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August 18, 2020

Montrezl Harrell

Los Angeles, California, USA

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Trez.

Q. About your grandmother, can you provide some more information? Who was she? Why did she mean so much? What kind of role did she play in your life?

MONTREZL HARRELL: Everything. My grandmother was the one introduced me to the game of basketball, was my dad's mother. One of my biggest supporters, biggest fans, one of my best friends. Only way to put it, there's no other way to explain the things she done for me. She was my entire world.

Q. What have you been going through the last couple weeks? Were you given the explanation for the extra quarantine days? What are some of the challenges you're facing having to come back in the middle of a Playoff series?

MONTREZL HARRELL: As far as coming back in a Playoff series, I'm not really too much bothered by it. I play basketball all summer long, all year round. I never really take time off. I'm kind of used to, you know, always being around basketball.

As far as coming back and the quarantine time I had to do, I just keep those feelings and expressions to myself. I really don't feel like being fined today.

Q. Can you describe about how your teammates have helped you through this, really what yesterday was like from when you got to shootaround, the game?

MONTREZL HARRELL: My teammates are a huge, huge uplifting factor throughout this time, throughout this whole process, man. From the first instance of when I went home, they constantly check on me every day, man, constantly kept sending messages to keep my spirits high, keep my family in their prayers, well wishes.

My teammates have been great for me to lean on right now. Definitely still dealing with everything. Hasn't really been that long. I'm still dealing with the process.

It definitely was a different feeling. I think more so I kind of reflected back after the game once I got to my room. I think that's when I did the majority of my reflecting. More emotions came out then.

It's just different having somebody here who just means everything in the world to you, and you constantly was in communication with them every other day. They always constantly checked on you, watched your games. The very first time you pick up a basketball, that factor isn't there any more, so it's tough.

Q. What are some of your favorite memories of basketball with her? Did she play with you? Watched you?

MONTREZL HARRELL: Just her introducing me to the game, man. My grandmother bought me so many of the toddler and different little basketball hoops that she would hang up around the house. I destroyed, I don't know, thousands of those things. She kept constantly getting them for me over and over, so... Those are the biggest memory. But every memory I have with my grandmother is a special memory because just the type of lady she is.

Q. Did she ever play?

MONTREZL HARRELL: No. I'm really the only person in my family that took basketball seriously and took it on this level. My brothers are more football guys.

Q. What was most important to you about being able to be home? Was it being there for the funeral and saying good-bye, being with your family?

MONTREZL HARRELL: The whole entire process, man. To me, family's everything. The (indiscernible) was how I live my life, go through our business, all the different things I do, any aspect of, right?

But, you know, my family, we're tied together on a whole complete different string. We've all been in the same household for numerous amount of years in our life. There's nobody that to this day doesn't really still live in the household to the point when I grew up as a kid. The only person that doesn't is me and my brother because we're older now, doing our own thing.

But my baby brother still lives there. He was living with me for a while. He still lives there. My mom, my dad. My dad's parents, and my two aunts, as well. Always been a household since I could ever remember in my life growing up, man. We've always been that tight.

Like I said, family means a tremendous deal for me. For me to be there, try to do everything in my power to keep my family, keep my kids, my loved ones around me in spirit of something that's about to happen that's a disaster is pretty tough. Just to be there and just trying to keep them in high spirits.

But I had to do it. This is the role I've took on for my family since I can remember. I can't stop now. I'm never going to stop. It just means that I have to do it to an extremely higher level.

Q. From the tributes that you're wearing and showing for your grandmother, what does that mean to you? Tell us a little bit about those.

MONTREZL HARRELL: It means everything to me. My grandmother's favorite color was pink. She was very into that color. That's the color that she wanted to go into her internal life in the sky. For me to be coming back into my first game since the season ended, dealing with that tragic loss, it's tough. Still wears on me to this day.

But it was more so just something that was on my heart to the point where I felt like it was more that I wanted to connect with her going back into something that she's empowered me and instilled in me to do, that I found this love and passion that was passed along from her.

Q. You talked about the support your teammates surrounded and showered you with. Is there any one gesture or one thing said or done that will stick with you for the rest of your life that they did?

MONTREZL HARRELL: No, just the fact of the matter them reaching out. It wasn't just one of those, Hey, sorry for your loss. No. Every person on the team really wrote a message to me, what they reflected on, instances of something they had to deal with in this matter in life, just words that would help me be able to get through this time.

They all really sat down and typed out a legit message or called me. I had a couple guys call me, as well. They actually expressed their feelings to help me stay in the right mindset to deal with what I'm still constantly going through right now.

Q. You mentioned how much you hoop and how you're constantly playing. What was it like to be away from basketball, at least playing in games, for five months? What was it like to finally get back out on the court?

MONTREZL HARRELL: It was different. It was definitely a weird setting, not one we've become accustomed to. Even myself, like I say, I play all summer round. Everybody had to cut out the summer leagues, shut down. It definitely was a huge and weird vibe, I will have to say, for the five months we went on and had to basically just sit still.

At the same time I definitely enjoyed it because I got to be able to go back home, I got to be able to be around my kids, see them for a consistent 24-hour basis every day. That's something that I really don't get to do playing throughout the season. Don't really get to be around our kids that much, unless you're fortunate for them to live with you. They aren't.

It was the fact of the matter that I was able to be around them 24 hours and watch them grow and watch different things, watch them interact. Just being around my family, I was blessed enough to be able to go home and see my grandmother before she passed. I went home for Father's Day, we had a great time, man.

I just think I definitely used the time to really just not reconnect but really enjoy my family, man. This is more so the time in the season, I'm locked into work. We travel so much that I'm not really around my family. I'm way out in Los Angeles. I utilized this time just to be with them.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Trez.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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