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NBA Draft Interviews

 


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| June 29, 2006

The 2006 NBA Draft was yesterday. Here are NBA draft interviews, minutes after each player was drafted, with a bunch of the top selections:

ANDREA BARGNANI

Q: Congratulations. How does it feel to be the first European taken No. 1 overall in the NBA draft?

Bargnani: First of all, I want to say sorry for my English, it's not so good, but I'll try to answer, do my best. It's an incredible feeling. I feel so excited, so proud to represent my country. It's an incredible sensation, I cannot describe in words. It's incredible.

Q: Back home do you think this might knock the World Cup off the front page of the sports pages in Italy?

Bargnani:Yeah, I hope, in Italy, all of the attention is for the soccer. Tomorrow, I hope there's a little picture.

Q: What is your game going to bring to the Toronto Raptors? What's your style of play?

Bargnani: I hope to help the team as soon as possible. I'm a young player, I know that I will find a lot of tough moments because it's a new league and I'm used to playing in Europe. So it's a new experience, and I have to work a lot. But I'm ready for this. I repeat, I will find a lot of tough moments, but I'm ready for this.

Q: How confident were you that you would be the No. 1 pick?

Bargnani:How confident? No. 1 is an incredible -- I tell you, I cannot describe the sensation. It's incredible. I have no words. (Smiling) I cannot describe because I am not able to describe in English well.

Q: Did you think you were going to be picked No. 1, did you know you were going to be picked No. 1?

Bargnani:No, I had no idea, no idea. No, nobody told me nothing before the draft. Just more or less the position between 1 and 7, 1 and 8. But it was a surprise.

Q: How do you feel about the prospect of living and playing in Toronto?

Bargnani:Very good, because I went to Toronto two years ago. It's a very nice city. I know that there is a big Italian community in Toronto, so it's very nice. I think Toronto also is an incredible organization, so I'm very happy.






RODNEY CARNEY

Q: I understand you'll be going to the Philadelphia 76ers. How do you see yourself fitting in with guys like Iverson and Igoudala?

Aldridge: Well, he scores a lot and even if he's double teamed I'm able to knock down the 3 point shot so he and Igoudala can run the wings and we have the option to throw the lob, too. With the fast break option, they are going to have to kill me, too.

Q: Did you have any inkling this was going to happen with the 76ers and what was your reaction?

Aldridge: I had none. I thought actually when I went to work out with them I had an injury and I wouldn't work out, it was just an interview. This is going to be a great opportunity to play for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Q: What do you think about your attributes, your personality you'll bring?

Aldridge: Off the court, I'm a good guy. In Memphis, we went and helped the kids a lot in the school system, we had tournaments for them, we did all we could for them in the school system, for the public and the community. It's going to be a real good fit for me there.

Q: Last season the Philadelphia 76ers had problems with defense and rebounding. Is that a strong part of your game, is that something that you can bring to the table as well?

Aldridge: Well, rebounding I can get a little better on. Defensively I can be a knock down, defend as people have seen during the season. They see me when I guarded J.J. and I did a great job on him and other players. They probably seen that and that's why they got me.






ADAM MORRISON

Q: Adam, with Michael Jordan having the final say over this pick, what does it mean to you that he would want you?

Morrison : It's great. I mean, he's the greatest of all time. You know, I'm just happy to finally get picked. It's been a long process, but I'm happy where I'm at and looking forward to starting.

Q: How much of a feel did you have that they were going to take you?

Morrison: You know what, I had kind of a good feeling. The first workout was real solid. You know, the talks with my agent, they said they really liked me and so I was just making sure I stayed positive, and it was good. You know, I didn't really have a feel. I was just waiting until Mr. Stern said the final deal.

Q: I heard your agent saying you were very nervous, one of the most nervous on draft night that he had seen. What was going through your mind and how nervous were you?

Morrison: Obviously this is, you know, a big deal in my life, and all of these players' lives. This is something we've been working on since you started dreaming about basketball. I was very nervous, but I feel like this is a perfect fit for me. You know, Charlotte is a good basketball team, so I'm excited to get there.

Q: Obviously you had no control over where you were going to be working next year. How much do you know about the City of Charlotte? I mean, are you familiar at all with the town, what it has to offer?

