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November 18, 2020

Kira Lewis Jr.

Bristol, Connecticut, USA

Q. Hello. Congratulations, first and foremost. Just wanted to know what this process was like for you. How you're feeling about the new team, and how you think you'll fit in with the core they have there.

KIRA LEWIS: The process, it was kind of longer than normal due to the circumstances that was going on, but it gave me time to really work on my game, spend time with my family, just get to do things I normally wouldn't get to do because of basketball.

I'm just glad that New Orleans picked me. I feel like I fit in the system well. Another young player coming in, using my speed. Getting easy opportunities for other players, as well as creating for myself on a team that wants to compete.

Q. You kind of touched on it briefly, but maybe for fans who have not been able to see you display your skills on the court, what can they expect this upcoming season once you get out there to do your thing?

KIRA LEWIS: They can just expect me to come out there and compete as hard as I can, try to bring a lot of excitement to the game, get out, run, play freely, a lot of confidence, and just want to win. I feel like the fans, when they see me, they will expect me to show a lot of enthusiasm and want to compete.

Q. Did you have any meetings with the Pelicans? Did you talk to David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, Stan Van Gundy? Just thinking of any interactions you may have had that you believed this could have come to fruition?

KIRA LEWIS: I had a Zoom meeting with them, and they came down to watch me work out. I had pretty much a conversation with everybody. I didn't get to have a conversation with Coach Van Gundy, but I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Hey, Kira. Obviously, you like to play fast, and you're joining a point guard in Lonzo Ball, who likes to play fast as well. What's your thoughts on getting the chance to play with him and how you two will mesh on the court?

KIRA LEWIS: Just using our advantage to the best of our abilities. Really getting out, playing the open floor, feeding off of each other, having another point guard that is dynamic, who can make plays and create for his teammates as well as himself. I feel like it's going to be a good combination between me and Lonzo.

Q. Hey, what did Avery Johnson tell you about New Orleans, and how much have you talked to him about being here?

KIRA LEWIS: We really hadn't talked about it, but since he was from there, he talked about it a lot. Talked about the food, just how it is as a city. He really showed his support to New Orleans being from there.

I'm looking forward to getting down there. He texted my phone with a couple good spots to eat for my first time being there, so it will be good.

Q. I just hopped on. Apologize if you answered this: But what kind of contact did you have with the Pelicans in the lead-up to this process, and how much of an indication did you have the days before the draft and today that this was a possibility?

KIRA LEWIS: I would like to say they came to watch me work out. We had a Zoom. I feel like I did good in the workout, had a good lunch. I just feel like I can, like the experts say, with the trade that happened, I feel like it will be a good scenario for me. So once the time came, I felt very confident New Orleans would pick me, and it happened. Thank God.

Q. How important is it for you, or how thrilled were your parents to know that you're going to be fairly close to home? Being in New Orleans is, what, five or six hours away. Were they excited about that?

KIRA LEWIS: They were very excited, driving distance. My cousin went to school in Louisiana, so it was kind of nothing for us to go watch us play. Being close to home is an advantage so they can see me play, my sisters, my niece. It's going to be great. They're going to be there to support whenever they can come and watch.

Q. How much are you looking forward to playing with Zion Williamson and seeing how much you'll be able to feed off each other, the way you talk about Lonzo?

KIRA LEWIS: I look forward to playing with Zion, him getting out in transition, looking for lobs, the athlete he is, how explosive he is. I feel like with me being a point guard, Zo being a point guard, throwing lobs to him, he's going to feed off of it. We're going to feed off the excitement it's going to bring to the team. I feel like it's a match made in heaven with me and Zion playing together, just me with my speed and fast breaking, and him with his athleticism.

Q. Yeah, I guess how much have you been following the Pelicans and just seeing the youth movement, what David Griffin has been doing the last few years? And are you excited to be part of this youth movement that New Orleans is having right now?

KIRA LEWIS: I am extremely excited, just knowing that they play their youth. I watched them all the time, the young exciting players they have, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball. Very exciting team, and I feel like with me adding a piece of that, we can compete even more.

Q. Talk about, if you can, whose game would you say your game is patterned after? And second question to you is talk about the outfit that you're wearing. Who influenced the outfit that you're wearing today?

KIRA LEWIS: I try to pattern my game after De'Aaron Fox and Lou Will, just as far as speed and the ability we have.

As far as my outfit, I have to say my mom. My family helped me with it. It's a nice outfit, and the good thing about it is the hat goes with it. So it's a plus.

Q. Kira, how excited are you about your move to the New Orleans Pelicans, and how hungry you are, how big is your motivation to play in this organization?

KIRA LEWIS: I'm very excited to play with New Orleans, great organization, up and coming team. I feel like we can push to the next level. When I got called, I was very excited because that was one of the teams that I felt like I could come in and help with, just with my abilities. I just want to go down there and work as hard as I can and show everybody in the league that we can compete as well.

Q. I know that, obviously, the University of Alabama has played some big football games in New Orleans. One of the other questions was about you being so close. Have you been to New Orleans? Have you been to a Pelicans game before? Do you have any memories or stories from being in our city?

KIRA LEWIS: I haven't been to New Orleans, but I have been to Louisiana. My cousin played at Louisiana Tech. So I've been in Louisiana, but I haven't been to New Orleans. From what I hear about it, it's a great city. "You're going to love the people. It's a good environment to be in." So I can't wait to get down there.

Q. The Pelicans have a very loaded backcourt, particularly at the point guard position, with mentors like a George Hill or an Eric Bledsoe, as well as a Lonzo Ball. Point guard being such a difficult position to transfer from college to the NBA, what are the things you're going to do to pick their brains in making this short transition that you have with training camp starting so quickly?

KIRA LEWIS: Ask as many questions as you can, pick their brains, see how they were when they came in. What they use now to get better in their game. Ask them about the system, certain things they might pick up on that I might not know about. I have to say coming in, just really ask a lot of questions, work hard off the court, watch film with them, let them sit down and teach you something, a thing or two, and really just build a relationship with them off the court. You might need help watching film and you might not know something, you just call them.

I have to say there's going to be a lot of communication with just picking their brains, watching film, getting exercise and extra reps. So a lot of that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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