NBA Draft Media Day Interview Transcripts (Part Two)

NBA Draft Media Day Interview Transcripts (Part Two)
Jun 25, 2009, 12:10 am
Jonny Flynn Interview

DraftExpress: Are you nervous at all?

Jonny Flynn: No, I’m just excited, just happy. You finally get to calm down after all of these workouts, you’ve been on the road for about a month and a half, so you finally get to really enjoy what you’re about to get into. So this is definitely a fun time.

DX: How are you feeling about Sacramento? That’s probably where your range starts, are you hearing good things over there?

JF: Well you know you hear a lot of good things. The first thing is when a team brings you back for a second workout you can tell that they’re really interested. A lot of crazy things are starting to happen now, a lot of trades, so I’m just going in with an open mind and wherever I fall I’m just going to put on my hardhat and get right to work.

DX: It seems like most people feel you aren’t slipping past Milwaukee at ten. Did you impress them with your workout there?

JF: Yea, I had a pretty good workout in Milwaukee; I shot the ball great, defended guys well and made plays. I had a good one there, but like I said, there are crazier things that have happened on draft night, so I’m just expecting the best and that’s the way I go with it.

DX: Four, ten, are there any other teams in there that are going to be in the mix for you?

JF: I think it really just depends on where people get drafted. This is one of those drafts that are so unpredictable. Say I was to go fourth, that would be messing up the draft for a lot of guys, but that’s the way this draft is set up. It’s basically wherever a guy gets picked; I think that’s where GM’s start looking at other guys for those positions. I think there are a few teams in the mix but it just depends on who goes where.

DX: Talking with people who are familiar with Sacramento, it seems like they are interested in drafting a guy who is going to be a leader, who is going to change the team culture and a guy who is going to play defense. How do you think you fit in when it comes to those attributes?

JF: I think I definitely fit into that category. Just a guy with my personality, being able to mesh and connect with people on different levels, so I think along with that and my ability on the court I think that’s a true leader. You have to be able to go out and lead by example and you also have to be a vocal leader.

Reporter: The ultimate verdict will come out after the draft, but are you happy about your decision to come out early?

JF: I’m definitely happy; I got great feedback from a lot of teams around the time that I made my decision. So I think I made the right decision and hopefully we’ll find out tomorrow.

Reporter: In the pre-draft workouts do you feel like you put your best foot forward?

JF: I think I excelled in the one-on-one, two-on-two and three-on-three situations and just getting after it and showing my leadership capabilities. I was able to show people that I can shoot the basketball. At Syracuse my percentages were kind of low, I dominated the ball a lot and got caught in some late shot clock situations. You know when Coach gives you the green light the way Boehiem did with me, what kind of player wouldn’t take bad shots at times? So I definitely think I had a good showing in these workouts.

Reporter: At 5-11 you are undersized; what are some things that get overlooked about you?

JF: You know size is a big thing in the NBA nowadays, but I just look at it if a guy can play or not. You see guys like Nate Robinson or a guy like Aaron Brooks who dominated the playoffs. If you can play good basketball, that’s really what is going to matter at the end of the day, I’m not trying to use height as something to base my talent off of. But I think my rap sheet at Syracuse and the scouting these teams did on me will tell the story.

Jrue Holiday Interview

Reporter: Talk about your workout with the Kings and what you’ve been hearing from them.

Jrue Holiday: I went in there twice; I was in there with Jonny Flynn and Brandon Jennings the second time. I did really well there and I like it.

Reporter: Did it help you that it was such a strong group working out with you?

JH: Absolutely, you definitely play better when you’re going against the best competition. Everybody steps up to the plate and gives it their all and for some reason everyone’s intensity goes up in situations like that.

Reporter: How nervous are you going to be tomorrow night?

JH: You know I’ll have the clammy hands and the sweat across the forehead; I’m going to be excited but really nervous. I don’t even know why though, I’m blessed because early on everyone was saying I was going late first round, early second round, but now that I’ve got the invitation and I’m here, I’m just blessed.

DraftExpress: Tell us about your workout with the Knicks a couple of days ago, it was your second one. The first one didn’t go all that well supposedly which is why they brought you in for another one. Do you believe you did a better job in that second one?