Morrison: When I went to the workout, you know, one thing I did notice is there was no traffic and it was quiet and I love it. So that's one thing I'm very in tune with; I'm very small town ish I guess you could say. I like all of the practice facilities and stuff. It wasn't my choice, just show me where the gym is at, and that's all I need to know.

Q: Are you disappointed that you didn't end up going No. 1? Obviously you're happy to be in Charlotte, but do you mind where you got picked?

Morrison: No. I feel, like I said earlier, I feel like this is a really good fit for me. So the number really doesn't matter. I feel like I can help Charlotte, and I just want to be part of a winning organization. They are on their way to doing that, and so, you know, I'm just excited. The number wasn't a big deal to me.

Q: Did you think you might end up in Toronto?

Morrison: Maybe for a second, but when I heard they were going big, there goes my chances. But that's fine, teams are picking what they need. It's a business now, so it's good.

Q: Would you anticipate that maybe you would get some hands on instruction from Michael Jordan and is that something you would love?

Morrison: Yeah, it would be awesome if I could get some hands on instruction from Mike. Any time the greatest player of all time is telling you what to do, if he told me how to tie my shoes a certain way, I would probably listen, or I would listen. So whatever he's got to say, I'm going to definitely welcome it.






TYRUS THOMAS

Q: Talk to me about, it's been a long evening for you to finally get up here. Were you sitting backstage waiting to switch the hats?

Thomas: Yeah, LaMarcus and myself, we were back waiting on a trade to be finalized. We couldn't move until the trade was finalized so that was about an hour of agony. We knew where we were going, but we couldn't do anything until the trade got finalized.

Q: Can you talk about how the trade developed, like when you first heard about it sitting down in the green room and what your reaction was?

Thomas: Yeah, I knew about the trade before the draft even began. I guess it was a Chicago wanted to get more assets and Portland wanted to secure LaMarcus from Charlotte. We both knew about the trade so, it wasn't a shock to me. I had a heads up.

Q: What kind of stuff were you talking about in the back room?

Thomas: We were just clowning. We were relaxed, we know where we were going and we're just happy to be here. We were both just saying how blessed we were to be in this situation and just anxious to get ready on a new career.

Q: Wondering, how do you see yourself fitting into Chicago, the pieces that they have there, what are you excited about and who are you excited about playing with?

Thomas: I'm just excited about the whole situation. You know, I talked to the guys, they know I'm ready to work and they are ready to push me to the limits and help develop me into a better player. I'm just excited about the process and ready to go to work.

Q: You've been loose since you arrived in New York, how have you stayed so calm through this?

Thomas: You've got to understand the situation. You know, once I got here to New York well, actually before then, once my workouts were over, there wasn't much else I could control. I just wasn't going to put myself under any pressure. I was going to relax, it's my first time in Chicago, this is my first and last time being in the draft, so I was just going to relax and have a good time.






SHELDEN WILLIAMS

Q: Going to Atlanta, any reaction?

S.Williams: It feels great. I mean, Atlanta is not too far from Duke. I feel truly blessed being in this situation. I think it's going to be a great experience, and I'm ready to go out there and work right now.

Q: What was it like sitting in there, everybody else is kind of wondering what's going to happen. You were the one player that all of the projections seemed to be right, you going to Atlanta. Did you have a good feeling sitting in there thinking that's where you were going?

S.Williams: I didn't have a good feeling until I found out. People can say a lot of things, but until your name gets called out, that's the sure thing. There's no guarantee or anything like that. Like I said anything can change, last minute trade and things like that. I went out there wide eyed just like everybody else and waited for my name to be called out and fortunately it was called out with Atlanta and I was grateful for that.

Q: You're going to a very athletic team. What are you going to bring to the Atlanta Hawks?

S.Williams: Same thing I've done in my four years in college. I'm a defensive player who is not afraid to bang with other people, being physical. I'm a rebounder, and also a low post presence. That's something I've done in my four years at Duke and something that I will continue to do at the next level with Atlanta.

Q: You didn't work out for the Hawks. What do you think you did that caught their eye so dramatically, was it just the body of work you had over your four years at Duke or was it someplace else that they saw you or what?

S.Williams: I'm assuming, you know, just the way I play, the style of play I think is something that I was suitable for the team and they needed somebody who could rebound and be a b banger. That's something that I fit in pretty well and they had a lot of interest in me and fatally, they drafted me.

Q: Basically any Duke graduate has their choice of jobs and here you don't have your own choice; is that frustrating?

