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September 29, 2019

Rodney McGruder

Jerome Robinson

Los Angeles, California

Q. Rodney, in watching game film on you, you got a floater in the lane that you also used then later as a pass to high flyers. You have someone like Montrezl Harrell on this team. Could that be a combination in somebody you're looking to create for?
RODNEY McGRUDER: Yeah, it is. We've been practicing that, you know, in our open-gym runs, and also we have other guys who I can do the same thing with like Zubac and JaMychal as well. We have some real athletic bigs that I look forward to throwing those lobs to.

Q. ...but I really didn't get to play. Can you just kind of share what you got from that and then how easy or difficult it was to make the decision to return and then I also want to get, Jerome, just share what you got out of the Playoffs, and obviously you're on a veteran team a young guy. How do you fit in as a young guy and make your way in this situation?
RODNEY McGRUDER: I would say just being a part of this team and in that playoff runny just got to experience the culture and the way things happen here. It was easy decision to make coming free agency time because I wanted to be a part of this culture and love the way guys play, I loved practices, how everything went. I love the way Doc coached. Just made it very simple for me.

JEROME ROBINSON: And then just as a young guy, it's fun. You got guys kind of -- not a lot older, but some of them ten years older than you. But it feels like they're the same ages you. They've been doing this for so long, they got a routine. They like to teach you the ropes. So it was kind of fun stepping into that as a young guy and I look forward to it.

Q. Jerome, now that you have a full year under your belt of NBA experience how is your preparation different this summer as you get ready for this year?
JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah, for me when you go into your first year everybody is telling you how it's going to go but everybody's experience is totally different. So after you have your first year of experience, then you know how to prep yourself for the summer, you know what you're going to see. You kind of feel like you've seen it before. Like before, it's a blind room. But after having a full year, now I got to grow this summer and looking forward to this year.

Q. Jerome, you've obviously been watching Paul George and Kawhi Leonard play basketball since you were probably in grade school or high school. What's your impression having met them the first time? Were you nervous at all to meet them, and what were they like? What have you found out about them?
JEROME ROBINSON: I would say -- I wasn't nervous, now that I'm in the NBA, you know, you meet a lot of guys that are obviously in the NBA, too. You fit right in with them, and they greeted me with open arms. Kawhi, PG, they're both great guys. So it was pretty easy, man. Like even with them coming up with the team, like they just fit right in like a puzzle piece, their personalities, their demeanor, different things like that. It's been a great fit. It was great to meet them and now I've become one of their brothers as a teammate.

Q. Jerome, I just want to ask how has it been with Shai being shipped off to Oklahoma City? Have you guys talked at all? How do you feel it possibly expands your role with the team?
JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah. So me and Shai are still really close friends. I just talked to him on the phone yesterday. I went and saw him in Toronto. And he's doing well. But I mean, it was tough, coming in together and then him leaving, but for me it's just to keep growing and getting better every day. I know that I want my role to step up, and I know that for me I have to show that to get on the court.

Q. ...you knew you wouldn't be eligible to play. What was going through your mind?
RODNEY McGRUDER: I'm going to start with the second question. What went through my head when I had got waived, and I understood the logistics of things and why the decision was made, but when I got picked up by the Clippers, I was just thankful, you know, just to still be in this league, to come to a great playoff -- a great team who made the playoffs, had a tremendous run last season. And I just was appreciative of the playoff experience, I would say. You learn a lot just from watching basketball games up close. It's better to watch a game up close than on TV. You see the things, the little details and stuff that you might miss, being in the huddles, learning doc's style of play and learning how guys react in the heat of the moment. So I was thankful for that, for the opportunity. But I would say Miami and the Clippers are both two first class organizations ran from great historic people from top to bottom. So I'm just thankful to be able to be part of two tremendous organizations.

Q. Jerome, when you look at the roster, there's a very clear need or spot, I should say, for a guard on the roster to soak up big minutes. How confident are you that you can slide in to either the 1 or the 2, and how did the off season prepare you to take on a role like that?
JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah, for me, I'm very confident about that. I think that's why I'm here is to step into that role and to grow as a player. And I know, you know, as game time comes, you get better and better. For me it's just to help this team win, do whatever I have to do to get those minutes, either it's the one or the two, and just play hard. I know playing hard is the number one thing that's going to keep me on the court.

Q. Jerome, you just kind of touched on this. This is such a deep roster, especially on the winnings, like the 2 and the 3. What do you guys think you have to do or show individually to carve out the role that you think you deserve?
RODNEY McGRUDER: Me personally, I think you just have to be yourself. Like don't try to do anything that's out of your character, just go out there and play the game of basketball that you've been playing with confidence and everything else will handle itself.

JEROME ROBINSON: I second that. That's a big thing, just being yourself, don't do too much and go out there and play hard. With this team, with Doc, you know, defense and offensive side will take care of themselves, and you just gotta trust the system.

Q. Jerome, when you started the year last year, the Clippers were overlooked and you guys surprised a lot of people. You come in this year not overlooked at all, favorites maybe. How does that feel different and what goes through your mind sort of in that respect?
JEROME ROBINSON: I would say that it's funny that you kind of say the difference, but like none of our approach has kind of been different. Like we're grind-it-out guys, we're a grind-it-out team. Our pickups have been super intense. So there is no difference as far as like our preparation for this year, you know. It wasn't laid back, like it's going to be a long year. It's, no, we're here to win every game we step on the court. So it's been really no difference.

Q. There's a lot of veterans on this team. So who would you all say is your biggest mentors and what are you learning from them?
JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah, so I learn different things from each one of them. Pat and Lou I've been with the longest. They're not total opposite players, but Pat's mentality as far as the defensive end and then Lou's offensive abilities are both remarkable on both sides. And just being able to pick their brains and them being such open people and loving guys that like they'll sit here and talk to you about basketball and teach you -- walk you through it, you know what I mean, until you get it. Like those guys are very willing people to work with you and to learn from.

Q. What are the film sessions with Doc like?

JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah. They are long. They are long film sessions. But I mean it's just so much knowledge, but you start to kind of get the routine of it. We go over the offense, we go over the defense, and it's an open room. If somebody has input to put in, they're going to put their input in. And if it clashes, they're going to talk it out and figure out the right solution for us to be better.

Q. For both of you guys, you talked about how Paul has given you some insight recently into your game. He made it sound like he hasn't really been able to go in those preseason intense workouts you guys have had. What has he brought despite not really being out there on the court with you guys for some of that five on five?
RODNEY McGRUDER: I would just say just his presence. He's had that playoff experience. So just his knowledge and his -- just him being there, like you know what I mean. Sometimes guys don't have to do anything but just their presence in the room. You kind of feel it. You feel their support, and you know that they're there for you, and we're all just excited for one another, you know.

JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah. I would say his presence is the biggest thing. I mean you see him getting better every day, him grinding. At the same time you're doing the same thing, but his presence, being able to watch, being able to talk, it's been a great experience with those guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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