Barnes sets sights high for next season

Barnes doesn't care about starting; he just wants to win

Barnes sets sights high for next season
September 10, 2013, 7:15 pm
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Harrison Barnes averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game with a 43.9% field goal percentage during his rookie season. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Barnes said the USA Basketball Showcase was "unlike anything else you could be doing during the summer." (AP)

On Tuesday, Harrison Barnes spoke with the media about several topics, including his rookie season, his summer, and his goals for next season.

When asked about a possible role shift due to the addition of Andre Iguodala, Barnes didn't hesitate giving his answer.

Below is the full transcript from the video above.

 Q: Did you give yourself a break at all this summer?

Harrison Barnes: [laughs] Yeah, I had some time to take off, but this time of year it's time to get back here and time to get back to where we left off.

Q: Anything specific you worked on individually in your game?

HB: I tried to work on everything for the most part. I mean, the post was huge because I thought me playing in the post in the playoffs really helped us a lot. And just trying to work on just pick and roll.

Q: You started 81 games last season, averaged 16 points in the postseason. People say you might be coming off the bench, how are you adjusting to that?

HB: I can imagine much worse problems. I feel confident about this team and where we could go. Regardless of whether I'm coming off the bench I think we have a chance to make a serious playoff push. Whether I come off the bench, whether I start, I am just trying to make a contribution.

Q: Do you like the stretch four role?

HB: I'm actually getting more comfortable in the stretch four. I had a chance to play it a little bit in USA, and I've just been playing a lot of stretch four in pick-up games. I'm getting more and more comfortable with it, so it will be natural during the season.

Q: How long did it take for you to shake the cobwebs from the concussion and get out there and feel like you were 100% again?

HB: Two and a half weeks.

Q: Was that a tough two and a half weeks for you not touching a basketball, not playing, not doing anything?

HB: It was different. I really haven't had an injury like that in which I'm not literally able to get on the court, not able to do physical activity. I was laid up a lot of the time with headaches and stuff like that. Once I was passed that, it was a little shaky but it was good to get back on the court.

Q: Did you look at the video again?

HB: I saw it once and it was hard to watch.

Q: Do you think about it when you're playing now?

HB: I still play with the same reckless abandon I used to, still flying in the air. Hopefully, I land on my feet instead of my head this time.

Q: What was Team USA practice experience like for you?

HB: It was huge, honestly. Just to be invited to that atmosphere and to be able to play with guys of that caliber is unlike anything else you could be doing during the summer as opposed to pickup or team workouts. So I was honestly just blessed to be there.

[RELATED: Harrison Barnes shines at Team USA showcase]

Q: Who do you look forward to practicing against this year?

HB: We're gonna battle. That's a given. Everyone here's competitive. I always look forward to going against all the wing guys, whether it's Draymond [Green], Klay [Thomson], Andre [Iguodala], Kent [Bazemore] sometimes, even Steph [Curry]. Whoever you're guarding, you just try to go at them.

Q: How do you envision yourself coexisting with Iggy?

HB: Well one, he doesn't like being called Iggy, so that's probably a good start. I think we'll play along great. He's a high level thinker. He's able to pass, he's able to create, so all I have to do is get open and I know he'll give me the ball.

Q: Does your role change coming off the bench?

HB: Not at all, it might even be more if I came off the bench. So, it's really Coach Jackson's call.

Q: Does finishing the game matter more?

HB: Winning the game matters more to me.

HB: I wouldn't say shooting more from three, but when I do shoot them, I want to shoot a higher percentage. I'm definitely working on getting to my spots, closer to the basket, and just attacking the basket. Whether it's post ups, coming off the dribble, I want to get more towards the rim and more towards the free throw line as opposed to just shooting threes.

HB: I think we'll definitely try me playing four against actual fours. I think there are advantages to that, and as I've gotten stronger I think it's becoming more realistic.

Q: What will you miss about Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry?

HB: Both those guys are my guys. I was with Carl this weekend at the 49ers game. He's from Wisconsin, so he was cheering for the other team. But, probably just the camaraderie with them. Those are probably two of the best vets you could've asked for as a rookie, whether it was going out to eat all the time, whether it was just hanging with them. Obviously, we had good chemistry on the court. Those guys were good veterans and good leaders, but everything they brought off the court I think I'll miss the most.

HB: How fun it was to win. I think that's the biggest thing that everyone in this organization remembers. Just that atmosphere, what it was like to win. When you start the season off you have that goal in mind. We're not going into the season like we were last year, you know, 'Let's just roll the dice and see how many games we win and hopefully end up with that 8th seed'. Now we have real expectations and we're trying to fulfill that.

HB: Be better than I was last year. You look at my shot chart, it wasn't great for 82 games, so that's definitely something I want to improve upon and just be consistent.

HB: Where do I see myself in five years? Hopefully these legs are still moving in five years. Hopefully I still have some youthful exuberance in me.

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