OKC Thunder: July 3rd virtual media session: Danilo Gallinari

The OKC Thunder July 3rd virtual media sessions featured Danilo Gallinari

As the OKC Thunder individuals come in for work out sessions fans are finally getting to see and hear from some of their favorites.

This week Thunder Nation heard from head coach Billy Donovan and cornerstone talent Shai Gilgeous Alexander on Wednesday. Thursday served up a true treat as Steven Adams was back in his virtual media session. Adams tossed out jokes as per usual talking a lot about his New Zealand farm and cows.

Today’s featured player was Danilo Gallinari who has blossomed into an integral member of the OKC Thunder Clutch Time Killers.

Danilo Gallinari answers media questions:

Long before the OKC Thunder and Utah Jazz game was postponed on March 11th and the season put on suspension Danilo Gallinari was warning of the coronavirus pandemic. His native Italy had been hit hard and subsequently, the Thunder forward was one of the first in the NBA to suggest the season may have to come to a stop.

While Italy is improving like most European countries the United States continues to experience the second wave of positive tests and is currently setting record highs. The state of Florida where the NBA will resume the season is the hardest hit coming close to the numbers New York State was registering at the peak of the outbreak.

In his question and answer virtual media session the OKC Thunder power forward offered insights on several topics.

How Gallinari spent hiatus:

The 31-year old (soon to be 32 on August 8th) was diligent in his workouts as his social media demonstrated. However, the one constant activity Gallo said he did was lots of walking. He stated he and his fiancee walked daily for hours. He was thankful to be in Oklahoma City for the entire hiatus to be able to go on these walks.

While he worried about his family in Italy and particularly his mother he noted how the daily walks wouldn’t have been possible if he’d returned to Italy.

OKC Thunder roster readiness:

Gallo talked about what the team did as a unit saying they communicated frequently and had team calls once a week. A key strategy employed was the team spent time reviewing film of the games played to date breaking them down with a view to what they did well and where they needed improvement.

In terms of readiness, Gallinari has no concerns about the squad’s mental state – – they are all ready to play. As far as physically, however, like many analysts have noted getting back into game shape will take time and is why the NBA has incorporated the long lead-in prior to resuming the season. And, even then there will be concerns about soft tissue injuries so watch for a slow easing in especially of the older players like Gallinari and Chris Paul.

Asked if he felt one type of team would have an advantage (older versus younger squads for example) he said no and again seemingly implied the mental aspect could be the most important.

Praise for captain Paul:

Speaking of the captain, Gallinari sang his captain’s praises noting all the work CP3 has done during the hiatus as NBPA president. Reinforcing this statement the Thunder forward said it was almost impossible to reach Paul because he was constantly on the phone dealing with any number of issues.

As the NBPA president Paul has worked diligently with NBA stakeholders and was the key conduit for all players. Earlier this season Gallinari called Paul the best leader he’s ever played with over his 12 years in the NBA.

‘I’m glad that he’s our president for the players. He’s been doing so much work, it’s honestly amazing.’

Never considered opting out:

Although Gallinari will be a free agent this offseason which many believe will result in his departure from OKC he never considered not returning. He’s anxious to continue what the team began as a unit and believes the Thunder are in a great position to perform well in Orlando.

We are trying to win something and to go far. And, so to do it with my teammates especially, to not waste all the things that we did since September — since the end of last September and all the work that we put in. Nobody, and me first, I don’t want to see it going to waste. And so, I never thought about not playing for my free agency.

The OKC Thunder posted two videos of the virtual media session which can be viewed here and here.