NBA Draft Media Day Interview Transcripts (Part One)

NBA Draft Media Day Interview Transcripts (Part One)
Jun 25, 2009, 12:15 am
Terrence Williams Interview

DraftExpress: Charlotte…promise?

Terrence Williams: I love how you just come out and say that. I had a great workout in my second workout with Charlotte. I hurt my ankle so I didn't go to New Jersey...we'll see what happens tomorrow (laughs).

DX: New Jersey might take you anyway, would you be cool with that?

TW: I'll be cool wherever, I'm in the green room. You guys don't understand, this is what you work for, this is a dream come true. I'm in the green room so if I go anywhere from five to fourteen, it's blessing. If I go in the first round it's a blessing, but five to fourteen is excellent. If I go eleven, I'll approach that situation the same as I would if I went twelve or seven. It's coming in as a rookie, behaving and having hard work and dedication to your team.

DX: There’s been some talk in the media that some teams were scared off by stuff that came up in the background checks, some stuff about your intangibles, the fact that you have a couple of kids. How do you respond to that? Are teams digging too deep or is that valid information that they need to know?

TW: That’s a great question; I hope they dig deeper to see that I am human. What I mean by human is my past with children, but as far as a question about background, if you look at my background when I was younger, you’ll never see my fingerprint with the police, at Louisville I’ve never been in trouble, so it’s like people make up things. Is it because I didn’t score 20 points per game or win a national championship or shoot 48 percent from the three-point line? Am I that much different from anyone else? No, but people are always going to make up their own assumptions, that’s why we have hearsay, that’s what we have DraftExpress, that’s why we have you guys because people need something to read to keep them going. So like I said, my background is clean because I’ve never been in trouble and if you dig deeper you will see that I’m human.

DX: Your coach obviously loves you, and every team that has talked to him says that. But a couple of the teams that are interested in selecting you have been saying things like he’s very cocky and arrogant, he’s been comparing himself to Lebron James. What does that tell you?

TW: If you ask me the question, which is better gas, Chevon or Texaco? If I say Texaco, that’s my answer. If you ask me who do I compare my game to, I try to compare my game to Lebron. I’m not saying I’m Lebron or Michael Jordan, that’s who I try to compare my game to. At Louisville as far as assists, defense and being a team leader, you can say to the Louisville fans, I was their Lebron. I’m not saying I am Lebron, that’s not me coming off arrogant, that’s me giving a legitimate truthful answer. If they give me A or B, they can’t get mad at me because I didn’t choose A. This is how I come off in my interviews, if that’s cocky to people, well I’m just trying to answer questions that are presented to me.

DX: Is being too open with teams in the interview process, is that almost a fault?

TW: Honestly, it is. When you’re going into interviews you’re told to assume they already know the answer. So if they ask you, and this wasn’t one of my questions, were you arrested when you were sixteen and you say no, they already know that. So it’s like you come off as a liar and you don’t want to do that so you tell them the truth and then they start thinking, oh this guy has a bad history with the police or something like that. So you try not to be too open, but we’re told to assume they already know the answers. When I go into my interviews and they ask if I have children, I could easily say no, but they already know the answer and that you’re lying. If I tell them yes then, they get mad that I do. They could have had their first kid at fifteen but I can’t fault them because they’re trying to draft me.

Reporter: What would you like to improve on at the next level?

Williams: I would keep the same skills that I have I would just practice them more. I would practice more open shooting, more shooting off the dribble, stuff like that.

Reporter: Who would you compare yourself to in then NBA?

Williams: I try to look after and copy LeBron James. As far as passing the ball, defense and thinking team first concepts. And on defense I’d like to be like Shane Battier because he challenges every shot and doesn’t back down from anybody.

Reporter: What advice have you received from Coach Pitino?

Williams: Have fun and to know at the end of the day that it’s a business. Take your time and the main thing is to know that it’s a business and that when you make money to save your money.

Reporter: Where do you see yourself being drafted?

Williams: Before fourteen.

Reporter: What happens if you were the last guy standing in the Green Room?

Williams: I don’t care (laughs), I’m in the Green Room. A lot of people are in their white living rooms watching me on TV so I’m in the Green Room and it doesn’t matter to me.

Reporter: Is it more important to be drafted high or drafted to a team where you fit better.

Williams: Where I think I’m going to go is a great situation. But if you ask some people, to them it’s more important to be drafted high because they want to be paid more. To me, I want to be in the right situation. Because if you’re in the right situation, in the long run, you will be paid more.

