PLANO, Texas — New Dallas Mavericks center Christian Wood has only been in Dallas for about two weeks at this point. But in his first interview since arriving in the city following the team's acquisition of him earlier in the NBA's offseason, the 26-year-old said he's been putting in plenty of work in that short time.
"I’m tired," Wood said with a laugh following an appearance at the Mavs Academy youth basketball camp at Collin College in Plano on Thursday. "I’ve been in the gym and pushing myself to exhaustion this whole time I’ve been here."
After a 2021-2022 NBA season in which he averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and a block per game for the Houston Rockets -- the worst team in the NBA last year -- Wood said on Thursday that he's very much looking forward to a fresh start in a new city.
"I'm still counting my blessings and happy to be here," he said.
Specifically, the 6-foot-9 center was speaking about being a Maverick. But on Thursday, that gratitude could also extend to his time with the kids he got to work out with in Plano.
"I was once that little kid that would look up to NBA players and hope that he would sign my shoe or hope that I would be able to meet him in person," he said. "With kids, I can be myself and I can be a kid myself. So it's fun."
Make no mistake, though: Much as Wood seemed to revel in the chance to take a breather and hang with young fans, he said he's wholly focused on the possibilities that lie ahead with his tenure on the Mavs.
"It’s a great opportunity for me and for this organization to try and take that next step," he said. "I just want to win games. My main objective is to try and get to the Finals."
That's music to Mavs fans' ears, no doubt.
And while Wood hopes to make a good impression on Mavericks fans in the months and season to come, fans will also be pleased to hear that the City of Dallas is already making a strong impression on their team's newest player.
"I love the city -- it's a little bit calmer than Houston, thank God," Wood offered up with a laugh. "I've tried a few food spots out here, and the food is great. But I’m still trying to find my way around."