P.J. Hairston Interview

P.J. Hairston Interview
Jan 29, 2014, 01:11 pm
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.

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