JH: The first one was great, I went against Stephen Curry and Gerald Henderson, there were a lot of good players there. But I guess they wanted to bring me again to reevaluate and get a chance to see everything. I shot a lot better the second time, but it was just fun being out there and playing, they really emphasize pushing the ball.

DX: The talk in New York is that the coaching staff wants Jordan Hill and the front office wants you. Did you take any extra time to schmooze Mr. D’Antoni to try and convince him that you’re the right guy?

JH: No, honestly I was just trying to be myself because he’s a real cool and laid back guy; he’s real easy to talk to and get along with. I didn’t know that Jordan was in there with me I thought Curry was the guy they were going after.

DX: What help did David Thorpe provide in terms of getting you to where you are now in the green room?

JH: He definitely helped with my intensity level and my skill set. I learned all about these workouts before coming into them what they do in the NBA. While I was there we watched the playoffs and just to see what we were learning being put to use in the playoffs was big because I’m a visual learner.

DX: Next season you might be fielding calls from guys who are looking at being taken in the late first round and they’ll be asking you what the secret is to getting into the top ten. What is the secret to moving up in the draft the way you did over the last few months?

JH: Honestly, all I’m going to do is tell them what I did. You have to work hard, don’t complain, never give up, especially when you’re getting ready for these workouts, just stay positive. Sometimes people get you down, you read all of these little things on the internet, and everyone is telling you their opinion, you just need to stay focused.

DX: Is it important for you to get drafted high?

JH: Not really, it’s more about the fit, whatever team I fit with because it’s going to be long term. You can’t become an all-star if you don’t have that right team, you can’t win a championship if you don’t have that right team.

DX: How much of a role did Ben Howland play in you being here in the green room?

JH: You know he definitely supported me through everything. He called me after every workout to see how I was doing and how I did and he would talk to the people that he knows. So he definitely helped me out a lot just to be here.

DX: In terms of on the court stuff at UCLA?

JH: Definitely defense, that’s what people were so surprised with because I guess I’m so young. He really taught me to play defense and how to play the NBA game really well.

Reporter: What are your strengths?

Holiday: Strengths are definitely passing and court vision. I can score but I think seeing somebody else receive that makes me happier that’s what I get pleasure in doing. And um defintiely defense. Coach Howland he hounds us about and he goes crazy about it.

Reporter: What would it be like to be picked by Knicks?

Holiday: It’s crazy. Madison Square Garden. That’s the place to be. Again it’s legendary and it’s a real exciting place to be in.

Reporter: You tried out twice for the Knicks. Did they try you out at point guard or the shooting guard position?

Holiday: They had me on the ball the first time with Stephon Curry, so it was two point guards going at each other. The second time I went against Jack McClinton who is also another point guard. They had me on the ball handling it making decisions. When I came back the second time I guess I kind of focused on my jump shot. But I mean just being a point guard, that just comes natural. I’ve been doing that my whole life.

Reporter: There’s been some speculation that you might be going to the Knicks. How has the media pressure been here?

Holiday: I live in L.A. It’s a little different, but L.A. is just right behind here. Definitely being at UCLA helped because there’s a lot of media there all the time. I think I’m handling it well.

Reporter: When you watched the NBA playoffs, did you try to visualize matching up against some of the guys?

Holiday: You know, I’ve tried to match up against Kobe, but it’s just hard. I mean he’s such a great player. But there’s different players like Rafer Alston and all the great point guards Chris Paul, Deron Williams and all them. It’s definitely a challenge because of their status and how great they really are. Coming in as a young rookie, I just think of how fun it would be to take on the challenge.

Reporter: Explain how someone who scores 8 points a game leaves school and becomes a lottery pick?

Holiday: For one, it’s just two completely different games. Last year, I don’t want to say that I was out of position, but, I was out of position. There were times where I felt like I didn’t get the ball as much, but again that experience through my freshman year it just seemed like I was ready. It seemed like I knew what my position was. I practiced against Darren Collison who was an All-American and probably one of the best point guards in college basketball. And going against him, I’m definitely comfortable enough going up against everyone else.

Reporter: What’s the bond like between the L.A. guys?