Reporter: There is some talk that Chicago is trying to trade up to try and get you. Is it flattering to hear talk like that?

Williams: It depends, where are they trading up to?

Reporter: 11

Williams: Oooh. When you hear people say that teams want to trade up to try and get you it just shows you that hard work pays off. Playing in Chicago with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Salmons…That would be a great fit, but D Rose has number one, so I would have to switch my number. But yeah that would be a nice look in Chicago.

Reporter: How closely do you follow the trade rumors and mock drafts, etc.

Williams: Honestly, I wasn’t trying to until yesterday when I saw that Minnesota gets the 5th and 6th pick. And then I see guys in the NBA get traded like Bruce Bowen. Yesterday was really the first day I really started looking at that because there were some teams in my mind that, I’m like, man, I hope they don’t trade their pick. And as of right now they haven’t traded their pick, but like I said, you never know what will happen.

Jordan Hill Interview:

Reporter: Milwaukee just made a trade where they acquired a power forward. Does that worry you that you may not have that as a fall back now?

JH: Not really, it’s a crazy draft so we just have to wait and see how it turns out.

Reporter: What was your reaction to the trade?

JH: I didn’t really hear much at all about it, they only one I heard about was Minnesota and Washington. I wasn’t really paying much attention to it.

DraftExpress: Jordan at this point how much of an idea do you have about where you’ll get drafted tomorrow night?

JH: I have no idea; it could be anywhere, two to ten. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

DX: Does it matter? Do you prefer to be closer to two rather than ten?

JH: It really doesn’t matter, I just want to be picked up and be on a team. Everybody would like to be top five but it doesn’t always work that way, so you just have to keep moving forward.

DX: We’re hearing that the New York coaching staff really likes you but that front office might be leaning more towards a guard. What do you think you were able to show in your workout that made Mike D’Antoni fall in love with you?

JH: I was able to show more athleticism, my quickness, how well I run the floor, my mid-range jumper; they say I’m like Amare. You know Coach D’Antoni coached him and I feel like any team would want to have Amare and that’s how they feel about me.

DX: Did he bring that up to you? Amare?

JH: Yes.

DX: You spent some time at Amare’s camp and played at Arizona, so you probably know him as a player pretty well.

JH: Yea, he’s a real good player. I’ve got a lot more work ahead of me to get up there, but I’m on my way up.

DX: Are you going to be able to get the guns that Amare has? How long is that going to take?

JH: I hope it doesn’t take that long; I’ve just got to stay in the weight room.

Reporter: What kinds of indication have the Knicks given that they might select you?

JH: I don’t really know anything; the draft is all up in the air right now. I just have to wait and see how the teams feel.

Reporter: Would you like to play in Mike D’Antoni’s system?

JH: Definitely; he’s an up-tempo coach and I love to run the floor. They’ve got Chris Duhon who is a pass-first guard and if I run the floor with him and I know he’ll be able to hit me with a pass for a dunk or whatever. It would definitely be a good fit for me.

DX: Talking to some of the teams that you interviewed with in Chicago there has been some thought that maybe you were a little bit too open with some of the things you said about nightlife and stuff like that. Is that something maybe you regret in hindsight, being so honest and straightforward?

JH: I definitely don’t regret it; they asked me to be honest. I don’t go out and party all night, I’m not like that, but I like to have a little fun. When I get my work done first, then I’ll go out and have a little time for myself. I don’t regret saying what I did, they wanted me to be honest and I was.

DX: So all the guys who were saying they like to drink apple juice and go to sleep at nine, is that what they wanted to hear you think?

JH: I don’t know; they told me to be honest about everything and I was being honest. I’m not a party guy like that or anything, but I do like to have fun on my days off.

DX: Is ten in Milwaukee where you think your floor is?

JH: It could be, we’ll see, I don’t know.

DX: Do you think Minnesota having two picks changes anything? Maybe they go big and small?

JH: Again like I said I don’t really know, we’re going to have to wait and see.

Reporter: Now that Washington has traded away their fifth pick are you saying to yourself why did I bother working out for them?

JH: No, I’m not saying that at all. Anything can happen in this draft, they could trade up and there’s nothing wrong with going and working out in front of different NBA teams.

DX: How often are you talking to your agent? Is it a once-an-hour update or is it just whatever happens, happens?

