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Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Niko Mirotic on Fred Hoiberg's decision to start Taj Gibson at the power forward spot. "I respect the decision. Taj is an amazing player. He's playing so good, he's in great shape, he deserved to be the starter a lot of years here so I respect that."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

R.J. Hunter is looking forward to being teammates with Dwyane Wade. "He's been a role model of mine since I was young," Hunter said. "Actually my AAU team since I was younger was DWade. I don't know if that was an official sponsor but that's what we were called so it's kind of crazy how life comes back around."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

R.J. Hunter admitted that it was strange for him to sit in the Bulls' locker room on Thursday after being waived by the Boston Celtics earlier in the week. "It was super awkward," Hunter said. "I was watching the game in the locker room [Thursday night] and I almost cheered real quick and then I had to realize I'm not on that team no more."

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Brett Brown on team apology to Sevyn Streeter and how his players made their voices heard in a team meeting on wanting to invite Streeter back: "We made a mistake and we move on. Our players' voices were heard and that was their choice too."


Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Fred Hoiberg said everybody came out of the opener pretty good health-wise. Dwyane Wade didn't do much in Friday's practice but Hoiberg doesn't sound too concerned. Bulls face the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

In addition to the memory of winning a championship together, Warriors coach Steve Kerr says what he remembers most about former assistant Alvin Gentry is his "laugh, his jokes -- some of which are hilarious, some of which are horrible. He laughs at his own jokes, which I love. But he's missed around here. We all love him. He's just a wonderful human being."

Chris Haynes 

Kevin Durant on what he anticipates from Anthony Davis this season: "He can score from any area on the floor and he's probably going to lead the league in scoring easily."

Royce Young ESPN Staff Writer 

Russell Westbrook was asked about the 76er fan who apologized for flipping Westbrook off, but also said he said he was provoked. Westbrook's answer: "Uh, yeah man, I'm looking forward to tonight. Definitely will be a good home crowd."

Ethan Sherwood Strauss ESPN Staff Writer 

Kerr asked if 81-and-1 is doable. He quips, "I do. Although right now the way we're playing maybe 41-and-41 is more likely."

Ethan Sherwood Strauss ESPN Staff Writer 

JaVale McGee challenges self to make 3-point hook shot, can't extract reward for the feat


Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Anthony Davis said the Pelicans will try to run with the Warriors tonight (8:30 p.m. CT): "I think the only way to counter a running team is to run right back at them. That's what we'll try to do."

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

In the Rockets season opener, James Harden took a measured approach to start the game before picking up the pace. In the first half, the Rockets had a pace of 106.68 per 48 minutes. Houston's second half pace slowed down to 99.82. In the loss to the Lakers, the Rockets scored just 18 fourth quarter points. "That's him feeling the game, he has to read the game," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I know what I would do as a point guard but he has to have his own pace and own rhythm and how he feels. We talked about it a lot and watch film, our offense right now is pretty good. It can get a lot better (and) he does a great job of running it."

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

James Harden on playing PG: "Coach said I'm going to have the ball in my hands 80, 90 percent of the game. It's up to me to make the right play."


Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

Nene is probable with a right thigh contusion.