Holiday: Well, DeMar went to USC and I went to UCLA and that’s kind of a rivalry, but also a bond in itself because I’ve known him since the 6th grade. I’ve also known Brandon (Jennings) since the 6th grade and I’ve known Austin Daye since I was little because our grandparents are best friends. And my mom and his dad went to the same high school (Kennedy High in Granada Hills, CA). James Harden and I have been playing against each other since high school so we do have a bond. We’re definitely trying to rep California and the West Coast and we want to see everybody on the West Coast succeed.

Reporter: Any friendly wagers between you guys?

Holiday: No. Who would get picked first? Probably Brandon, DeMar, James and then me. I think I should be number one, but honestly, it really doesn’t matter I think it just matters where you fit in to what team.

Reporter: So would you rather be picked high or rather be picked by a team that fits you better.

Holiday: Yeah I’d rather be picked by the team that fits me better.

Reporter: How did the Pac-10 prepare you for playing in the NBA?

Holiday: People doubt the Pac-10, but we have a great conference and a lot of good players are out of there like James Harden and DeMar (DeRozen) Brandon Jennings would have been there too if he didn’t go overseas and Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger. There’s a lot of guys that are there and I defiantly took the challenge of guarding those best players in that conference.

Reporter: What was it like playing in UCLA’s pickup games last summer?

Holiday: Last summer there was Cuttino Mobley who was getting on me a little bit which was just fun. He’s a veteran player who really knows how to play. KG was there too and he’s just a scary dude. Honestly, he’s just a scary and intense dude who plays hard every time he plays. Russell (Westbrook) was out there and all the former UCLA players were out there, Earl Watson and all them.

Reporter: Did they give you any advice?

Holiday: Russ told me to patient. He said that I would be anxious and excited like I am. But just to be patient and everything will fall into place. I’m not really nervous yet. I think it will hit me tomorrow once I’m actually in the room. Right now just seeing all the people, seeing all the media and this whole setup, it is definitely starting to get exciting. Everybody is talking about who’s going where and all that.

Brandon Jennings Interview

DraftExpress: So Brandon, how nervous are you right now?

Brandon Jennings: I’m not nervous at all, just a little worried you could say with all of the trades that have been going on. Washington doesn’t have a pick now so I think it’s going to shake up the draft a little bit.

DX: Any idea where you’re going to get picked? What are you hearing?

BJ: I’m actually not hearing anything, so I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing right now. I can’t really control the draft, so whatever happens is what’s meant to be. So I’m just going in with a positive attitude and whatever happens, happens.

DX: You worked out for a wide range of teams, starting with the top ten picks and now most recently with Phoenix (14) then New Jersey (11). Has anyone given you the indication that you’re strongly in the mix?

BJ: No one really said much. To be honest I don’t really want to know, I just want to go into [the green room] and wait for my name to be called. All of the workouts were good, I think I showed a lot and proved people wrong. A lot of people doubted my jump shot or how good I really was, but I think I showed them

DX: Some guys decline to come to the green room perhaps because they were a little afraid of being the last one in the green room. Has that thought crossed your mind at all?

BJ: Yeah it actually has a lot. Being on the road with some of these guys, they make you think a little bit, should I go, should I not go? Some of these guys were saying, no way, you aren’t going to see me sitting alone in the green room. So I had a little bit of cold feet thinking about it, actually I’m still thinking about it, so I don’t know yet.

Reporter: Has anyone asked you to be there? Did the League make a request for you to come?

BJ: No, but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. You get to shake David Stern’s hand, that’s what everyone dreams about.

Reporter: You talk about how you don’t really have much control over what happens in the draft, but when you see these trades go down, do you guys start twittering or texting each other about it?

BJ: My Twitter has been blowing up lately, but I haven’t really been getting a chance to look at it, I’ll get back to those guys after the draft. You know a lot of the guys are shocked about the trades that have been happening. So now, basically, it’s about who Minnesota picks; I think whoever they take in those two spots are going to change the whole draft around.

Reporter: What would make your strategy of going to Europe pay off in your mind? Is it anywhere in the first round? The lottery? Do you have a point where you say I made the right decision?

BJ: I think if I go top five. If I’m a top five pick then I’ll think for sure it was the right decision, and I think even top ten, but top five would really stand out.

