AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
DALLAS – Warriors big man Marreese Speights is on pace for the worst season of his career in terms of minutes, scoring and shooting percentage.
Still, on Wednesday before he could get more of an opportunity to play with Festus Ezeli out of action, Speights maintained that he was willing to sacrifice in order to be a part of a championship team.
“This year has probably been the worst,” Speights said of the having his minutes fluctuate. “This year has probably been the most frustrating. But at the end of the day, I understand that if you’re winning, that goal at the year is one of the great feelings ever in the world.
“Every guy wants to play, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to sacrifice if you’re on a great team. I could go leave here and go play on a bad team and play a lot of minutes and get stats, but what is that really proving, you know what I’m talking about?”
Speights did not play in two of the Warriors’ three previous games and is averaging 4.8 points in 9.6 minutes per game. He said he still felt comfortable given that he had been practicing “really well.” He said that while it appears he hasn’t adjusted well to play more power forward, he has only played limited minutes at a time there.
“I learned from leaving Memphis to go to Cleveland that you’ve just got to be patient, man,” Speights said. “You never know what could happen. It’s a long season. Things turn around quick, and the opportunity will come back.
“I’m going to keep working, and I’m going to get my opportunity again.”
Speights saw Andre Iguodala and David Lee accept bench roles on last season’s championship team, but says he bought in from the start.
“I know we’ve got a lot of people on this team who could play,” Speights said. “I make sure I support everything that happens. I can’t really be a circus player because being a good team – a championship team – you can’t be selfish. You’ve got to sacrifice.
“I’m just trying to get on the floor any way possible and see the ball go in and help my team win, but at the end of the day, we’ve been winning. It’s not really about me. I can’t really be down on myself because we’ve lost one game the whole year, so that’d be selfish of me to just worry about me, but I’m not like that. I’ll sacrifice doing on this team whatever role and whatever it is because I know I’m a solid role player, and I’ve been my whole life.”