JH: It’s whatever happens, happens. He’s doing job and I’m just working hard and trying to get better.

Reporter: You have been rumored to go to the Wizards are you surprised they made that deal?

JH: Uh, what deal?

Reporter: The deal yesterday to trade their pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye

JH: Oh. I was but I can’t do anything about it. They felt it was a good decision so it’s kind of hard to fault them on it.

Reporter: Were you given any assurances on your game by the Wizards while you were there?

JH: No not really basically they told me to just keep working.

Reporter: What kind of team are you hoping to go to?

JH: A team where I can come in and have a huge impact. Come in and get a lot of playing time and be an energy guy for the team and just go out and work hard.

Reporter: What’s more challenging the workouts or traveling from city to city?

JH: Probably the workouts by yourself. Going by yourself is real tough but I managed to fight through it and I had an incredible run of workouts.

Reporter: Will you miss Arizona?

JH: I love the campus, the people the school and the environment. It was a real good fit for me. I basically just wanted to get away from home and mature on my own. I don’t regret choosing Arizona. I really loved it.

Reporter: What areas of your game have you improved on the most in college?

JH: My mid-range game and my footwork. Defensively I grew up a lot just staying out of foul trouble. Those are basically the main focal points of my game.

Reporter: How did the yearly coaching changes at Arizona affect your game?

JH: I mean it prepared me more for the next level because I can definitely be traded to teams. Playing under different coaches in college prepared me to know what I expect when I get to the next level. But it really didn’t hurt me and it’s not my decision who’s going to be the next coach and the coach I was playing for. So I just kept my head on straight and just kept playing.

Reporter: Any idea of where you might be going tomorrow?

JH: This draft is getting kind of weird. I’m just nervous. It’s been a long process.

Reporter: What’s it going to be like to finally hear your name tomorrow night?

JH: Relief. Relief. Just to know that I worked hard to get here. And I know it ain’t over, so I’m trying to be one of the greatest so I just got to keep working.

Blake Griffin

Reporter: Are you concerned with the Clippers curse?

Griffin: I’ve heard a little bit about that and I keep saying the same thing - it doesn’t bother me. A lot of the guys on the team now weren’t there 5 years ago they weren’t there 3 years ago so whatever. I’m looking forward, I’m looking at the future and I’m excited about that. I’m not worried about what happened in the past.

Reporter: How excited are you for this to be over?

Griffin: I’m excited, just excited to know exactly where I’m going and to kind of get in to my life wherever I’m at.

Reporter: What would be more disappointing about going second overall? Going number two or going to Memphis?

Griffin: (just laughs)

Reporter: How often do you get the same questions?

Griffin: I’ve probably had some of these questions 30, 40 times. It’s all good

Reporter: What’s the most unusual question that you have been asked?

Griffin: Somebody asked me last night what my three top Hollywood girls are. It’s not unusual but normally they’re pertaining to basketball.

Reporter: Have you ever been to the Playboy Mansion before? And will you go there next week?

Griffin: Yeah, I will definitely…no, I’ve never been there.

Gerald Henderson Interview

Reporter: Do you have any idea where you will be picked?

Henderson: I hope it’s high. I don’t really know now. Maybe closer to tomorrow I’ll have a better sense, but teams are still talking and making unbelievable trades. There’s still wheeling and dealing with that so maybe tomorrow I’ll have some better idea of that.

Reporter: Do you know Coach D’Antoni at all?

Henderson: No, not personally. I talked to him at our workout. Coach (Krzyzewski) talks very highly of him and his knowledge of the game. I’d love to play for him.

DeMar DeRozan Interview

DraftExpress: How nervous are you?

Demar DeRozan: I’m just anxious, there’s so much going on already with the draft because of the trades. I’m starting to get a little nervous because you never know what is going to happen next.

DX: How much do you think the trades have changed your draft situation?

DD: I think it changed a little bit of everything; every more is going to affect every player. You really won’t know what is going to happen until draft night.

DX: The fact that you didn’t work out for Minnesota, could that come back to haunt you now that they have two picks?

DD: No, I’m not really worried about it. If it comes down to that they know talent and it’s up to the GMs to decide who they want.

DX: What are you hearing from Toronto in terms of what they might be doing?

DD: I haven’t really discussed it specifically with them. I know Toronto really likes me and I really like Toronto, so like I said, when draft night comes I’m going to really pay attention to what happens.

