The only time we’ve seen Festus Ezeli in Oracle Arena this season has been in a suit and on the sideline. The Warriors’ center has been out since his offseason knee surgery, and according to Ryan Donough of the Warriors' PR department, Ezeli is still rehabbing and has no estimated return date at this time.
Ezeli took time to answer questions for Chat Sports about his injury, his time off the court, and how far the Warriors will go this year.
What have you been doing to improve your game coming back from such a long recovery period?
My main goal during this season was to get back to 100 percent and make sure I was as healthy as possible. As for on the court, I wasn’t able to work on those aspects of my game early on in my recovery, but have started to work on my post game including my shooting while working my way back.
Are you being mentored by Bogut and O’Neal?
Bogues and JO are two established veterans in this league and they have always done a great job of mentoring me during my time in the NBA. It’s not just on the court, but they’ve seen it all since entering the league and counsel me in my life off the court as well. My goal is to have a long career in this league and they are two great models to follow as I move forward during this time in the NBA.
What things have you learned by watching such great big man veterans like Bogut and O’Neal while sidelined? Especially since both big men pass and handle the ball well.
I’ve learned how to be patient given my injury. Jermaine and Bogut have suffered their share of injuries during their careers and you have to be patient in those times. I played a majority of my games in college so it’s been a new experience for me sitting out for such a long stretch. As for on the court, they both have unique offensive skills they’ve developed during their careers. My skills coming into this league were with defense and on the glass. My goal is to continue to develop my offensive game, and Jermaine/Bogues have helped me a great deal since I entered the league.
How far do you think the Warriors are going to go this year?
I haven’t set a goal for how far we are going to go this year. We want to take it one game at a time and if we play the way we’re capable of, I’m sure we can make a good run during the playoffs this season. After our postseason success last year, I think we showed what we are capable of and hopefully we can build on it during the upcoming playoffs.
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