Will Barton was the last interview of the day at Denver Nuggets media day, he claims that it was not by plan but the media was happy to have it work out that way nonetheless. Barton, fresh off signing a new contract, placed a lot of emphasis on his ability to become a vocal leader that this team needs. He also touched on making the change from shooting guard to small forward and what side of the ball that will be the most difficult to adjust to. He talked about defense and how much he’s focused on it knowing that he’s going to be challenged by bigger small forwards.
Barton certainly seemed comfortable in his new role, though the spotlight certainly has never been something he shied from. Barton was happy to joke with Altitude TV’s Chris Marlowe about nicknames, and shot down any rumors that he doesn’t want to be called Thrill or Willy B. Buckets. On the more serious note Barton was very emphatic about how he has to take on a new role, but also that he makes sure all of his teammates are ready to take on their season as well. He was excited that Isaiah Thomas was on board, noting they had similar personalities and compared how IT will push Jamal Murray to how Barton and Gary Harris pushed each other when they were growing together in Denver. Without a doubt Barton doesn’t sound like he is taking anything for granted or letting his foot off the gas pedal now that he’s earned that big contract.