DX: If you get past Toronto, what do you think you’re next stopgap is?

DD: I really don’t know, there’s no telling where it could be. Every time David Stern walks up there you never know who he is going to call, so we’re just going to have to wait and see.

DX: Some people are saying that Terrence Williams has a promise at twelve, which means you could go at eleven to New Jersey, since he turned down his workout. Have you worked out for them or thought about them at all?

DD: No I didn’t work out for New Jersey; I didn’t really put any thought into it. I worked out for the teams that I felt were most interested in me and that’s what I’m going to go with.

DX: In hindsight, not doing competitive workouts, is that going to be a mistake if you wind up slipping a little bit?

DD: Not at all; I think doing individual workouts gives the GMs a chance to see everything that you worked on, especially in regards to what they think your weaknesses are. It also gives them a chance to see what you improved on.

DX: Do you think they feel the same way about you not doing competitive workouts?

DD: I think it’s great that they get to see me go through repetitions in all of the drills they have set up for me and how well I do with all of them.

DX: Have you talked to Tim Floyd at all lately?

DD: No, not lately. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago before the whole situation turned out like it did. I haven’t talked to him since, but I’ll probably talk to him soon.

DX: How important is it for you to get drafted high?

DD: It’s important to me to get drafted period. I’m not really worrying about where I’m going, whatever situation I get put in, that’s the one I’m going to go with from there.

Reporter: Highlight of this process for you

DD: just traveling, working out for a lot of teams yk that was one of the major highlights for me really enjoying that having fun wqith that and just sitting back and see what the process do

Reporter: Are you tired of the traveling?

DD: No, that’s I think that something that got get used to. What’s coming ahead in the NBA and everything its really preparing me.

Reporter: You did a solo workout for New York, how did that go for you?

DD: It went real well. It went real good. I got a good feed from it and everything but like I said it’s just time to sit back and watch to see what happens.

Reporter: Do you fit that (Knicks) system?

DD: Oh yeah I think every player love playing under D’Antoni. His type of offense he just lets you run and lets you play your game. I think every player love play under him because they feel comfortable…

Reporter: Did you do a lot of shooting at the workout?

DD: Yeah, definitely. A lot of shooting. It was fun. That was one of my funnest workouts.

Reporter: You played really well in the Pac-10 tournament. Did that help you make your decision to enter the draft?

DD: Yeah, definitely. I got the chance to really come out and really play like I knew I could play. I think I proved that to everybody. I had an up and down season and I was struggling with the new offense. Then I got to go out and play my game and I think people got a chance to see that.

Reporter: Who in this draft do you think has the chance to be really good?

DD: Besides myself?

Reporter: Yes, besides yourself.

DD: I’d have to say the one player I know will be a good pro is Brandon Jennings. I’ve played with him since I was 11 or 12 and I know just how good of a point guard he is against anybody he plays against.

Reporter: How good would he (Jennings) have been in college this year?

DD: Man, I think he would have been a better point guard in college this year. Everybody would see how well he creates, how good of a scorer he is and he is one of the players who can bring excitement to the floor.

Reporter: So you think he made a mistake by going to Europe?

DD: No. He chose what was best for him. I know he was going to get the best out of whatever he did and that’s what he did.

Reporter: What’s it feel like to be compared to Vince Carter?

DD: It feels great. I remember when Vince Carter came in to the league how he affected the NBA. He brought the excitement back. Everyone wanted to see Vince Carter. Everyone fell in love with Vince Carter and that’s something that a lot of people look at me as and I feel honored. It feels great to be compared to a player like Vince Carter.

Reporter: Would you consider participating in the dunk contest?

DD: Yeah, I would consider it. I don’t feel like I would have a choice with the fans always wanting me to go out there and do something like that. So, I would definitely consider it.

Reporter: You didn’t participate in any competitive workouts. Do you think your stock went up or down after your college season?

DD: I think it went up. In every workout I really proved to each team how well I shoot from the outside, how well I can ball-handle, a lot of stuff that they said were my weaknesses I really showed them otherwise.

Reporter: Where do you think you’re going in the draft?

DD: Nobody but Blake Griffin knows where he’s going.

Tyreke Evans Interview

Reporter: Are you more of a point guard of a two at the next level?

Tyreke Evans: That’s a question I get a lot and I don’t even really know myself. I think I’ll be both to be honest, I think I’m a basketball player.

