Earl Clark interview
Phoenix Suns rookie Earl Clark was selected 14th in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft. With the Suns making lots of recent roster changes, there's a chance for the 6-9, 225-pound forward to contribute in his first year.
This exclusive interview was recorded when InsideHoops.com met with Clark in early August. Enjoy it:
InsideHoops.com: You're an NBA player now. When in life did you realize it was a legit possibility that you could make the league?
Earl Clark: Ever since I'm picking up a ball, that's all I've thought about, was playing in the NBA and nobody could tell me anything different. If I was a young boy in a supermarket and a lady asked you what I wanted to be, I told her I wanted to be in the NBA. My teachers, they always said, 'Earl, you want to be in the NBA? Every kid here wants to be in the NBA.' But I always told them, 'I'm special.' I knew I always had something in me that would just drive me more than other kids around me... But [as for] now, it's just what you're going to do now that you're in the NBA.
InsideHoops.com: Which NBA players did your friends used to compare you to?
Clark: I used to compare myself to Allen Iverson when I was young. I used to go outside, dribble all day. That's why, when people say I'm so versatile... I used to pattern myself after A.I. and a lot of great guards... I never really looked up to no big men. It's crazy.
InsideHoops.com: So it was all Iverson, guards.
Clark: Yeah, I liked the way they played. The toughness. The quickness. How they get around. It was unique how he was scoring the ball, instead of just catching it, overpowering somebody and dunking it.
InsideHoops.com: What type of player should we expect you to become as you develop over the next four, five, six years?
Clark: Five years down the road I expect to be an All-Star in this league. I know I'm capable of it. It's just hard work and determination... If I put my mind to it and I really work hard, the sky's the limit.
InsideHoops.com: With you, confidence is obviously a huge thing. Good thing to have, combined with natural talent and drive.
Clark: Definitely. If you don't have confidence in this league you'll get ate alive.
InsideHoops.com: Are there any NBA players in particular that you look forward to playing against?
Clark: Some NBA guys that some people compare me to, like Lamar Odom, Rashard Lewis, Boris Diaw, guys like that, that people told me that I remind them of a little bit. I want to see why, and how good they really are.