November 18, 2020
Bristol, Connecticut, USA
Q. I'm based out of here in San Antonio, so the first question is can you take us through your thoughts and being drafted by the Spurs.
DEVIN VASSELL: I think it's an amazing opportunity. I think it's a blessing. I think it's a great fit for me with a great coach, great team. I'm just ready and eager to get going.
Q. We've been watching a lot of tape. We kind of know your deal on the court. Tell us about Devin Vassell, the person. What are some of your interests? What do you like to do off the court?
DEVIN VASSELL: I'm a really humble, chill guy. Honestly, I'm down to earth. I think, for me, a lot of people play video games; I don't play video games like that. I watch film. I might watch Netflix or just hang out with my friends, go to Top Golf or try to get into golf. That's been my biggest thing right now.
But honestly, it's not too much. I really just try to focus on my game.
Q. I saw some of your earlier comments from the summer on social justice issues. How cool is it to be joining this team with Coach Popovich, who's one of the most outspoken voices in the NBA community on those issues?
DEVIN VASSELL: It's huge. It's huge. I feel like what's going on today in America, you know, we have such a huge platform, and we can -- we're able to help and talk about some of the things and bring up a lot of things that some people just can't. Some people don't have the media, the voice to.
So I think it's huge to be able to be here and with a coach like that who knows how big of a deal it is and really embraces it.
Q. Lastly, I know you're a Georgia guy, but have you ever had a breakfast taco?
DEVIN VASSELL: I have not had a breakfast taco, actually. That sounds pretty good now that you've said it.
Q. Devin, congratulations. You said you're a good fit for this team. What makes you good fit, and how much knowledge do you have of the talent? Do you know some of the guys on the team?
DEVIN VASSELL: Yeah, I mean, I don't know the players directly, but I watch a lot of basketball. So I know there's a lot of great talent, young talent, and great players out there. I think that for me I just bring defense. I bring energy and effort. For me, I feel like at the position that I play, I get on the rebound. I get on the glass. I try to get all the loose balls. I just play with a lot of energy, like tremendous energy, and try to make it contagious for others and for my other teammates.
I think that just right away I could bring my defense to the table and could make shots and just fit however. I feel like I've been tested a lot, and I was never given that star position. So I've been able to mold and fit to however I need to.
Q. They've got a great developmental staff, as you probably know. How much are you looking forward to working with their shooting coach, Chip Engelland?
DEVIN VASSELL: I'm extremely excited, definitely. I know they've developed a lot of great players. They take their time, and of course they know what they're doing. I'm just excited to work on my shot, just work on all of my game honestly.
Q. Devin, first of all, congratulations. Welcome to San Antonio. Regarding -- well, it's a two-part question. My first question is how do you feel and you know, participating in Gregg Popovich's system? And the second is, are you ready to compete with the other guards already on the team, like Lonnie Walker, as well as [DeMar] DeRozan, pretty much competing with those guys to kind of earn some minutes?
DEVIN VASSELL: Definitely, definitely. I think that playing against them is going to help me out a lot. I can learn a lot. They're great players, and I think that playing against them in practice and learning from them will help me out and will help me to get better, will help me to get minutes on the floor.
Like I said, however I can help the team, that's how it is. So if I need to be the best practice player, I'll be the best practice player. Like, however I can affect the game, that's how I'm going to do it.
Q. Devin, welcome to the Spurs. First of all, could you just kind of take us through your basketball journey from high school to college and when it sort of became evident to you that the NBA was something that was on your radar.
DEVIN VASSELL: Definitely. My freshman year, I played on the freshman JV team. Sophomore year, I played JV and a little bit of varsity. I was able to get some light on varsity. One of the players on the team ended up getting in trouble, so I was able to come in and fill their spot, and my play kind of started and had 18. Then my coach kind of had more trust in me.
My junior year, we had a great team, and like I said earlier, I wasn't really that main guy. I made it work. I was averaging like 13, but I knew that to get on the court, I was going to have to play defense, play smart, play hard, and that's what I was doing.