Reporter: Did Coach Calipari’s decision to leave for Kentucky effect your decision to come out after one season? Would have returned if he had come back?

TE: If he had come back I think I might have stayed, but I’m not sure. I would have put my name in and see what I would have learned. If it wasn’t looking good I would have come back and probably stayed another year.

Reporter: When you grew up you studied a lot of Anfernee Hardaway’s game.

TE: Yea, he was my favorite player growing up when he was with the Magic. I got to speak to him a lot when I was down at Memphis.

Reporter: How did he help you?

TE: When I was struggling he told me to keep my head up and he worked out with me a couple of times in the gym. He’s just a great guy.

Reporter: How did that turn you around?

TE: It did a lot for me. It got my confidence back because at the beginning of the season I was kind of down on myself, but he kept working me out along with Coach Strickland and I improved a lot since then.

Reporter: You worked out twice in Sacramento, once in a group and once by yourself. Give a sense of what those workouts were like for you.

TE: I think they went great. I knocked down shots when I was working out by myself in the first workout. In the second one I was able to show my strength and my length working against the other guards that were there. I think the GM was real impressed.

Reporter: You’re on a short list of guys that they are looking at with the number four pick, how do you think you compare to the other guys on that list?

TE: I think I did well; there were a lot of guards there. That was a good group of guys for sure, but I think I did well.

Reporter: You have more size than some of the other guys being looked at in that spot and you probably have a more NBA-ready body. How do you think that is going to propel your game to the next level?

TE: I know the NBA is a man’s game; there are a lot of strong players out there. I think I’m on my way to getting ready for that. When I get to whatever team that takes me, I’m going to get in the gym and get some more weight on me; I’ll be good.

Reporter: Sacramento has a young team right now. Is that something that is appealing to you because you can come in and make a big impact on this team?

TE: Sure, I think I can bring a lot to a team right away. It would be Kevin Martin and I, a couple of big guards in the backcourt and I think that would be a good thing.

DraftExpress: What have you been hearing from the Kings?

TE: They’ve been looking at me a lot. I heard that Memphis has been looking at me; I’ve been hearing a lot of good news so I’m pretty happy.

DX: It seems like the Kings are targeting a guy who can provide leadership and help change the team culture, do you feel like you can do that right off the bat?

TE: Definitely; while at Memphis I was a point guard and helped to be a leader in the locker room, I would speak out for the team. I think I can come in and do that.

DX: Minnesota acquiring that second pick, is that good for you? Do you feel like you can play there?

TE: I definitely do; I worked out for them and they liked my size and my ability to create and make people better.

DX: One GM told us from your workout that you were the Ron Artest of this point guard class. Do you take that as a complement?

TE: I mean I can see that. From the workout I was bullying other players out of the way who weren’t strong enough, so I can see that as being a way to describe me.

Austin Daye Interview

Reporter: How well do you think your workouts went?

Austin Daye: They went pretty well. Some not as good as others, but I think I did well overall. There were good things said so that’s all I wanted to see.

Reporter: Where did you have your best workouts?

AD: The Warriors and Detroit. There were so many workouts, though, it’s hard to remember.

Reporter: Do those teams come to mind because of how you played or how they structured the workouts?

AD: I think it was just how I was feeling that day. I got up a lot of shots beforehand and it definitely helped. And throughout the next couple weeks I was doing well through all my workouts.

Reporter: Do you feel that your stock has gone up or down since you left school?

AD: I think it went up since school because of what I did at the combine and other things in my workouts. I think the GMs and scouts were able to see some things that they weren’t able to see when I was at Gonzaga.

Reporter: How are you going to get some meat on your bones?

AD: I’m definitely going to have to bulk up, but there have some frail guys who have had success: Kevin Durant, Tayshaun Prince, and there are other guys as well. They are able to adjust and I think I’m going to have to put on some weight as well.

Reporter: Have you talked to Adam Morrison about the transition from college to the NBA.

AD: Yeah I’ve talked to Adam, but I talk more to Ronny Turiaf because I’ve known him for a long time. He said it’s a tough jump but he said I can do it. He thinks my skill set will definitely help me at the next level. He said it’s a lot different than college and you have to understand that going in. I think I’ve prepared myself for the NBA game with my ability to get open and get my shot off. Hopefully, we’ll see how it goes.

Reporter: Are you nervous or excited?

AD: Nervous is the main emotion for me and I think for a lot of guys too. They don’t know where they’re going to go and it’s a free for all.

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