James Southerland: 2014 Exit Interview

By Benny Garcia | April 24, 2014

James Southerland appeared in 42 games (14 starts) towards averages of 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds on 49.8 percent field goals and 32.2 percent on three-pointers.

Southerland received an NBA Call-Up from the New Orleans Pelicans on April 11 and was not with the D-Fenders for the NBA D-League playoffs. He totaled 14 points, seven boards and two blocks in three games with the Pelicans.

– On his 10-day contract with the Pelicans:
“It was great. Even though it was last minute and at the end of the year, it was great playing with those guys and finishing out the season with them. I felt comfortable playing with the team. Even though they weren’t making the playoffs, you still want to play to win and those guys definitely played to win. The roster was kind of short (with injuries), but everyone played with a purpose.”

– On if he received any feedback from the New Orleans coaching staff:
“I’ve heard some good things. I’m going to go over there and keep in touch with them. Coach Monty Williams thanked me for being there and working out with them, and I thanked him for the opportunity. We’ll see where it leads from there.”

– On how he viewed his season with the D-Fenders:
“I would say it was definitely a good year. I think when I *came in, we were 2-6 and we got a bunch of guys and we turned it around. It was a new experience for me, but it was a great one. I felt like we did a great job playing as a team and not worrying about our individual futures. It turned out good for us, but it was unfortunate I couldn’t be there for the playoffs.”
*Southerland was waived by the Charlotte Bobcats on Dec. 11 and then claimed by Los Angeles.

– On how he saw the team respond to the roster turnover (NBA Call-Ups), plus injuries throughout the year:
“We had a bunch of skilled guys who could fill it up any night, from our first guy to our last guy. There wasn’t anybody on our team that couldn’t fill up the stat sheet. I really feel like we enjoyed being around each other and we had a great group of people and had guys who cooperated with each other. I feel like having that bond between us helped all of us.”

– On how much of a role the coaching staff played in creating that team atmosphere:
“They all did a great job. No matter what was going on, we were all there for each other. The coaches always had our backs and were always on our side, regardless of the situation. They wanted to create the best opportunities for us.”

– On his plans for the offseason:
“As of right now, I’m going to go work out in North Carolina and then go to New Orleans for workouts for a couple weeks. Just making sure I’m in great shape for summer league because that’s where it makes a difference. I have to take advantage of that.”