Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger chops it up with The Source about the upcoming NBA season.
The Pacers are on the rise and after missing nearly all of last year due to a knee injury Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger is eager to get back on to the court. Granger caught up with us at TheSource.com to talk about numerous topics.
Those topics ranging from his own expectations along with the Pacers expectations, getting over the hump, and being an ambassador for the Dribble To Stop Diabetes campaign.
Currently there are no official updates on the status of your knee, but are you optimistic about your knee going in to the season?
Yea I’m optimistic. I’m optimistic about everything (laughs), but yea I am optimistic about the knee.
The NBA season is quickly approaching. What are your personal goals for this season and the goals of the Pacers?
My personal goal is to get back on the court. That’s my number one personal goal is to be playing again. As a team I really think we set our sights pretty high so we would say we want to win a championship.
Two years ago you came close to knocking the Miami Heat out of the playoffs. This year you weren’t playing and you came very close again. How hard is that to be so close and what do you have to do to get over the hump?
It’s hard but you know each series that we lost to them we take that away and use that as a stepping-stone for next season. We all gained a lot of experience from those two series. I would say we were really close to beating the Heat twice but we’ll get over the hump. We added some new pieces; we got deeper, so we think we’ll be ready this year.
Lance Stephenson played exceptionally well during that series. What areas of the game did you see him improve on in the regular season and the playoffs?
I mean he just made big steps as a player, as a person, the maturity level he progressed. He understood things that he really wasn’t grasping his first year in the league. It was exciting to see him make those steps; I think he has a really bright future.
Two years ago you were getting really physical with some of the Heat players. Is Pacers and Heat the new rivalry on the rise?
(laughs) It appears that way doesn’t it? We had two series that were neck and neck so it would appear that way, but we more so would like to focus on ourselves and what we are doing here and the improvements we have to make to beat them because they have had our number the last two years.
With Paul George’s and Roy Hibbert’s contract talks coming up it always seems that your name gets thrown around the trading block. How do you keep focus on what you have to do?
I mean it’s easy for me to focus on what I have to do. I’ve been with one team for 9 years and that’s almost unheard of in the NBA so it would be unrealistic to think that you would move teams in your career. You just play, it’s a game that we all grew up loving and I love to play so that doesn’t bother me. You realize that it’s a business and you just have to approach it that way.
You’re a part of the Dribble To Stop Diabetes campaign; can you tell me a little bit about it?
Dribble To Stop Diabetes is a national multimedia campaign. It was developed by the NBA, ADA, and Sanofi US; it’s been basically designed to promote healthy lifestyles and raise awareness for people that can have diabetes risk management. A lot of people don’t realize how at risk they’re for type 2 diabetes but this is basically an initiative to go out and get risk tested.
What made you be a part of the Dribble To Stop Diabetes campaign?
I have a personal association with diabetes, my father has it, my grandfather has it, and I have three uncles who also have it, so it really hit home with me. I’ve seen what it can do to people.
What are some misconceptions about the disease that people may not know because some people don’t have a complete understanding about diabetes?
I think one of the misconceptions are that it’s genetic, that you can only be born with it. Some people are more at risk for it from genetics but it’s also a disease that can be acquired from having an unhealthy lifestyle. When you take the genetics out of it that pretty much tells anyone that you can be at risk for it if you’re not careful how you live your life.
The Source is a music magazine so what’re you listening to on gameday?
On gameday I’m probably listening to…I like The Weeknd I’ve been listening to The Weeknd a lot. I’m more of an RnB guy so I listen to some old Usher tracks. On gameday I pretty much listen to stuff that is going to calm me down because I’m already excited enough so I don’t need anything to get me overly excited (laughs).
– John McAuliffe (@John_Mac310)