DX: And if you don’t go top ten was Europe a bust?

BJ: No because I did get that year of playing professional basketball under my belt, so you can’t take that away.

DX: You got a lot of money too.

BJ: The money was cool, but I think just being around grown men and playing that different style of the game and learning different things was good too. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of heat from the media, I’m sure a lot of people will think, well you see what happened to Jennings so you probably don’t want to do the overseas thing. So I’m sure there will be a lot of negativity, but I’ll be ready for it.

Reporter: Do you think the college basketball community is rooting for you to do well or not so well?

BJ: [Laughs] Probably not, because if I go top five I think you’ll see a lot more guys going overseas. It’s a great experience, I think more kids should do it just to step out of their comfort zone and see how strong they really are as a person. I think I showed that this year and I think I showed everyone that I can handle my own when I was out there, even though I didn’t play a lot.

Reporter: Was any part of it hard for you? The basketball part? The personal part?

BJ: I think the off the court stuff was difficult sometimes. We didn’t have any dryers so we had to hang dry our clothes for two days, the food was different, some people spoke English but a lot didn’t. On the court the style is different; it’s not a very open court game involving a lot of isolation, it’s strictly team basketball.

Reporter: If you get picked by a team like the Knicks, a big market team, do you think you’re even better prepared to handle it now?

BJ: Yes; you know New York is a great marketing city, but I doubt I get picked by the Knicks. I think everyone knows who they’re trying to get, so I’m not really going to talk too much about them. I mean I would love to be there in NYC, don’t get me wrong, you see what D’Antoni did for Steve Nash in those two years. But I think any team that I go to I’ll be ready mentally.

Reporter: How much more would Roma have to pay you for you to stay there this year?

BJ: It wasn’t about the money at all. I just wanted to go over there and do my year and learn. It was like a pre-draft for me. I just went over there and learned things and I wanted to bring it back to the NBA. At the end of the day the dream of every kid is to play in the NBA.

Reporter: What did you learn by being in Italy for the year?

BJ: Well actually it just made me realize how good we have it over here. When you step out of your comfort zone and you go to other places and see how they live, you sit back and you realize that you’re blessed to be an American and live in the States. We don’t know how good we have it until you get out of your comfort zone.

Reporter: How nervous or excited are you for the draft tomorrow?

BJ: I haven’t really been thinking about it too much. I’ve been a pro already. So I have some money in my pockets already. I’m just chill about the situation but this is a little different. This is the NBA so I just can’t wait till it’s over.

Reporter: How has your game improved by playing in Europe?

BJ: I’m more mature. Out of high school I was a little wild. I just did whatever I wanted to do. But I think Europe has slowed my game down. I read situations more off the pick and roll and overall, I’m just a better point guard.

Reporter: Do you think playing in Europe for one year is more important than playing in college for one year?

DD: Yeah I think so, because the pick and roll game is a big thing in the NBA. That’s all they run in the NBA and it’s the hardest thing to stop. And overseas I’ve been doing that for a whole year now. In college you really don’t do too much of that. A lot of people play zone, a lot of people press, so the game is totally different. So overseas, I was also able to learn the up and down game because it’s more of a half court game.

Tyler Hansbrough Interview

Reporter: People have a lot of varying opinions on you. How does that affect you?

Hansbrough: I’m not really worried about necessarily what other people think I’m only concerned with the coaches or the team I get picked by.

Reporter: Talk about the Nets work out yesterday.

Hansbrough: Like I said, anything can happen in the draft. I think the workout went well for the Nets but we’ll see what happens.

Reporter: What team would you like to play for?

Hansbrough: It don’t work like that. There are a lot of teams out there where I think I fit in.

Reporter: What was your reaction to the trades that happened yesterday?

Hansbrough: I’ve heard about it and it seems like some teams are already starting to make some moves. But I don’t pay too much attention to it because I don’t want to get caught up in everything. We’ll find out soon where I’ll be headed.

Reporter: What part of your game do you still have to work on?

Hansbrough: I’ve been working on a lot of different things. The NBA three point range is something that everybody kind of works on and like I said once I get to a team it’s just going to be the adjustment of getting to know their plays and things like that.

