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February 15, 2019

DeAndre Ayton

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. How do you sum up your first months in the NBA?
DEANDRE AYTON: It's fun. I think I'm doing okay. I have a lot more to do, a lot more to prove.

Q. What are your personal expectations for the rest of the season?
DEANDRE AYTON: Shooting the ball more. Stretching the floor. Just being consistent with that.

Q. How much are you looking forward to tonight specifically?
DEANDRE AYTON: I'm really looking forward to it. I'm really looking to have a lot of fun. Just have that AAU experience again. Have a good time.

Q. Is there anybody in particular you're looking forward to playing with again?
DEANDRE AYTON: Nobody really. Just an exciting recruitment class. I want to see what we got on the floor.

Q. Are you starting to feel more comfortable now?
DEANDRE AYTON: Yeah, I'm starting to get the hang of this. Being ready for the next play every day, in the next game. Every day playing hard, knowing I have to bring it. It's a job now.

Q. Is it fun seeing the guys you went through the draft class with again, like Luka and all those guys, just being able to catch up away from actual games where you're pitted against each other?
DEANDRE AYTON: Yeah, there are times where you have to think back and know that we're human. Off the court, we can just feel each other's vibe and energy and enjoy each other, instead of being competitors all the time.

Q. You said you're starting to get the hang of it. What about your game has really improved that you've seen, noticed progress?
DEANDRE AYTON: I would say being down low, being more consistent down there. Being disciplined, not really falling in love with the jump shot. In rhythm, start inside out. That's about it.

Q. What about defensively?
DEANDRE AYTON: Defensively, it's been the same. I just really want to show everybody I can switch out and guard sometimes.

Q. Tonight's game is an opportunity to showcase your skills, and people expect beautiful moments like blocking shots or posterizing your opponents. What gives you more pleasure, to block a shot or to do a dunk?
DEANDRE AYTON: I would say most definitely a dunk. A lot of emotion. It's a game changer. It brings a lot of energy, so it's contagious.

Q. Are you going to shoot threes tonight?
DEANDRE AYTON: I'm going to try. We've got some great point guards on this team, so feed the big fella a little bit.

Q. If you look at both rosters nowadays, I would say the World Team is better than --
DEANDRE AYTON: You think so?

Q. Yeah, it's a thing the NBA has been developing through the years, and maybe 20 years ago nobody thought about that. But now this is a reality.
DEANDRE AYTON: There are a lot of great overseas players out here. I guess our grind is different. We worked very hard to get here, and it's time to showcase what we got.

Looking at the two teams, we are the better-looking team, I think. Feature-wise [smiling].

Q. Did you have any center that you looked to as a role model when you were developing your game?
DEANDRE AYTON: Most definitely. I looked at Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin Garnett. Kevin Garnett with his intensity and his craziness and that emotion.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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