P.J. Hairston Interview
by: Jim Hlavac
January 29, 2014
Note: This interview was conducted after Monday's game against the L.A. D-Fenders.

DX: Before I get to the Carolina stuff, let's start with how you wound up in the D-League.

PJH: I had the opportunity to take online courses at UNC. And I wanted to stay here so that I could still be on pace to get my degree next spring.

DX: Did you get advice on the D-League from any players?

PJH: I talked to Kendall (Marshall) about it. He has experienced the D-League and just told me that the hardest thing would be the traveling part. And it's true. It's just something my body has to get used to traveling a lot and being able to play on back to back nights. (note: In P.J.'s first back to back in the D-League he scored 40 points the first night and followed it up with a 1-for-9 performance.)

DX: What has been your first impression of the D-League?

PJH: My first impression was that it was better competition, and the pace of the game was much faster than it is in college.

DX: What was your mindset coming here?

PJH: I came in just like a normal other player would. I came in and tried to do the little things like play defense and just put the ball in the rim. I didn't expect to come here and average 40, 50 points a game, I expected to come here and be able to work on my game and become a better player.

DX: How do you look back on your time at North Carolina?

PJH: Good memories mostly, I don't really regret anything at school.

DX: Do you still watch your old team?

PJH: I still watch them and I still talk to my teammates a lot. I try to text them after every game and if not, I'll send them a text message during the week.

DX: Do you feel that you were treated fairly by the school?

PJH: (no answer)

DX: What would you tell NBA teams about your dismissal?

PJH: The past is the past. I made some mistakes and of course I regret them fully. I just know they will never happen again because I would never put myself in that situation again.

DX: What would you like to tell people as your side of the story?

PJH: Actions speak louder than words so I don't really want to say anything. Anyone can say, I'm going to be a better person, but you have to show it. Like now, I'm a professional athlete. I have to show professionalism. It's a grown man business and I know that I have to make decisions on my own now. It's not college, no one's going to be there to babysit me. It's part of the maturing stage for me and I want to show that I'm a way better person than what was assumed.

DX: How will the D-League prepare you for the NBA Draft?

PJH: There are scouts at every game. My goal is to show them what I've worked on and show what I've done to become a better player. Also, how I'm getting used to the pace of the game, how I can stay in shape and just the different things I've worked on along my journey.

DX: You are currently number 25 on our mock draft. Do you think that is realistic?

PJH: I don't really pay attention to the mock drafts. I just try to play hard each and every night and work on my game to be better. If I jumped up twenty spots to number five, I'd be excited, but there are still four other people who have worked harder than me.

Feedback for this article may be sent to jim.hlavac@draftexpress.com .