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July 5, 2021

Cameron Johnson

Phoenix Suns

Media Day

Q. So the depth on this team has been highlighted throughout the season, and obviously in the postseason the rotation grows smaller, but it seems like guys like Jevon and Langston, Frank, even if they're not playing, they're still making their voices heard from the sidelines, supporting you guys, picking you up, sometimes literally picking you guys up throughout the game. Just how much of an impact have those reserves on the sidelines had throughout these playoffs?

CAMERON JOHNSON: They do a great job, bring a lot of positive energy. Guys like that are invaluable. Things might not be going great all the time, things might be going great, either way they're there to pick us up and give us any bit of advice, anything they see, and it keeps that team spirit, that team mood, and it keeps it high, keeps it elevated, and they've done a great job of that.

They've done a great job. Anybody who's not been in the game, whether hurt or just not playing that game, all season have done a great job of elevating the team.

Q. Just curious on the challenges you've seen on film this postseason that Milwaukee presents for you guys. Obviously a lot of capable wings and stars to keep in check. What are the things you're honing in on to start this series?

CAMERON JOHNSON: All those things. You've got a guy like Giannis to go up against. He presents a lot of unique challenges and just the way he attacks. And then they've got guys like Khris and Jrue who can really play and can really score, and Brook, who has been playing real well, and Bobby. We're going to try to slow them down as best we can.

Q. With Giannis not sure if he's going to play in the NBA Finals, how different is the game with and without him on the floor for you? And how important to set the tone, and what do you need to do to set the tone from the first meeting?

CAMERON JOHNSON: Having a guy like that play or not play, it changes things, but no matter what, they've got guys that can really play. So while it may change some little things on our positioning and what we're doing out there, it's still going to be a really good team to go up against.

So what we have to do, we just have to bring it to them, be physical, and take the fight to them and play our style of basketball that's got us to this point.

Q. Cam, I know you guys obviously are one of the last two teams standing, and luck has a lot to do with injuries and that kind of thing, but from your perspective, can you kind of take us through what you see behind the scenes as you guys go through a whole season, get through the playoffs to this point, and stay relatively healthy as just from a work standpoint and your trainers helping you guys out and all that stuff.

CAMERON JOHNSON: Yeah, I think they've done a great job so far this year. Like you said, some of it is just uncontrollable. Some of these injuries that you've seen in these past couple weeks and months, there's just nothing you can really do to prevent that. Luck has to be a portion of that for sure, but I think our strength staff, our training staff, they do a great job of injury prevention stuff and rehabbing whatever might be wrong. So, big shoutout to them for sure.

Q. Hey, Cam, I'm going to try to throw a fun one here at you: We're hearing that back in Pittsburgh at your catholic school there's nuns there that have formed a Cameron Johnson fan club. Can you just talk about your time there and what that means to you just knowing that that support is back there.

CAMERON JOHNSON: That's awesome. That's awesome. I did go to a catholic school, and the convent was right next door. So the nuns would come and go sometimes, and some of them are more involved than others, but my mom was a school nurse there for a lot of years. So, she had some relationships with them, and they're very nice, very sweet. So, that's really awesome.

Q. What does it mean to you to play in these NBA Finals, and what do you think will be the keys against the Bucks?

CAMERON JOHNSON: This means a lot. Obviously, I watched the Finals every year of my life, and this is obviously something that millions and millions of people around the world would give a lot to be a part of. So, the fact that myself and my team and everyone in this organization has an opportunity to play in it is incredible. I'm just really thankful that I have this opportunity.

Q. You might have answered this earlier, but I heard you had food poisoning in Game 6 and everything. What did you eat?

CAMERON JOHNSON: I don't know, man.

Q. How frustrating was that, and how are you now?

CAMERON JOHNSON: It was frustrating for sure. Another part of it is it's Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals and you come down with something like that, it's like everyone in the world knows, so can't even take my L in peace and silence.

I'm fine. It was just a rough night. Obviously, if it was something different than that, I didn't want anybody else to get it, so I just wanted to keep my distance. I have a lot of trust and faith, obviously, in the guys to the point where I left and I felt really, really comfortable with what our guys are capable of, and I definitely watched the game with kind of an aura of peace knowing that we're going to take care of it.

Q. It was about a month ago, a little over a month ago, when you guys are down 2-1 to the Lakers. Jae had been ejected. Devin had been ejected. It looked like maybe it was a moment where things could go one of two ways. What do you remember about how this team reacted to that moment, and how important do you think kind of the response to that -- did it set a tone for kind of who you guys have been the rest of this postseason?

CAMERON JOHNSON: Yeah, for sure. One thing Coach always talks about is poise. Obviously, that was a big moment where we had to show it. We got guys that make plays and make big timely plays. To push through every obstacle we've pushed through in the past season and the season before and these playoffs and each individual series, it really builds up a sort of pride to be a part of it, and it's something that we all want to defend, and it's something that we all really, really hope to push into something even greater.

So that goes round to round to round, and like I said before, I have a lot of joy being part of this team, and these are guys that I fight for, a staff that I fight for, and an organization that I fight for. That's the bottom line right there.

Q. Chris and Deandre have started Game 1 of every series strong. What are you sensing in them going into a start of a series that leads you to think they're going to play well?

CAMERON JOHNSON: Number one, they're good players. Number two, they've been locked in, along with everyone else. But they've really been locked in. Those performances have obviously been huge for us, and it would be really nice to get another one of those tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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