Q: How is the summer treating you so far?
A: Summer’s been good for me. Give me time to go back home and just work out on my stomping grounds where it all began at in San Diego, so it’s been good.
Q: What was one thing that caught you by surprise during your rookie season?
A: I think the biggest thing from my rookie season that caught me by surprise was going up and back and forth from the D-League. I was a person that went 3 times, but I only really went one time on a real assignment cause the other times I only went down for one game and came back, so I say the transition of not being able to play as much as you want to, getting sent from (the) D-League back to the NBA.
Q: What's the biggest thing you learned this past season?
A: I learned that you just need to stay professional. Always be ready. It’s better to always stay ready than have to get yourself ready, so it’s best to be a professional about it and just stay ready.
Q: Was it easy going from go-to guy at San Diego State to role player with the Memphis Grizzlies?
A: I would say its easy. At the end of the day, that’s a big part of me being professional. It definitely was an adjustment for me being the person who had the ball a lot, but coming into the NBA was an adjustment. At the end of the day, I was just being professional and making sure I stayed ready to do what I had to do and that’s my role on the team.
Q: How is it being around Tony Allen?
A: The experience of being around Tony Allen was real good. If you don’t know, he’s the Grindfather and I’m supposed to be the Grindson and my lockers right next to his and he just tried to teach me day by day when you’re doing good and when you’re doing bad. If you do something bad he’ll tell you "well that’s something you’re not supposed to do" or something. So being around TA and having his leadership around really helps me out as a player and off the court.
Q: You played 16 games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, averaging 16/5/4 in those games. How was your D-League experience?
A: The experience was good. My first experience when I went down there, actually my first game I went down there I played one game and had to come back right after that game. And then I went down another time for 2 games, well went down for 2 games and came right back, but the experience I had down in the D-League made me a better player being able to not hesitate on shots and just go down there and get some real quality reps.
Q: You are playing in the (Orlando) Summer League correct?
A: What are your plans for the remainder of the summer?
A: My plans for the rest of the summer is just workout. I’m working out Monday through Friday, two to three times a day, lifting too sometimes, and I just want to make sure I have a real good impact in the Summer League and be able to go into training camp on pace because last year in training camp I went into training camp a little step behind and I didn’t get to play in the summer because I was hurt, so this summer I just want to make sure that I’m coming in ready to play in the summer league.
Q: Your biggest gripe coming out of college was your jump shot and based on the numbers, it seems to have improved. Last summer you hinted at working with a shooting coach. Have you done that?
A: I have a guy here, Adam. I got Shawn Respert here and I have Elsin Turner helping me out with my shot and Duane Ticknor, our assistant coaching staff, and they helped me out tremendously and my percentages have been improving. I will say that I think I shot about 40 percent from three in the D-League (Editor's note: It's actually 36%) and my games that I played in the NBA, I think I’m shooting 40 from three too. (Editor's Note: It's actually 45.5%, and he's never missed more than one 3pointer in an NBA game.)
Q: What can fans expect from you this upcoming season?
A: They can expect for me to contribute more this year. I know a lot of them expected me to come in playing this year, but year I want to contribute more to the team and win games. I want to be somebody that’s grit and grind. Whatever it takes to win.
Huge thanks to Jamaal for taking some time to talk with us!