'Told them not to tell me': Gilgeous-Alexander on the quantity of tickets purchased for Raptors game
OKC Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander discusses the amount of tickets that were purchased for family members ahead of his return to Toronto, the similarities between Oklahoma city and Hamilton along with his personal goals.
- Shai, when it comes to your halfcourt offense and the scoring in general, [INAUDIBLE] defenders, how does pace help you-- fast pace, slow pace-- help you bend defenses and breakdown defenders?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Yeah. It keeps them off balance, I think. It keeps them guessing. And that's why I like to-- I like to stay throughout the game, unpredictable, and kind of get to multiple things. And I think my pace allows me to do so.
- I just want to follow up real quick on the question that I was asking you the other night about growing up in Hamilton. A couple of people I talked to today, I understand Hamilton is a more scenic setting, maybe, than Oklahoma City. But they described it in similar ways, as far as, like, workman-like place, blue collar. Like, do you see any similarities between Hamilton and OKC?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Yeah. It's one of, like, a smaller city, doesn't, like-- it's not like a-- a tourist attraction. And not a lot of people go there, but really family oriented, not a lot of things to do. So you have no choice but to-- to, like, focus and work on your craft. But, yeah, it's a place that I'm super comfortable, that I call home, kind of like OKC.
- For those places suited for you and that, like, you are so-- you know, you talk about the work you put in in the off season, not getting distracted. Like, do those places allow you to do that?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Yeah, absolutely. I think I'd be myself in any setting. But those places are most comfortable for me, just because I'm easy to please, my family, my friends, and my basketball.
- How do you balance, you know, your level of confidence, you know, both on and off the court. And how do you feel that feeds into your teammates' level of confidence throughout the course of the season?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Yeah. I just try to work super hard and let that play itself out. And I try to do that and show my teammates that every day in practice, on game days, and every chance I get, really, to show them that if you work hard and trust your work, that things will work out.
- What's the goal individually for you? You're leading the team. You have your scoring records. You're an All-Star. What's the Goal Individually? What do you want to get?
There's a lot of things, like, on my list, MVPs, All-NBA teams, Championships. But I think, like, what I try to focus on is just getting better every day and learning from a loss or a win and what I did good and bad in a game. That's what I've done throughout my career. And it's worked so far, so I won't stop doing it.
- Does it feel different coming back to Toronto, [INAUDIBLE]?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Not really. It's always love.
- You guys have one more.
- [INAUDIBLE] teams in the League this season. Some of the other young teams in the League without a ton of vets have maybe had some drama, you can say. How do you guys kind of stay out of that and keep that professional workmanlike approach?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Hmm. I think-- not to say anybody's not a good kid, cause I don't know any other teams. But, in our locker room, we got a lot of guys that are good human beings and want to do big things with the game. And that's what they're mainly focused on. And I think all the other stuff outside of the court, when we're going through our day to day, and our weeks, and our travel and stuff comes second to that.
And I think because we have such a close-knit group, I think that we care about each other so much more. And it trickles into, like, our decision making when we do whatever we do off the court or by ourselves. We're focused on winning. We're focused on getting better. And those are the things that we like hang our hat on every day.
- Shai, maybe, yes, it's still early. But do you think that, especially this year, the Canadian team is in the best spot to win the World Cup or at least to be at the podium?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Yeah, I think we're in a really good position. I think we're really talented. I think we all mesh together really good. I think as long as we're all focused on winning and doing whatever it takes, we'll be fine.
[INAUDIBLE], OK, we'll go one more.
- And Jamal from the Nuggets was here the other day. And he spoke about requesting around 40 or 50 tickets for his family and friends to come and watch the game? Were you in kind of that same situation today with your family and friends?
SHAIGILGEOUS-ALEXANDER: Yeah, it was for sure a lot of tickets. I don't know the number. I told them not to tell me, just because my peace of mind.
It was for sure a lot of tickets.