Executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin joined host Daniel Sallerson on the Pelicans podcast today and he shared a couple of pertinent facts and opinions.
Griffin immediately put our minds at ease with the news that all of New Orleans’ players appear to remain symptom-free of the coronavirus.
“We’ve checked in with them daily, and all 17 of our players that were in town yesterday, reported they were doing well.”
In addition to keeping tabs on physical aspects, Griffin mentioned that the team is communicating through Slack, and Jenna Rosen, the team’s clinical psychologist, has been a godsend in spearheading mental wellness, stating she “gets together twice a day with everybody to do mindfulness and meditation.”
As Gayle Benson referenced similarly yesterday, Griffin is keen on resuming this season because the Pelicans were in the midst of playing their best basketball since Christmas Day.
“And, once we got healthy and had the ability to put a representative lineup out there and our coaches were able to have the rim protection they needed when Derrick Favors came back, by way of example, things changed pretty dramatically because we have such good character and players that want to be about each other. When the snowball starts to move in a positive direction, it moves very quickly.”
Griffin went on to add that he’s most excited about how the team has integrated Zion Williamson into Alvin Gentry’s system. Many outside opinions had previously predicted a rougher transition, yet there have been very few bumps in the road.
“But for the most part I look at our season and I just see such constant growth, and that’s the thing that excites me the most is that as we’ve learned how to integrate Zion (Williamson) into the flow of the offense and as he’s gotten in better shape as he’s started to sort of find himself, the way we’re all working together and seamlessly working with a ball dominant presence that good says an awful lot about Lonzo (Ball) and about Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday and what their mindset is. They’re about the right things and I think because of that we’ve been able to progress rather quickly.”
Riding such a high, it’s no wonder that New Orleans has high hopes the rest of the season will not be cancelled, and David Griffin is optimistic that the COVID-19 suspension will be lifted at some point, even if play doesn’t resume until the summer.
“So, it certainly makes you hope that when we do come back – and I believe that will happen – that we can pick up where we left off, because the image that we’ve created for ourselves of late is certainly the image we wanted fans to be left with. It’s what we wanted people to think of us as and we wanted to play meaningful games in March and April. Now, unfortunately because of what’s happened in this horrific pandemic, I think we’ll probably end up playing meaningful games in June and July, and that’s okay too.”
To hear the this interview in its entirety, which includes a thumbs up for ‘The Voice, a singing competition television show but a staunch warning for those who decide to play Monopoly with Meredith, David Griffin’s wife, please visit Pelicans.com, download the Pelicans mobile app or hit the link below!