In the latest episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, San Antonio Spurs guard Brandon Paul joins Alex Kennedy for a wide-ranging conversation. Some of the topics they discussed include…
0:30: What factored into Brandon’s free agency decision and why he ultimately joined the Spurs.
1:05: The Spurs are described as the model organization in all of professional sports. Brandon discusses his first impression of the franchise.
2:45: Brandon bounced around the NBA a bit prior to joining the Spurs. What did he learn from all of those short training-camp invites and Summer-League stints, and how frustrating was it back then to come so close to being in the NBA but come up short?
4:00: How different is this year’s experience with the Spurs, knowing he has some job security and can focus entirely on developing and fitting in?
5:20: For those who don’t know Brandon’s game, he shares what he’ll try to provide the Spurs and what the coaches have asked from him.
6:20: Brandon talks about how the team prepared for the season, how they looked behind the scenes and what makes Spurs teams so great year after year.
7:25: Gregg Popovich is obviously one of the best coaches in NBA history. What has Brandon’s experience with Pop been like so far, and how is he from a communication and teaching standpoint?
8:40: As a guard, it doesn’t get much better than learning from Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Brandon discusses how much they’ve helped him so far and what it’s like playing with them.
9:40: People are talking more about the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder when they discuss Western Conference contenders. Do the Spurs’ players feel overlooked a bit entering the season?
11:10: Brandon went undrafted and then had stints in Russia, Spain, Turkey and the D-League before making it to the NBA. He discusses his surprise over being undrafted and then breaks down each of his pre-NBA stints.
18:30: When a player goes from being successful overseas to signing a minimum contract in the NBA, a lot of fans don’t realize they’re taking a pay cut. Did Brandon consider staying overseas rather than making the jump to the NBA?
21:15: Brandon got signed after doing really well in Summer League, which is tough because every player is trying to showcase their game in a short amount of time. What was that experience like and how much pressure is there since there’s such a small window to make an impression?
22:35: Brandon discusses his offseason training and what specific aspects of his game he focused on improving.
23:45: San Antonio has one of the best international scouting departments, so they’re aware of pretty much every player doing well abroad. Does Brandon believe his stints overseas made him more appealing to the Spurs?
25:10: After college, Brandon immediately traveled the world and worked in several different countries where there was a culture shock and language barrier. He discusses how that changed him as a person and helped him mature.
26:25: Rudy Gay was a splashy signing for San Antonio this summer. He’s coming off of the Achilles’ injury, but he’s obviously very talented and people are excited to see how Pop will use him and what he’ll do within the Spurs’ system and culture. Brandon discusses how Rudy has looked behind the scenes, how he’s approaching this season and what kind of production he expects from Rudy.
27:45: Kawhi Leonard is one of those freak-of-nature players who does crazy things pretty regularly. How has Brandon’s opinion of Kawhi changed now that he’s seeing him up close on a daily basis rather than as an outsider?
29:50: Kawhi is known for being a quiet guy; is he like that around the team as well? And who have been the vocal leaders of this team so far?
32:00: Brandon jokes about how his NBA 2K18 likeness looks nothing like him.
34:40: Brandon and Alex share their favorite TV shows of all-time as well as what they’re currently watching.
39:00: The goal in San Antonio is always to win a title. Does this team have what it takes to win a championship, and what does the squad have to do in order to accomplish that feat?