Monday the San Antonio Spurs continued their team practice as they prepare for their first scrimmage game on Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Spurs guard Marco Belinelli spoke with the media for the first time in a virtual interview and afterward, DeRozan addressed some questions too.
“It’s cool, living in this current situation” said Belinelli of living in the NBA bubble, where he’s enjoyed the ping-pong tournaments on off-days.
Belinelli said he feels like he’s in good shape. He continued to workout during the suspension of the season and he even participated in all voluntary workouts back in San Antonio.
Back in Belinelli’s home country of Italy, when the Coronavirus was surging in March, citizens there all wore masks without any debate. Here in the United States, mask wearing has been a political issue for some citizens.
Belinelli said what doctors usually say.
“I think it’s really important, wear a mask, clean your hands to help us and other people around us.”
The NBA will allow players to wear social justice statements on the back of their jerseys for the restart games. Belinelli says he’ll wear the word “Uguaglianza” which stands for “Equality” in Italian.
Asked which Spurs players have stood out so far at practice, Belinelli said rookie Keldon Johnson.
“Keldon Johnson, I’m a big fan,” said Belinelli.
He said all of the Spurs young players have a “great attitude, great energy, wants to work a lot.”
DeRozan says the Spurs will work on two objectives while in Orlando – try to earn the 8th seed for the playoffs while also developing the younger players, who will be asked to play more.
“Give ourselves a second chance,” said DeRozan. “We definitely feel energized.”
“We’re not here for no reason,” continued DeRozan. “We can develop and compete at the same time. Anything can happen.”
“It’s more so knowledge, letting them know how to approach the game,” said DeRozan of what the young players can take away from this experience. “It’s going to be a much different atmosphere.”
DeRozan said he hasn’t been able to see any of his former teammates on the Toronto Raptors yet, since they’re in a different hotel. He said restrictions will soon be lifted and he’ll likely have dinner with some of those players in the near future.
DeRozan was asked about his upcoming player option this offseason, and he said for him, it’s about taking things slowly, one day at a time.
“I’m nowhere, honestly,” said DeRozan of the player option decision. “I haven’t thought about it. You’ve just got to worry about the moment that you’re in.”