Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot of the Oklahom City Thunder shared his thoughts on how the atmosphere is different between Philadelphia and Oklahoma City as well as the upcoming season and his experience during the 2018 NBA London Game.
Q: What are your expectations for this year, especially here in Oklahoma City?
A: “The team’s goals are clear, make the playoffs and play better basketball than last year, the last two years. The last two years we lost in the first round of the Playoffs and I always see that as a goal and t a natural goal to go past that this season.
My personal goal is to be a better player, be a new me, be someone else compared to who I’ve been during my two first years in Philadelphia. Be something else. Bring something else to the game and bring something else to this team. I really feel like it’s a good opportunity for me and for the team also because we can build something together. We can really build something throughout the years that I’m here. We have a great group of guys, and it’s going be easy because they make it easier for me.”
Q: How do you feel about the competition for the position with Hamidou Diallo and Terrance Ferguson?
A: “It’s always great to have competition. It’s nothing unhealthy or nothing bad. It’s just great teammates. We all know we have to be at our best, we have play at 100% every time to make ourselves better. If they are playing at 100%, they will make me better. That’s how we work every day and that’s how we compete every day.”
Q: How would you compare the atmosphere in Oklahoma City to Philly?
A: “It does feel different. I think the crowd and the fans are kind of the same. But the way people cheer for us here in Oklahoma is a little bit louder. It’s a little bit more passionate. In Philly, the fans were great, but they always expected something, so if you don’t do it, for example if you shoot and you miss two shots in a row, the reaction is ‘oh shoot, he sucks or he’s trash’. But here [in Oklahoma], you miss some shots and it’s okay, you’ll be fine, you’ll make some shots next game. If you play 100%, you play hard and show that love back to the fans, they’ll love you back and they’ll just cheer for you every single day.”
Q: Last year you played in the NBA London Game with the 76ers. What were your memories of that entire trip?
A: “The NBA London Game was great. It felt great because there were a lot of French people and a lot of people from Europe at the game. It’s always good to show everybody back in Europe what the NBA is about. In Europe they know NBA is a big deal and they know the NBA superstars, but they don’t experience everything we do on this side of the pond. It’s good for European fans to see games and to interact with the players. Hopefully when they see a game, they like it and then maybe they start to wake up at night and watch the games. So, it’s great that the NBA are going back to London in January.”
The 2018-19 NBA season tips off tonight on Sky Sports, the new home of the NBA in the UK with more than 170 live games throughout the season. Tune in to Sky Sports Arena from 1:00am to watch all the live action.