My senior year, a lot of talent left, and I knew I was going to have to pick it up, and my coach relied on me heavy. So my work ethic is great, and I think that I picked it up even more knowing that my coach was looking and leaning on me as being that guy. So I was out there, whether it was blocking shots, getting steals, scoring, like however I could impact the game, that's how I was doing it, and I was trying to help my team win.
My senior year, I said to myself, and I said to my parents, that I'm going to go to a college. I don't know where, but I'm going to go to a college for two years, and I'm going to go into the NBA. I feel like I always talked about it, and I had trust in myself that it would work out.
I always kind of thought that I would make it to the NBA, and it's a blessing being here, but I know that it's hard work, and it's a journey that's just getting started.
Q. My second question was the Spurs took that pick kind of down to the wire. What was that like for you, kind of nerve-racking-wise, to wait out that pick?
DEVIN VASSELL: Yeah, it was definitely crazy. It was definitely crazy. Heart was pounding. Nervous. My feet were all sweaty and everything. To hear my name get called was -- it's a feeling that's unimaginable. Like I can't explain it. Just kind of all the hard work that I put in, it comes full circle. I think that, like I said earlier, though, it was a huge moment, but I still got a lot more work to do.
Q. Just a real quick question: What's your preferred position you'd like to play? And how would you feel about playing some small ball four if you were put into that type of lineup on the Spurs?
DEVIN VASSELL: I think that shooting guard is my ideal position, but I played small forward all through college. I'm able to adjust. I think that either way, whatever position they put me in, I'll be able to thrive and flourish, just as long as I'm putting work in and learning.
Q. Hey, Devin, curious, did you work out for the Spurs prior to the draft?
DEVIN VASSELL: I did, yes, sir.
Q. I'm asking because last week when we talked, I could have sworn that you didn't mention the Spurs as a team you worked out for. Do you mind taking us through that workout and what that was like for you working out for them and any feedback they might have given you in that workout?
DEVIN VASSELL: Yeah, it was a great workout, probably about 40 minutes of just good work. I think that I kind of showed all aspects of my game. I got great feedback from them, and they were talking to me and telling me some of the stuff that I could work on in the next week. They were impressed, and I just take it as a blessing and a great opportunity for me to even be there in that gym and them wanting to come and see me.
Q. Were Pop and R.C. among those in the gym observing you?
DEVIN VASSELL: No, sir.
Q. First of all, congratulations on joining the San Antonio Spurs. How do you feel about joining this team and having Gregg Popovich as your coach? And how do you feel about moving to San Antonio in less than a month and putting on the Spurs jersey?
DEVIN VASSELL: Well, first, playing for Pop is amazing. It's a great opportunity. I think it's going to be great just learning and taking in all the knowledge he has for the game and being able to learn from a great guy and from players on the team.
I'm looking forward to going down there, moving down there. I think it will be a great adjustment. I've never been down there, but I think that I'll be able to fit in well. I'm just excited.
Q. Congratulations, Devin. My question for you is about your college teammate, Patrick [Williams]. He was just drafted fourth overall by the Bulls. I see you smiling. My question is, when he was -- when you guys were recruiting him and he was coming in, did you ever envision him being a top five draft pick? And what was it about what he was able to do down in Tallahassee that enabled him to become a top five draft pick?
DEVIN VASSELL: Definitely, definitely. I mean, when he came in, the first time I seen him play, I thought he could go number one honestly. He has the talent. He has the physique. He has the mindset. I mean, he's a great overall player, but an even better person. I think that honestly -- I'm just super excited for him. When he got drafted, I almost jumped out of my seat. I was super excited for him. I just think that he's going to do great out there. He's ready.
When he came in, there was no doubt in my mind that he could be a top five, top three, number one draft pick honestly.
Q. The work that he put in, could you just talk about that for a second. What we didn't see that you guys saw every day.
DEVIN VASSELL: I mean, he was always in the gym, always in the gym. I'd get into the gym, and he's either just now getting there or just now leaving, or he's in the workout with me. He goes in, and he works on his shot. Some people might question if he can shoot, he works on his shot all the time. He gets to the basket. I mean, there's weaknesses, of course, but he thrives on getting better at all of them. He puts in the hours in the gym, and I just see it.
Like I said, I have no words for him because I'm just as excited for him as I am for myself.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports