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Highlights from the Hornets exit interviews

Charlotte Hornets v Atlanta Hawks - Play-In Tournament Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

These might be a little old news, but I figured I could at least share some highlights of the Charlotte Hornets exit interviews for those of you who haven’t seen them. Let’s get into it.

Nick Richards

  • Learned a lot about being a professional from Mason Plumlee and Montrezl Harrell
  • Feels like the Hornets needed better rim protection. Says centers still have an important role in the game and its on players in that position to adapt to the new way the game is played.

JT Thor

  • Planning on working on his strength and jump shooting this summer
  • Feels like he can be a very good defender as he gets stronger

Kai Jones

  • Felt like he improved a lot this season
  • Didn’t expect to spend so much time in Greensboro but does feel like it was a blessing in the end
  • Spoke a lot about building championship habits

James Bouknight

  • Learned a lot from his teammates this season and understands what he needs to get better at in the offseason
  • Had fun this year

Montrezl Harrell

  • Doesn’t feel like he really flourished in the role he had this season, but it’s a situation he’s not used to with being traded during the season
  • Felt like he played more of a veteran leadership role, but he wanted to be able to make more of an impact on the floor
  • Still said he loves the city and would like to be back

Isaiah Thomas

  • Sees something special in this group and wants to be here and help the group take the next step
  • Thinks the team needs a few more vets in the locker room
  • Says guys around the league are talking about Charlotte and see a bright future here
  • Feels like he can help LaMelo because he’s been in a similar position as a face-of-the-franchise point guard for a stretch
  • Frequently expressed his thankfulness to the organization for giving him an opportunity

Kelly Oubre

  • Says this season was a season of growth and showed where the kinks are and what needs to be improved
  • Loves the city. Feels a connection to the Hornets since he grow up in New Orleans as a New Orleans Hornets fan.
  • Says team can do a better job of instilling confidence on the players further down on the depth chart

Cody Martin

  • Loves being in Charlotte
  • Emphasized the need for the team to get better on the defensive end of the floor to become a great team
  • Felt like being separated from Caleb has helped both of them blossom and grow without being compared to one another
  • Feels more confident as a shooter and that helped his effectiveness from outside this season. Has always struggled with worrying too much about the results of his shooting.

PJ Washington

  • Really proud of the team and proud to be here
  • Says the team needs to improve everywhere defensively
  • Felt he improved the most as an iso defender

Gordon Hayward

  • His sprained ankle has also resulted in a sort of bone chip that’s made healing difficult
  • Sees parallels between this team and his early Utah days where the team is improving a lot year over year

Terry Rozier

  • Was really hoping to make the playoffs so guys like Miles and Melo can experience a playoff a series
  • Looking forward to putting the work in this summer

Miles Bridges

  • Feels like the team got better this year even with the disappointing ending
  • Team has to get better on defense (he said this a lot) and needs a better interior presence. He also says the team needs to be better with decisions in crunch time.
  • Said he wants to come back but will let his agent worry about that. Wants to play with Melo and Terry for his whole career if possible.
  • Took ownership of him losing his cool after the loss to the Hawks
  • Says he and his family love the city of Charlotte
  • Wrapped it up saying the Hornets need more defense

LaMelo Ball

  • Feels like the Hornets shouldn’t have even been in the play-in; they had a chance to set themselves better throughout the course of the season
  • Said the team was real tight and wants to keep everyone together
  • Said he touches a ball everyday. If he’s not working out, he’s shooting around with his friends or something.
  • He never wants to wear number 2 ever again in his life

James Borrego

  • Proud of the improvement of the team and won’t let the result of the play-in game affect that
  • Noted that the team’s offensive rating was best in franchise history. Defense needs to improve, but it was better over the last 50 games of the season.
  • A lot of references to the need to improve defensively
  • Pointed out that it’s been a very long time since a 10-seed won 43 games, so unfortunate that their improvement didn’t result in a higher seed
  • Spoke very highly of Miles Bridges and how well he’s responded to challenges and developed as a player
  • Says he anticipates Bridges being a major part of the core going forward