Reporter: What do you think it will be like tomorrow night waiting to be called?

Hansbrough: It’s kind of nerve wracking just trying to think about where I could end up or what’s going to happen but we’ll find out?

Reporter: Do you think staying in college helped or hurt your draft stock?

Hansbrough: I think it helped mine. I mean playing for Coach Williams, I got my basketball IQ a lot better and I feel like each year I improved my game. If you look at my jump shot, it got better each year and I’m a National Championship regardless of whether it helped my stock or not. I was glad I stayed in school just because the end results were very good for me.

Reporter: You worked out yesterday for the Nets, they were very high on you and there are some people saying you could go as high as eleven. How would you feel about playing in this market with New Jersey?

Hansbrough: It’d be very exciting, I think the Nets have a great organization and it’d be a nice place to play. But it is a draft and a lot of things are possible, we’ll see what happens.

Reporter: Do you still have a chip on your shoulder in regards to people saying what your limitations are or are you pretty much past that?

Hansbrough: I’m past that; people are going to say what they want and everyone has their own opinion, but I’m just trying to come out here and play like I can play regardless of what people say.

Reporter: Has playing that tough ACC schedule gotten you prepared for the NBA?

Hansbrough: Yea definitely playing in the ACC but also playing under Coach Williams. I learned a lot playing for him and I feel like my basketball IQ got a lot better. Each season I got better in some aspect of my game.

DraftExpress: Tyler how nervous are you for tomorrow night?

Hansbrough: I’m a little nervous but I’m also excited to find out where I’m going. I’m happy that it’s right around the corner.

DX: Some of the guys like Eric Maynor and B.J. Mullens decided not to be in the green room for fear of being the last one there, was that a thought that maybe crossed your mind?

Hansbrough: No I wasn’t really thinking of it in that way. I was looking at it as this is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and it’s been a dream of mine to be in NBA so I wanted to be there when I got drafted so I could have a picture with the commissioner.

Reporter: As someone who is one the opposite end of the one and done spectrum, what do you think when you always hear people discussing it? Do you think everyone should go to college or should they have options?

Hansbrough: Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to this. I think after high school everyone has to make their own decisions and that’s part of growing up and getting past those years. Also I think you need to do what makes you happy, for me it was staying in school because I enjoyed it so much. Not everyone is as lucky as me where they wind up in such a good situation with the kind of coaches and teammates that I had. A lot of people leave early and I understand that, I was just in a good situation.

DX: New Jersey, Indiana, Chicago and Utah seem to be the four spots that you’ve been mentioned at the most. Is there any other team that could surprise us by taking you?

Hansbrough: I’m not really sure; it is a draft so we’ll see what happens. I worked out for Atlanta about a week ago, so we’ll see what happens.

Reporter: You said you aren’t nervous about where you go, but where do you think your bottom is?

Hansbrough: I’m not sure, there’s a lot of speculation.

Reporter: Why should teams draft you?

Hansbrough: I’m a high energy guy and a proven player. Some guys may take time to develop, but I’ll be able to come in and help a team right away. I’m a very good offensive rebounder and my mid-range game is improving to the point where it’s a scoring option.

Reporter: Having spend four years in college and seeing younger players come out and get drafted based on potential, do you think part of the reason there are questions now is because there has been more time for scouts and the media to find problems in your game?

Hansbrough: I’m not sure; I mean everyone has their opinion of me. I stayed in college for four years and I enjoyed it, so we’ll see what happens.

DX: Let’s say there were no workouts, no interviews, no measurements and the draft was held directly after the Final Four, do you think you would be drafted higher or lower?

Hansbrough: Probably lower, I think I really helped myself in the workouts, with the measurements and during the athletic testing.

Reporter: Are you someone who looks at mock drafts?

Hansbrough: No I don’t really look at those, maybe if GMs did I would be more inclined to.

Reporter: Do your friends or teammates tell you what’s going on with them or do you completely stay away from them?

Hansbrough: I try to stay away from them, I don’t think my friends even really get on there. I think there are so many of them all over the place, some of them had me going high and some had me going low.

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

Hansbrough: It’s important to me because I’m competitive, but also I’m not too concerned about where I go in the draft, it’s more about what I do after.

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