S.Williams: No, this has been a strange couple of months for me. I was telling my dad the other day for the first time in my life that I didn't know what I was doing the next day. I'm pretty much on a schedule the whole course of my life and this is the first time I didn't know what's happening and everything is in the air. So it's been kind of a crazy kind of few weeks, but I think it's paying off well.

Q: Atlanta is a very young team. Do you think you can make a serious impact right away with the Hawks?

S.Williams: I think the things that I provide, I think I'll be able to help and like I said, I'll be a player with lowest post presence and I can rebound the basketball. I think I'll be able to contribute pretty quickly.

Q: You came back for your senior year, does it feel like it's paying off now?

S.Williams: Yeah, I always predicted late in the first round last year one of the main things that brought me back was education. My family stresses if you start something, you have to finish that. That's something I kind of weighed heavy on and I wanted to come back and get my degree and finish what I started with the players I came in with, and I think it paid off well, with the relationships that I've built with my teammates and then also moving up in the draft. I think you know, it's been a great thing for me.






Brandon Roy

Q: So you're a Portland Trail Blazer, two hours from home; what are you going to bring to Portland, a team that probably needs a guy like you?

Roy: Hopefully, you know, I just bring some stability. I'm going to come in, I played four years in college, they are expecting me to come in and be a leader and work hard. The biggest thing they wanted me to do was come in and try to lead by example, so that's something I'm going to try to do.

Q: Trail Blazers have been seriously down in attendance. How much do you think them drafting you is somewhat of a marketing move to sell some tickets?

Roy: I think that may play a part. But also, I think they see a chance to maybe get a good player who can play out on the wing and do a number of things on the floor to maybe help them win. I've played a lot of games in Oregon, so hopefully they don't boo me too bad and hopefully they will be fans of mine now.

Q: Just to follow up on that marketing question, they have had some public relations problems with players over the years, I would assume your good guy image has to help. And also, was this something in the back of your mind, to be able to stay close to home, was it a fantasy in the back of your mind?

Roy: Yeah, going through the process it definitely was a dream of mine to play in Seattle or play close to Portland. I went to the University of Washington where my family could only drive 20 minutes to games and now they can drive two hours to games. It makes me comfortable to be able to go out there and compete at my highest level.

Q: You've been talked about as one of the more NBA ready players in this draft. How NBA ready do you feel?

Roy: I feel good now, but, you know, the NBA is a new game. It's going to be a new game that I have to get used to playing. I just want to get in the gym and work hard and try to be able to work up to people's expectations and my own.






Randy Foye

Q: So Kevin Garnett, how does that feel?

Foye: Said it right there. All I know, it's a great feeling when I went there and worked out for Minnesota, he was there. He watched most of the workout, and I talked to Kevin McHale and when I went there and played, I just impressed them. I did a lot of things that they probably think that I couldn't do. So I'm just happy to be a Timberwolf right now.

Q: First of all, congratulations. What does this moment mean to you, just being up here and talk about how this night went, first from going from being a Celtic to a Portland Trail Blazer to now the Minnesota Timberwolves?

Foye: At first, it was nerve wracking for me. I was like, oh, man, like when I see the guys go 1, 2, 3, it was just nerve wracking. But then like two picks before, my agent and Brandon's agent was making like eye contact and I didn't know what was going on at the time. And once I saw my agent's face light up, he was like, "Yeah, Boston is going to take you." And then, "Portland is going to take you." And then when they said Minnesota, I was like, okay, good, yeah, bring it on.

Q: Can you look ahead a little bit from what Minnesota has, it seems like a team that you could play for right away, which I know is important to you, as opposed to some other place, a place that you can play?

Foye: Playing right away is not a big concern for me. I'm just willing to go and do anything the team needs me to do. Just being like a Timberwolf right now is a great feeling for me, just being selected in the NBA draft.

Q: Minnesota is not exactly known for it's balmy climate in winter. It makes Philadelphia look like Miami in comparison. Does that enter to the back of your mind?

Foye: No, that doesn't matter because I'm not going to be outside. I'm going to be in the gym.

Q: Have the Timberwolves talked to you about a 1, a 2, a combo, where they see you?

Foye: When I spoke to Kevin McHale, he was just like, "I love you because you're a ballplayer. You can do everything." I guess that he saw that from watching film over the course of his last season, and from me working out there. So I think that he knew what he wanted from day one when I left the workout.

