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Title tops Rudy Gay's San Antonio bucket list

From ESPN - July 17, 2017

SAN ANTONIO -- Having spent time in Memphis, Toronto and Sacramento in a 13-year NBA career, new San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay views this latest opportunity as his first shot to contend perennially for titles.

Gay spent some time with ESPN.com to discuss his rehabilitation process from a torn left Achilles tendon, what he brings to the Spurs, and why he opted out of a $14.2 million contract in Sacramento for the 2016-17 to take $8.4 million in San Antonio:

Michael C. Wright: Hows the rehab process going?

Gay: Its great. I actually worked out today. Im fully cleared to do everything. Im fine now. The team, it has its own planning with me. But Im ready to go. Ill definitely be ready by camp.

Wright: So, why opt out of $14.2 million to come to San Antonio as a free agent for a little more than half of that for the 2017-18 season?

Gay: Looking at my career, its just time to win. Thats what its mostly about. Ive been in this league for a little while now, and I havent gotten out of my career what I wanted. Coming to a place like San Antonio, it just seemed perfect for me.

Wright: It has been proved over the course of your career that you can get buckets, but in your mind, how does that fit in with San Antonios style of play?

Gay: Ive talked to [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich], and weve had a couple of conversations. My game is one thing. But when a team wants to sign you, and you sign with a team, they have their own vision for you. So obviously, I want to take my game to another level. And if anybody knows how to do that, it would be Gregg Popovich.

Wright: Whats that next level?

Gay: Who knows (laughs)? As you said: Ive been known to get buckets, and Ive had that stigma of just being a scorer. But I think theres a lot more to my game. I think I can show that here in San Antonio.

Wright: From your conversations with Popovich, is there a certain role you and the team envision?

Gay: Yeah, weve talked. The game is changing a lot. Its all about positional basketball. The more guys that can play different positions, the better. So thats pretty much it. Theres not too much to talk about. You have your teams like Golden State, Houston, who all have guys that are switchable. I think I can bring that to this team.

Wright: Did you get a chance to watch the Spurs during the playoffs? If so, what did you think?

Gay: For sure, I did. This is a team thats traditionally great. Obviously, this year, a couple of injuries came into play. Who knows what would have happened? They would have made a better fight [if not for the injuries]. But I do honestly think the Warriors were just on another level this year. Theyre a great team.

Wright: You took all of your free-agent meetings in Austin. What was the tie-in there?

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