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May 31, 2017

Derrick Williams

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Did you do anything to prepare for the Finals that you didn't do to prepare for regular season or the Playoffs?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, same thing. Just try and stay ready. Be ready for anything. I think that two teams, man -- the two best teams in the league coming out together, starting the series tomorrow. I think we're all ready. I think we're all ready, man. This is what fans want to see, this is what all the guys on the team all want to see, this is what we all want to see, our families. So I don't think there's anything going to change. Stay ready, keep working hard, and be ready for tomorrow.

Q. Are you not changing anything because you're superstitious?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: No, I wouldn't say that. But I just kind of like to stay in the same routine. Don't want to change up from the first, what, 90 games or so and then now we have the last four to seven games that we would want to switch it up. So I don't think necessarily a big thing to change. Just want to stick with the same routine.

Q. Are you bumping the same music?

Q. What is it?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: Oh, man. You got a little Kanye, a little Lil Wayne, you got some Drake. You got a little bit of the everything. There's a bunch of new artists, bunch of new music. Especially I guarantee you people are probably going to drop some stuff tomorrow for the series, and maybe the playlist might change up a little bit.

Q. Last question, who is the best DJ on the Cavs?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: I would probably say Bron. Sometimes people get stuck with the same playlist and things like that, but he switches it up every single day. His playlist is crazy. So I would probably say him.

Q. You're so young. What can an experience like this mean for the trajectory of your career?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: Oh, man, it's awesome. A lot of ups and downs from the first few years that I've been in this league, and starting this season with Miami and being here in Cleveland and being with these guys and a bunch of veteran guys. I mean, that's the biggest change in my career so far is I've been on a few other teams with not too much veteran leadership, and with these guys, Bron, K-Love, even though I played with K-Love in Minnesota, we were both obviously very, very young at that time. RJ [Richard Jefferson], Channing Frye, the list can go on with the amount of guys that are 30-plus that are 10 years in the league that can really teach me how to prepare for this game. That's the best thing about it from all my years until now.

Q. Were you at all close to coming back to the Knicks?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely was. At that time I think myself and Phil Jackson, my family, everybody was ready to do that, ready to stay with the Knicks at that time, but a few things changed, a few different signings and things like that, kind of just altered my direction.

Q. Did they run out of money?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: I think pretty much with the starting lineup that they signed, yeah, that's pretty much all of it.

Q. Phil liked you, right?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: No, no, yeah, me and Phil -- he's awesome. He's awesome. He's a great person, great GM. Obviously a great Hall of Fame coach. And I have nothing bad to say about him. He was great to me the whole time I was there.

Q. What do you make of what's happened with that season?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: It's tough. It was tough. I know for sure being teammates with some of those guys that are still there, and Carmelo being there for a few years now, and obviously the last few seasons haven't been that great, as a whole, but I got to commend him for being that veteran leader, every single day showing up, win or lose. And then I feel for him, man. I want him to get into the best situation that's possible, whether it's with the Knicks or wherever he might land. So he's a great player, and I just want great pieces to be around him and him to finish off his career right.

Q. First Playoff experience. Different than what you thought?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: Yeah, it definitely has been. Obviously it is my first Playoff experience, but, man, it's been a long time coming. First five years they weren't looking good for the Playoffs. Even this season with Miami at first, and, boom, we're in the Finals now.

I think that's the best thing. Everything happens for a reason. It's good karma, bad karma. This is the good side of it. I think that we're ready to play and ready to make a name for ourselves.

Q. What have the conversations been like between you and Tyronn lately? Have you been told to stay ready?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. Even when you saw the last series when we were playing the Celtics, the one lineup where they had [Jae] Crowder at the five and Avery Bradley is playing like the three, and it's kind of small ball and trying to find things that worked. That's really it. Staying ready, just like I have been this whole season. Whenever my name's called, no matter what position it is, I'll be ready to play.

Q. Do you think that, I mean, just going from not playing much in the Playoffs to having to go against these guys, do you think you're ready for that?
DERRICK WILLIAMS: Yeah, got to be ready. There's no time for thinking if I am ready or not being ready. This is the time, this is the place. This is where you make your name. This is where you make a name yourself, for your team, for your family.

All the hard work that you put in. We have been playing basketball for a year now, since last offseason. Some of these guys have been playing basketball for two years straight. Two and a half years straight. So I think once the games start and we get these next 24 hours going, I think it's all going to hit home and hopefully get out here with a win tomorrow night.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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