Q: You played the 1 and the 2 at Villanova. You're the first point guard taken in the draft; how does that feel and how comfortable do you feel making the point in the NBA?

Foye: If feels great to be the first point guard taken. That is a lot of pressure. But if you don't live up to the hype, you know, it doesn't really matter, as long as you just play as hard as you can for your teammates. What was the second part of your question?

Q: How comfortable do you feel playing the point?

Foye: I feel real comfortable playing it. I love when the ball is in my hand at the end of the game. For me, it's like I look at it as an opportunity to make a play for my teammates or make a play for myself. So just having the ball at the end of the game, having the ball in my hand over the course of a game is just like a great feeling.






PATRICK O'BRYANT

Q: Talk to me about Golden State is pretty much an up and down team, how are you going to fit in there?

O'Bryant: You know, I think at Bradley we played kind of an up and down style of basketball, so we kind of played that style at Bradley; so that helped me out a lot coming into this draft. People saw that I can run the floor well and compete in a fast paced game.

Q: So what was the highlight of your college career, both regular season and in the tournament, because we know about that big tournament that you had. Talk about kind of about the regular season and the tournament.

O'Bryant: Regular season probably was yeah, we won at Illinois state, which is our big rival, I 74. They are only 30 minutes away down Interstate 74, so it was a great win. It was a packed house there. So, it was a great rivalry. So that was really good and I did well in that game. I had 24, I think, I don't remember exactly. I had quite a few points and rebounds, so I did well. Probably the greatest in the tournament was definitely the big game, scoring those 28 points, being the biggest underdog probably in the bracket to win. So that really made me feel good.

Q: Who got you started playing basketball when you were a kid?

O'Bryant: My parents I guess, just said do you want to try out for the little kids team or whatever. All right, whatever; I didn't know anything.

Q: And were you good at it right away?

O'Bryant: Yeah, I think my height helped me. I've always been taller than people, so, you know, I kind of just was so much taller that nobody can compete with me throughout my elementary school and stuff, so that helped me.






SAER SENE

Q: Any thoughts about Seattle, about the City of Seattle and also tell us, in Senegal, this must be a very big event, the fact that you're drafted in the first round of the NBA, this has to be big news back home?

Sene: It's a good team, I think. I think they need me and I feel good to go in Seattle.

Q: Just how excited are you?

Sene: Yeah, I'm excited. That's true, I'm here to play, it's okay.






J.J. REDICK

Q: Talk about going to Orlando.

Redick: Obviously really excited. This is one of the teams that I circled as a destination that I would really be happy about. I'm really looking forward to playing with some great young players down there.

Q: It seemed as if you knew that you were going to be picked by Orlando there. When did you know; did you suspect they were going to pick you?

Redick: I had a good idea for a few days now, nothing for sure. And I found out that it was pretty definite on the way over here.

Q: Obviously very impressive Orlando Magic team. What are you going to bring to Orlando, and, of course, how is the back?

Redick: Well, first of all, I think I'm going to bring shooting. I think that's one of the needs that they expressed to me. And I'm also going to bring some intangibles, just my competitive spirit, my desire to win, all that good stuff. And as far as the back is concerned, I've been pain free now for two weeks. I've gotten very good reports back from my doctors, and if you want, I can bend down and touch my toes for you guys. (Laughter).

Q: After all that's been going on the past few weeks; how much of a relief is it to still go this high?

Redick: Oh, I mean, it's a huge relief. To be honest with you, I kind of had a revelation today before I knew for sure that I was going to Orlando that no matter where I went, you know, it's still a dream come true and not to get caught up in where I was going. The past few weeks have definitely been a tough time for me. Some of it I brought on myself, some of it was unfortunate. I'm sure you guys can figure out which one was which. I'm just glad to be through this process and start moving on to the next part of my career.

Q: You went through a very good college career, very good school. Did it bother you that all of the J.J. Redick stories were either about that incident or health issues, when you do all of this good work and it just seems to come down to this at this point, was it frustrating?

Redick: You know, to be honest with you, the past couple weeks haven't been frustrating because I felt like I brought that upon myself. A lot of people have written about the DWI and I'm sure fans for a while will make references to that, so I brought that upon myself. But I felt like even before those incidents happened and my back was hurt, I was getting a lot of negative publicity and most people felt like I wasn't going to be a good pro. I'm going to use that just like I used all of the criticism I received in my life, just as fuel to add to the fire.

