Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes evaluates his rookie season and what he has to work on during the offseason.
- What was your first year of pro basketball-- what would you tell somebody from home about it?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Huh?
- What would you say to somebody from home? How would you describe your first year as a pro?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I'd say first year as a pro was pretty solid. Learned a lot. Developed. Just about trying to win. Build on this season, get better, come back stronger.
- Do you kind of feel having had a full season in-- like, do you feel like you figured something out this year, that you can build and grow really quickly?
SCOTTIE BARNES: For sure. Feel like we learned a lot about this team. Learned a lot about each other. Really grow. Just get better.
- Have you had your conversation with the front office and the coaching staff yet today? And what do they want you to really work on this offseason?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Of course, it's really just about what you feel like you need to work on and improve. And they have the same mutual agreement. Really, just come back stronger. Get my-- develop on my shooting. Keep continue to work on my body. Get bigger, stronger. Keep developing. Win. Win. Develop on that. Just keep building.
- Scottie, everything just seemed so fast for you. You're going to high school, one year college, and then right in the NBA. Obviously, you're going to work really hard this offseason, but is there any sense of just kind of being able to take a deep breath? That you know where you're going to be next year and what your job is going to be?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't know. Just keep putting a foot on their neck. Keep going. I don't know. Keep winning. I already took my deep breath. It's time to keep going. I feel like--
- Take your deep breath.
SCOTTIE BARNES: I took it. It's time to keep going.
- Scottie, we saw your list of your goals for your rookie season. What's next? What's your goals for next season? Have you thought of that?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't know. Haven't really thought about it yet. Take my time this summer. Build those goals of what I want to do next year. As in my perspective and as a team. I say, I just got to keep looking into it. I haven't really thought about it yet.
- Scottie, you have had a pretty brief window to work with this team, development staff, last summer, after you were drafted. How much are you looking forward to having that extended time if not working with them, at least working under their guidance? And how much do you think that time can help you grow over the next few months?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Staying in the gym. Just making my shot feel more smooth. Come off my hands right. That's really the main thing that we really just worked on in that brief time was my shot. Just getting it together. And fixing some things, tweaking some things.
- Feel like that will be another big focus this summer?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Oh, for sure. I feel like that's one of the key points.
- In the second half last night, when they were really blitzing Pascal and trying to make you, trying to make Precious and all the other make plays, do you use that as, like, motivation? And like, the next time I see them in this situation, I'm making those plays. Do you think like that, or--
SCOTTIE BARNES: Just about-- repeat that again?
- When there's a game like last night from Philadelphia when they're getting the ball out of Pascal's hand and daring you to make plays-- not only you, everybody. When you go to get to the gym this offseason, is that sort of motivation to be ready for those moments when they come again?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Just about-- I don't know. Really just doing what we do. Of course, you just got to be better at that. Make plays. I feel that the motivation is really probably just, for me, I can't speak for everybody else, but it's just a loss. I feel like that's really the motivation. Just come back stronger. Trying to get farther. Trying to get closer to our goal.
- Scottie, I know that you're mainly focused on what you're able to. But when you look around the league, you see a lot of guys in their first year [INAUDIBLE] other guys. Do you think about [INAUDIBLE]?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I already knew the rookie class really going to be special. I already know a lot of the guys. So I already knew that it was going to be special with the talent that we have. So, I'm sure those guys are looking to make big leaps next year. Same as myself.
- Scottie, what does the offseason look like for you? Are you heading back to Florida? Are you going to be staying here a lot? Have you thought about a plan in advance?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Probably go back home. Probably go to Cali. Just keep working on-- What's in the development guys that I've been working out with for a while. And just staying in the gym, keep getting work in, and develop.
- Scottie, when you look at playing elite defense in this league, how much of that is just about learning other players' tendencies when it comes to really improving [INAUDIBLE]?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I feel like that's one big thing. Of course you got game plans. I feel like that's one the major things. Is really just knowing what people really go to movies are. How to handle different things, different pressures, different situations. Really, I guess, really just by heart. At that point. That's really-- take pride in it. So, what I'm saying.
- Is that part of your offseason as well? Kind of going back, watching more film, and really studying from your opponent so that next season you come into this knowing even more?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't really know. We got to still get that plan together. Get it together. I'm, of course, I'm a be still working out with the coaches. And they're going to talk to me about it. Still heading to my first offseason. I'm sure that they're going to have a great plan as well.
- Scottie, lastly, what have you learned about the city of Toronto? And what do you like about it? Or are there any experiences you want to share about the city?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Just for the city, just-- I felt like, for me, it just really-- they take me in. They've been supporting, really. The whole-- throughout the whole season. The city is-- it's a beautiful city. Nice. People are just so friendly. So welcoming. It's amazing. It's an amazing city to be in.
- Scottie, you took your deep breath. Are you in the mindset that you're almost eager to get going again on season two, sort of like the-- skip ahead to that? Or are you happy to have a break?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't know. I just feel like I get a little break. I'm ready to get back to work. But, of course, you got to take some time off to really just get the feel of the season. Of course, let my ankle get back better. Then it's going to be-- just got to get better and ready to work. Try to make that be freer too.
- Scottie, is it helpful having so many 6' 8", 6' 9" guys on the team that, because they're similar to you, you can go and ask them for advice [INAUDIBLE] 6 feet tall or 7 feet tall and plays a very different position?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't really know about that. I feel like it's just so helpful on the floor, knowing that we can switch things. We able to guard multiple different positions. Where I could just hand off another due, after a screen, to a different guy. And then just trusting them that they could get a stop as well as me. We got a lot of good defenders on this team. And we just-- we do what we do with our defense ball pressure. Try to get after it, be physical, and those different things. So trusting those guys that's around me is a key part.
- You talk about having overall joy for the game. It's not anything new to your team for a while. Is there something [INAUDIBLE] your preparation you've fallen more in love with, like studying film or having conversations with coaches? Or is there anything that you've [INAUDIBLE]?
SCOTTIE BARNES: Really, all aspects. I love-- First, I just really love just step on the floor playing basketball. I feel like that just-- it's really like-- It really just gets makes me happy, when I step on the floor. Takes my mind off everything. I'm liking all of it. Studying film, I like being around people on the team. Everything about it is just fun.
- Scottie, at the end of the game last night, end of the series, usually, the teams would meet up and congratulate each other [INAUDIBLE]. You didn't really hang around for that. Is there a reason [INAUDIBLE]?
SCOTTIE BARNES: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know, man. I don't know, really. I don't know.
- Gary's here. So anyone have questions for Scottie?