Yuta Watanabe had a good game from a personal standpoint against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Toronto Raptors big man is only interested in team success. He also shared how he spent Christmas during such a difficult time for NBA players and the world as a whole.
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- Yuta, what-- in that meeting before the game with Nick, what was he able to go over with you guys? And how different is it than a normal game like the amount you guys are able to run?
YUTA WATANABE: I mean, we met-- we met a new full guys arbitrarily like light before the game, like, we met them on the bus on the way to the arena. And so when we get here we went through a couple of plays. And then usually like the meeting right before the game we watch other teams clip, coach showed us our clip and to you know to make sure everybody kind of feel like what their game is and like stuff like that. So that was a lot different from our usual game.
- And I mean, last year you guys went through it with COVID as well. What have the last eight days been like for you just seeing Tb8 after tb8 go through protocols? I mean, throw in the Christmas break and that's a pretty crazy eight days.
YUTA WATANABE: Yeah, so I mean, we couldn't do anything after the Golden State game. I mean, every time we go to the practice facility and get tested like literally like two or three new guys getting tested positive. And you know I hope they're doing well but you know last-- last this past week we had no practice, like no workouts and stuff. So I was just know going-- going to the gym getting shot up by myself that's-- that's what I was doing this past week.
- Thanks Yuta, stay safe, have a good trip back.
YUTA WATANABE: Thank you, you too.
- Next we'll go to Michael Grange.
MICHAEL GRANGE: Hey, Yuta. The-- how important do you take games like this? Like you went out there, you played hard, you played big minutes, and had a great game in terms of numbers. You know, do you look at this like an opportunity like anything else to get minutes and show that you can-- your game is continuing-- continuing to grow?
YUTA WATANABE: For sure, but more than anything I want to win. You know I was out there to win the basketball game. But I mean-- I mean we lost by 45, so you know. I thought that like everybody did well their job. You know I thought like we did a great job trying to figure out what we can do. And I thought we did the best we could do. But it just-- it is what it is. The situation is kind of crazy, and you know, but at least we fought and we competed for 48. So we just got to keep learning from this. And you know I don't know how many guys are going to come back to the next game, but we just got to keep fighting.
MICHAEL GRANGE: The-- and you've missed so much time with injury this year and you know I'm sure if you were unlucky maybe to get sick. You'd probably be fine, people seem to be OK. But are you just kind of nervous that you know you don't have to miss another week or two weeks If you do get infected? How anxious have you been when you go to testing and things like that?
YUTA WATANABE: It's been-- I've been anxious like literally like almost everybody getting tested positive. And I think I'm trying everything I can do to you know be safe and healthy. But at this point, I feel like almost there's nothing I can do. I felt like my teammates were also doing a great job staying home like eat well, sleep well, all kinds of stuff, but I mean, at this point I'm just kind of like a lucky guy not getting COVID right now. So but I'm just keep continuing trying to be isolated as many as possible then we'll see.
MICHAEL GRANGE: What did you do for Christmas?
YUTA WATANABE: Nothing. Flew in here last night and I ate my food in my room by myself. So that was the great way to spend time on Christmas.