social injustice currently taking place in the United States.

DeRozan said he was disappointed the team couldn’t finish the regular season under normal circumstances, because they were just starting to make one last run for a playoff push with a win over the Dallas Mavericks just before the season was suspended.

“We had to buckle down to make this push,” said DeRozan.

DeRozan said on going to Orlando for a number of weeks away from his family, it’s going to be tough for him and all the other players.

“It’s tough,” said DeRozan. “You’re taking guys who have been with their families for the last few months.”

Over the last month, there have been worldwide protests due to social injustice and DeRozan has been part of some of those protests in his home state of California.

On social injustice, DeRozan said, “It’s been going on forever. Every decade people step forward.”

“Making this place a better place has been talked about for years,” said DeRozan of why he and other athletes took part in protests and will continue to work towards fixing social injustice.

Lastly, DeRozan said he has been working out during quarantine since he has a basketball court at his house, but playing five on five again will be something different, because it’s been so long since he’s done that.

Jakob Poeltl

Once the season ends, Poeltl will be a restricted free agent. He said he, his family, and his agent discussed the pros and cons of resuming play, and ultimately, he decided to play.

“I’ve obviously thought about that,” said Poeltl. “I was going through all the pros and cons, the business side of it, the health side of it. We came to the conclusion that it’s safe enough. I think what makes the difference was that I wanted to play.”

Before the season was suspended, Poeltl was on the injured list with a knee injury. He says he’s healthy again and will play in the resumed season.

“I feel great,” said Poeltl. “My knee is fine.”

Two roster updates took place while the season has been suspended, as the Spurs learned LaMarcus Aldridge would be out for the remainder of the season due to injury and they signed Tyler Zeller to provide more frontcourt depth. Poeltl commented on both developments.

“Losing a big man, I have to step up,” said Poeltl on the loss of Aldridge. “I’m going to take on that challenge and step up.”

“I haven’t’ seen Tyler play in a while,” said Poeltl of Zeller. “Obviously with LA out, he can add a lot to our team there (in the frontcourt).”

Currently in Texas and San Antonio, Covid-19 is spreading at its highest levels since the pandemic began with people testing positive and hospitalizations increasing.

Poeltl said he thinks the rise in cases and hospitalizations is because when stay-at-home orders were lifted, many people went back to living life like normal.

“It looked like everybody went back to normal,” said Poeltl. “It was hard to see and I think right now we’re seeing the results of that.”

 

 

 

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