Heat offseason Q&A: Josh Richardson on how ‘pissed’ he was to not make All-NBA Defensive teams and, of course, LeBron

The Miami Heat’s Josh Richardson leaps past the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) for a basket in the first quarter in Game 4 of the first-round NBA Playoff series at the AmericaneAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Sixers won, 106-102, for a 3-1 series lead. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — While many NBA players spend their offseasons working out in Miami, Heat guard/forward Josh Richardson decided to head to the other side of the country.

Richardson is currently working out at the P3 (Peak Performance Project) facility in Santa Barbara, Calif. And next week, he will host his second annual Josh Richardson Basketball Camp in his hometown of Edmond, Okla., on June 21-22.

But on Wednesday, he took time to speak to South Florida reporters on a conference call about his contract, the disappointment of not making an All-NBA Defensive team, and of course LeBron James.

Here’s what Richardson had to say …

Q: Pat Riley said your best position could be shooting guard. How does that impact your offseason work after logging a lot of minutes at small forward last season?

Josh: “I wanted to put on some weight either way. I mean that position that he says doesn’t really completely change what I’m going to do. But bulking up and getting my handle better has been just like the biggest priority.”

Q: The four-year, $42 million extension you signed with the Heat last summer begins this upcoming season. Does that put any added pressure on you?

Josh: “I feel prepared for that. If you’re a competitor, if you want that bigger role then you want that pressure.”

Q: Why are you working out at the P3 facility in Santa Barbara this offseason?

Josh: “I come out here every summer. When I signed with my agency, they told me they had a great gym that I should go to and there were some good trainers out here for basketball. And so when I was doing my pre-draft process I came out. I just kind of come out here for six weeks every summer.”

Q: A lot of NBA players conduct their offseason work in Miami. Is it good for you to get a change of scenery after the season?

Josh: “Yeah, it’s always good to get a change in scenery. I love Miami. But it’s always good to get to work out in a different gym and get to have some different coaches to work with you and go see a different city. Santa Barbara is like ideal for that, especially for me because I just like to kick back and relax and chill when I’m not playing. And it’s very relaxing.”

Q: How disappointing was it to be left off the NBA’s All-Defensive teams?

Josh: “I was pretty pissed about it. I thought that I made a good case for it. I still think I’m one of the best defenders in the NBA and I can’t sit around and sulk about it. So I was just mad for maybe a day or two. And then I turned back to the things that need to be handled. I’m not too bent out of shape about it anymore, but that’s one of my goals is to make those teams.”

Q: If it’s just Dion Waiters coming back, is there another step this Heat roster can take this upcoming season? Or are you just still wondering what Riley can dream up or come up with?

Josh: “I think Dion brings a lot of things to the table. He brings a lot of creation, a lot of defensive intensity, and just a lot of things that we were kind of lacking a little bit at the end. You never know what the front office is thinking or what they want to do. I feel like a lot of the NBA is just a waiting game at this point.”

Q: What’s your reaction when you see the Heat mentioned as a potential destination for LeBron James?

Josh: “Excitement. I’m not too excited because I don’t know what he wants to do or what he’s going to do. I mean I think we have great pieces to offer to play around him. We play with a lot of intensity. We’ve got a lot of dog in us. You need that in the trenches. That’s all I can really say about it.”

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