Q: Now that Grant Hill has been playing for the Orlando Magic the past few years, has he told you anything about playing in the NBA?

Redick: Me and Grant have had several conversations, but to be honest with you, I haven't talked to him since April when I was choosing an agent and I was considering his agent. I definitely think that's going to be a guy that I lean on early in my career. That's a great resource that we already have, especially since we already have a relationship.

Q: It's a young team you're going to Jameer Nelson, Darko; talk about this youth movement, it certainly sounds like a great future?

Redick: Yeah, that's one of the reasons I wanted to go to Orlando was because they had Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard and Darko. I feel like as those guys improve and become bonafide superstars in this league, that will only help my game and my improvement.






HILTON ARMSTRONG

Q: Have you seen New Orleans play at all last year, any impressions of them?

Armstrong: Seen a little bit, especially with Chris Paul, he's helped the team out a lot. He's a great player and I think he can make me a better player.

Q: You showed a lot of emotion when Rudy got drafted. What was going through your minds in that situation?

Armstrong: He's a UCONN player. He's like one of my brothers. I've been with him for two years and every day, you see him every day, even over the summer we keep in contact. To see him drafted just made me feel good.

Q: Emeka Okafor is a UCONN guy, he's a pretty sharp guy, did he leave an impression? I'm sure you chatted with him about the importance of scholarship at the college, as well as basketball skills; did that leave an impression on you?

Armstrong: Yeah, definitely. He leads by example. He was always a hard worker off the court also. At school, he always had a book in his hand and always studying and trying to keep everybody eligible so they could do their best.

Q: Talk about your game and how NBA ready you are right now and what skills and will it take a while to adjust?

Armstrong: I can get better in every aspect of my game. Right now, I think I do pretty good with defense, shot blocking and I have an offensive game that a lot of people don't know about. I think the New Orleans workout, that really showed, and that's a great upside for me.






RONNIE BREWER

Q: Tell us a little bit about the experience here. How do you feel?

Brewer: It's a great experience - kind of hard to explain, but I'm very happy and very excited. I'm definitely ready to get started. This whole thing, being in New York, my first time in New York - and the Draft, there's just nothing like it.

Q: How do you feel about going to Utah?

Brewer: I'm excited - they were just a step away from making the playoffs and I think I can come in and be that extra piece who can come in and get them back to the playoffs, back to The Finals, back to where they used to be. They've got a solid point guard, good post players as well. I'm just really excited about the opportunity to go down there.

Q: Did you think you would have gone a little bit higher?

Brewer: I'm not mad that I fell. It's the NBA - it's a dream that you have your whole life. I was just nervous because I didn't have the opportunity to work out for the 13th and 14th teams and when it came to those picks, I was kind of nervous. But I was very excited once I got picked.

Q: How do you feel about going to play for Jerry Sloan?

Brewer: He's a legendary coach - I think I can learn so much and I'm just willing to go there and work and get better as a player and person.






CEDRIC SIMMONS

Q: I guess it must be exciting to go to New Orleans now, your family is probably wishing the Hornets had never left Charlotte?

Simmons: Yeah, I grew up watching the Hornets when I was younger, when they was in Charlotte and then they moved to New Orleans. Now they are in New Orleans and Oklahoma City. I've been a Hornets fan for a while.

Q: Is New Orleans a place that you expected to go coming into the draft?

Simmons: I knew I had a good chance to go there. We run the same offense at NC State as New Orleans runs also, so I kind of know the offense already.






2005 NBA Draft Interviews

The 2005 NBA Draft has been completed. Here are some press conference quotes from various players taken in the first round:

Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee Bucks, No. 1

Q: You were a little late getting to the interview room, could you explain what was going on down there?
Bogut: It was a little crazy getting down. Ö we went to the back and we hung out.

Q: Does the current coaching situation make you nervous?
Bogut: Definitely not. Mr. (Larry) Harris is one of the best GMs in the league. That organization is very well put together and I think those guys will find a great coach.

Q: What does it say that you and Yao Ming were No. 1 picks several years apart?
Bogut: Basketball is a global game, just like soccer is a global game. You see the Manu Ginobiliís of the world and the Yao Mingís of the world. We can play the game in every country.

