Sitting down for the first media requirements of the new NBA season, Kiwi star Steven Adams took less than five seconds to laugh at the press in his usual charismatic self.
When asked how he was going to be an icebreaker for the press conference, a deadpan Adams replied, “Yeah, above ground, above ground.”
It set the tone for Adams’ question time at media day – an annual event each NBA preseason that serves as the first opportunity for players and coaches to get some insight into the upcoming season.
For Adams and Memphis, one of the key questions heading into the season will be what to expect after the Grizzlies finished second in the Western Conference last year with a 56-26 record.
Their season ended in the second round against eventual champion Golden State, but Adams said he and the team aren’t looking back with confidence.
The bottom line is that we probably shouldn’t feel too good. [looking back] Because we had that goal and we failed,” he said.
“The biggest takeaway though is that everyone here is experienced in the game – it’s hard to explain the level of focus and discipline it takes to win those games.
“So it’s good to have this experience, especially for such a young team.”
Adams was even more humorous about his personal developments since last season.
“He worked on the old body and tried to get a six-pack – still not there,” he said.
“I shot some three shots, my friend—everyone shoots three in the summer.”
“My country is happy, brother.”
Adams was asked about his trip to New Zealand during the holidays, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic has limited travel in recent years.
He didn’t give up.
“I did it back and it was bloody good, bro,” Adams said.
“I saw my family, I saw all these older people, I saw the New Zealanders, my friends, I went out and did a little fishing, just enjoyed the country and went out to the farm.”
Adams was taken all over Aotearoa during the tour, spending time with his sister Dame Valerie Adams, spending time with the Black Ferns at Planty Rugby Union and He is being praised for his “humble” attitude at Auckland Airport.
A little doctored painting is from a fishing adventure, the center said.
“[The fish] “It was bigger in the photo because I put it closer to the camera,” he said.
“When I got close to the camera, they were telling me to hold it so it would grow.”