Zaza Pachulia is enjoying life as a member of the Golden State Warriors. It’s hard not to — he has a ring, his family has enjoyed living in the Bay Area, and he appreciates that he’s in a place where he can explore some of his interests outside of basketball.
There’s also the fact that the Warriors are just a fun and talented team. As Pachulia says, this happens because Golden State is a place where egos are put aside and everyone is able to enjoy the success the team has. In a locker room with “no egos,” Pachulia has thrived alongside is teammates.
And off the court, Pachulia has gotten the opportunity to explore a number of his interests. He’s finds being around the tech scene and Silicon Vally interesting, and back in his home country of Georgia, he has established the Zaza Pachulia Academy, which helps train and educate basketball players between the ages of 5-20.
We sat down with Pachilia to talk life on and off the court, right before he presented the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco with a check worth $25,000 for their sixth straight year of participating and completing the Kids Foot Locker Fitness Challenge, a program that was kicked off six weeks prior by another member of the Warriors, Andre Iguodala.
It seems like the Warriors have become a destination for veterans who want to win that ring. Was that something that motivated you to join them last offseason?
Well, everything starts with the interest, right? They showed the interest and, I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, I ended up being the first option at the center position, which is such a privilege, an honor to be part of this team. Looking at the opportunity, the guys you play against, the experience you’re gonna get. Obviously it’s very important to have the chance to win a championship, such a motivational thing, it was for me. Talking to coach Kerr, one of the amazing people I’ve met in the basketball world in general, I was convinced that this was the right place for me, that I could enjoy and have fun and have a great experience.
Most importantly, it’s great for my family. Honestly, talking is one thing, but once you experience it yourself, it’s totally different. We had a great year last year and I was in a similar situation this summertime, and the interest this time was mutual — I wanted to stay here and the team wanted me to stay here as well. It was pretty nice to make the decision again.