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Media Day 2017: Legends Assemble

By Asher Feltman | November 2, 2017

“It must be Bob.”

That’s the response to my question “have media days here always been this fun?” And the answer has everything to do with Texas Legends head coach Bob MacKinnon.

There are smiles on all faces as the concourse at Dr. Pepper Arena hosts local media, players and staff for 2017 media day. With the regular season only a couple sleeps away, the final touches are being put on training camp as the Legends players prepare for the journey ahead.

11 players were on hand Wednesday afternoon, and we caught up with all of them. Let’s feast on some of the best bites from this year’s media day.

Jameel Warney

On his late season surge to conclude the 2016-2017 season

“That’s my style of play, just trying to get every rebound. Being a low post player, expanding my game, being a leader and helping young guys out. I mean, there’s a lot of things on my plate to do, but I’m gonna do it because that’s the type of person I am.”

New year’s resolutions

“I’m gonna to try to take more of a leadership role. Last year I could fly by and not say any words for a week and a half because we had such good talent with Pierre (Jackson) and Manny (Harris). There’s definitely new faces and new opportunities so I’m gonna take that opportunity and try to run with it.”

Kyle Collinsworth

 

Off-season camping

“I did a bunch of camps around the Utah-Idaho area. It was fun to be able to take what I’ve learned and teach them. There’s a lot of things that I wish, that I know now, that I wish I knew when I was a young kid. As far as nutrition goes, taking care of your body, just those little things that you don’t learn until later in your life that I’m trying to teach kids now.”

New year’s resolutions

“Just being more confident and comfortable. I think that rookie year you’re learning new faces and a new system, you don’t know what to expect but just being able to come out of the gates knowing what to expect, having more confidence and being more comfortable.”

Keith Hornsby

Summer lovin’

“I got engaged this summer! It was a fun and meaningful moment in my life. I attended my dad’s music festival again in my hometown in Williamsburg (VA), the Funhouse Fest in June. That’s always the best time. I love being in that setting and hearing his music. I went to Summer League with the Mavs in Orlando and won the championship down there. That was a fun experience. I also went to Malaysia in September with Bryson and J.J. It was a unique experience, one I’ll always remember on the court with basketball and off the court as well.”

Orlando Summer League connections

“It’s a totally different situation but playing there with Motley and Jameel was good. It was good because if you hadn’t met people before, it kind of sets the tone. You get the introductions out of the way and get more familiar with each other.”

New year’s resolutions

“Just getting back in the games. Trying to approach them differently. Approach them like somebody who’s been there before. I think I’m on the right path there and I’m ready for a different type of year on the court so we’ll just have to see.”

Bryson Fonville

 

The boys are back

“First day back here in Texas you see some familiar faces. Some guys you’re already used to playing with. It’s easier to get back in the groove and get in the flow of things.”

Fan interaction

“I remember one fan, this little girl, I always called her ‘lil’ mama,’ she would come and find me after every game. I’d always be like ‘what’s up lil’ mama?’ and she’d say ‘i’m not a little momma.’ She cracked me up every time. I really love that the fans get to come out, we get to meet them and say hey to them.”

New Year’s resolutions

“Just to be more aggressive and confident. Kind of playing the same way, my same style getting guys involved, attacking the rim and getting shots for everybody as a team. We’re gonna play fast so we want to get the ball off the rebound, get out running and play together. Open man gets the shot.”

Off-season relaxation…

“I took a few beach trips. Mostly just enjoying time home with family and friends in North Carolina and New Jersey. During the season you don’t get to see them a lot so just taking advantage of that and enjoying that.”

J.J. Avila

 

Quickly adapting to the team

“My style of play is just hustle, bring energy, play good defensively and try to create and cause turnovers, stuff like that. Guys like playing with players like that. Guys want a guy like that to play on their team. I think it makes it easier for me.”

Finding a home

“I think this is a good place to be for me and for anyone. You can showcase what you can do well and they work with you on things you don’t do well. I pride myself on being an all-around player. There’s not many things that I don’t like to work on. A call-up isn’t up to me but I feel like all these coaches know how hard I work and if they’re asked by anyone, people have good things to say about me.”

Colorado State reunion

“It’s definitely nice seeing (John Gillon and Gian Clavell) again. They’re great players so it’s nice to be on the same team again. It’s never bad to see an old friend. We’re gonna spend a lot of time together so it’s cool to be with someone that you’ve known for a long time.”

Family matters

“I visited home for a long time to hang out with my dad and see some family. Most of the summer I spent back in Colorado. Gian was there. That’s usually what I do over the summer. Then after that I came home for my dad’s birthday.”

Johnathan Motley

 

Two-way experience

“It’s been cool. I pretty much just do everything the Mavs do, weight wise and nutrition wise and I’m just playing the games here. We keep in good contact. I lift every morning at the Mavs’ facility. We keep in touch every day.”

New year’s resolutions

“More consistency shooting, being disciplined in my form. The way I shoot the ball, that’s what I’ve been working on and just make sure I stay healthy. I put all the long hours in, all the hard work. I’m just ready for the season.”

Brandon Ashley

 

Returning to Frisco

“It looks pretty different. Just the overall feel of the entire organization. I enjoyed it the first time but it’s different. Bob’s a really good coach and the organization is on point with what they want to accomplish. I’m looking forward to being back here.”

New Year’s resolutions

“Being more aggressive. A lot of teams are looking for me to be more aggressive, a more assertive player and me being a main option on the court. A lot of teams are looking for me to just do more offensively.”

Positional flexibility

“I’ve played a little bit of three recently and I’m starting to really enjoy being out there on the wing. Truthfully, the way the game is going now it’s kind of like a positionless basketball game where the two, three and four are interchangeable.”

Justin Dentmon

 

Ball is life

“Yeah, I love it. I love playing (at local gyms) because it keeps the competitive nature at its highest. Because you’re going to play against some guys that know you and they’re gonna compete hard against you. Guys that you’re always around may not go after you as hard. But guys who have seen you on TV or heard about you, there’s gonna go hard after you and that makes me better.”

John Gillon

 

A new home

“I love the area, I love the team, I love the style of play, I love my teammates so it’s been an easy transition for me.”

Social networking

“Fans can talk to me any time. Their support is really important to me. I come from a school where the fan base is really important and really integrated with the players so I’m used to that and I’m ready to take on this year together.”

Anthony Walker

 

Tryout success

“I just wanted to come in here and show the coaches that I could run the floor, block shots and rebound and play my game. Now I just want to go out there and play my best. Try not to make mistakes but this is the game of basketball, that happens. Just be humble and play my game.”

A true gamer

“I play video games. Call of Duty, right now I’m playing Ghost Recon.”

LaQuinton Ross

 

Let’s get loud

“I want to see the fans, man. I came from a big school (Ohio State) so I’m used to having a lot of fans and that gets me motivated for a game. I read a book a while ago that (Michael) Jordan wrote where he said he always played his best because he thought someone in the stands had never seen him play before.”

Culinary artist

“I’m the best cook on the team. For sure. I got the best chicken parm ever. I can do a team meal like nothing. I’m the best cook on the team by far. Just looking at these guys I know they can’t cook.”

Beating the tryout odds

“I really wasn’t worried about it coming in. I knew if I just came in and played that everything would work itself out. I just wanted to play my game. I knew if I was able to do that and I was able to get the reps that everybody else was getting, an equal opportunity, that I could show the coaches what I was capable of. It wasn’t a matter of me thinking about who was already here or who was coming back, it was all about me showing what I could do and what I could bring to this team.”

And finally…why everyone messes with LaQuinton

“I think cause I’m the best looking guy on the team.”

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