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July 29, 2020

Kawhi Leonard

Los Angeles, California, USA

Press Conference

Q. With the games starting this week, do you have a couple notches to turn it up now?

KAWHI LEONARD: Yeah, we've got eight games to get ready for the Playoffs. I mean, we've got to use these games to build some habits and just build team chemistry really.

Q. I know there's been lots of talk about the Black Lives Matter movement and as a team you've of course talked about it a lot. I wondered whether you've ever spoken to players, and obviously you were at the Raptors last year and there were lots of African players, whether you spoke to them about their experiences from their home countries and not having to deal with the same sort of issues that African Americans have to deal with in terms of racism and whether there's anything that can be done to maybe learn from African countries moving forward?

KAWHI LEONARD: I mean, I'm not sure. I haven't really been in that culture. But just living in Canada was a lot different. You know, it's very diverse up there. But I would have to live in Africa to see how things are. I don't know. They don't really talk too much about how they're treated out there.

Q. What are the challenges to sort of kind of get your rhythm and get going when you've got guys coming in and out like you have?

KAWHI LEONARD: Just getting used to them being on the floor. You know, everybody plays a different game. You know, just able to get out of their way or able to give it to the guys that are missing, to give them the ball in their spots so they can score, or just even on defense, being in the gap, knowing who's going to help you or how much extra effort that person is giving at that time. So it's just little things like that that you're missing on the floor.

Q. You said that you want to use the time for the team to build better habits. Can you tell me what some of those habits are?

KAWHI LEONARD: Just winning habits pretty much. You know, it's either missing a defensive assignment, running through some players, just making sure we're executing our plays down the stretch. Like I was saying, just knowing who you're playing with, knowing your teammates' habits, knowing what they do well, trying to help them do it well, and that's pretty much it, just trying to build the team chemistry to win.

Q. What have you seen so far from the team that you've liked, that you knew was championship building?

KAWHI LEONARD: I mean, we're all focused, and we want to win a basketball game. Everybody's energy level is up. You know, everyone is pretty much confident, and that's good from the start from us being four months off.

Q. What's going to be the hardest thing to get back from where you guys were in March when the season went on hiatus?

KAWHI LEONARD: I think we're about 60 games in, so that pretty much the rhythm and flow of playing 60 games, having 60 games under your belt, that's a lot of time, a lot of team activities that you've been doing within those 60 games. But basically that, trying to get that to get back flowing in these eight games and then obviously try to make a playoff run.

Q. Did you feel connected to that part of the season? Do you feel like those 60 games can help you guys now, or does it feel like you're building up a little bit of new?

KAWHI LEONARD: I think it's new. Basically it's a new season pretty much. After you win or lose in the Playoffs, you probably have about three months or so to get back to training camp and then go through the same process again. But yeah, I feel like it's kind of new.

Q. With things being unpredictable inside this bubble like you guys have seen, guys have had to leave for family emergencies and things like that, what have you learned about this team's depth, and does it feel like this team's roster is maybe built for the unpredictability for what could ever happen inside the bubble?

KAWHI LEONARD: I mean, we didn't learn pretty much nothing. I mean, I knew that we had a pretty deep squad. I knew how talented we could be. It's about executing now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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