With the 2023 NBA season fast approaching, and media day in the books here is one key takeaway from every member of the Houston Rockets' organization media day interviews. Included is a key question aimed at each player by a media member, followed by my thoughts and synopsis.
1. Fred VanVleet-Leadership
"How did your experience and time in Toronto prepare you for this role?"
The last two years was young guys learning how to adapt and adjust and how to be effective as a leader and on the floor.
Is the team counting on you for a lot of leadership and mentorship, and is that one of the reasons you want to be here?
That’s why I’m here. It is going to be a lot, but it’s not something I shy away from. I take pride in it.
The Rockets' newly-signed point guard continuously mentioned his desire to help his teammates. VanVleet has some experience mentoring young players, as his past two seasons in Toronto forced him to have the same role, since there were so many young players, such as Scottie Barnes.
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2. Jalen Green-Responsibility
"How different for you is your role in terms of responsibility to the team's success now vs. in the first two years?"
"More of the little things. Show that I can win and contribute to winning. Talk, communicate, get steals, play defense."
"How much responsibility do you shoulder for getting the team back to the playoffs?"
"I take a big responsibility from the fans and coaching staff relying on me to be there as a leader and better player."
So far in Jalen Green's career, there has been a lack of responsibility, however after Media Day, it appears Jalen is ready to become more of a leader and shoulder more responsibility.
3. Jabari Smith Jr.-Confidence
"Heading into this season how are you trying to envision year two of Jabari Smith Jr?"
"Be more confident more consistent."
"When looking back over your rookie season how do you feel like you have grown?"
"I am ready to take on a leadership role and make it easy to help the guys, coming in getting stronger and more mature. Knowing spots."
It's no secret that Jabari struggled to find his footing in the NBA last season. Seeing Jabari more confident is a welcome sign for all.