Q: How confident were you that youíd be No. 1?
Bogut: I was confident, but I wasnít 100 percent. They said it would be you or Marvin Williams, so it was 50-50. Now that Iím here, itís a great honor. Itís a great city. I love Milwaukee. Being in Salt Lake City, it compares very favorably to Milwaukee Ė small-market city; the people are very family-oriented. Itís an honor to be a part of such a great city.



Raymond Felton, Charlotte Bobcats, No. 5

Q: How much of a relief is it to have it over with?
Felton: I can take a deep breath now and can be done with all the waiting and thinking. Iím a Bobcat.

Q: With the point guards going together like that, did you feel you each had something different to offer?
Felton: Everybody has something different about their game. At the same time, we all bring the same thing to the table. We know how to run a team. We can shoot. We can penetrate. We can pass. We do all those things.

Q: Do you think playing at UNC factored in to Charlotte picking you?
Felton: Thatís a possibility. I am close to my hometown and to Chapel Hill, so that probably played a big role in it. At the same time, I think I can bring a lot to the Bobcats.

Q: Do you think you can make the transition to playing at various paces?
Felton: Definitely. Iím prepared for that and ready.



Channing Frye, New York Knicks, No. 8

Q: How does it feel to be a New York Knick?
Frye: Thereís not really a word to explain how happy I am right now. This is just a blessing. Thereís an opportunity here that I need to take advantage of every single day both on and off the court.

Q: How do you feel about coming from a program with a winning tradition going to a team that has been struggling lately?
Frye: I think with the tools and the veterans we have here in New York, we can definitely have a winning team. I feel like I definitely can contribute. Iím not going to make any promises, except for that every night Iím going to give you my heart and soul. I feel like this is an opportunity of a lifetime playing in the mecca of basketball. To ruin that and take that for granted would be a real slap in the face.

Q: Do you know what Isiah Thomasís expectations are of you right out of the gate?
Frye: I havenít gotten a chance to talk to him yet, but I think his expectation is that he wants a winning team, and thatís fine with me. If he wants me to stay in the gym, Iíll set up a cot and shoot free throws at two in the morning. Iím being dead serious too about that. I like winning. Winning feels good, and I think the city needs to start winning. Iím not saying that the team last year couldnít do it, but I think weíre going to be very good this year.

Q: How do you feel about filling a position which the Knicks really need a good player at?
Frye: Thatís fine with me. I think that the pressure from Isiah Thomas and the Knicks organization is not as much as I put on myself, no matter what role Iím playing. Whether Iím coming off the bench, whether Iím starting, Iím going to give it my all and help this team win.



Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers, No. 17

Q: Were you hoping to stay a little closer to home?
Granger: That wasnít really wasnít an issue. I just wanted to get drafted by a team so that I could play.

Q: Whatís the game plan on finishing your degree?
Granger: I still will do that. My Dadís always been real high on all his kids getting an education.

Q: Did you have an idea where you might go?
Granger: I was projected all over the place. Iíve seen myself higher and Iíve seen myself lower. It was just one of those things. I was happy to get the invite and Iím glad I got drafted.

Q: These player rankings, do you take that personally?
Granger: You really donít take it personally. A lot of times youíve got to look at the Draft, a lot of it is team needs. Thereís a lot more involved than just the Draft order.



Gerald Green, Boston Celtics, No. 18

Q: You did slide. Why do you think you might have slid?
Green: I have no clue, but things happen for a reason and maybe there was a good reason, hopefully. I canít take it as a negative. Iím going to turn a negative into a positive and Iím going to go to Boston and play as hard as I can.

Q: When you heard the league will no longer let high schoolers into the draft, what did you think and what do you think about kids no longer being allowed to do what youíre doing?
Green: I canít really speak for the kids that I donít know because itís probably hard for them because itís probably their dream to come out of high school. They look at people like Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine OíNeal, they look at people like them. But any decision that the NBA makes is a great decision.

Q: Do you think that it is maybe a mistake with kids like LeBron James who was so successful coming out of high school?
Green: I donít know. Thereís never a LeBron James. Thereís only one LeBron James and I think the NBA was looking at it like they didnít want a lot of kids coming in that are not ready. So maybe they think that after one year of college, theyíll be ready.

Q: Did you workout for the Celtics?
Green: No I did not. I did not workout for the Celtics. It was kind of a surprise that they picked me because I didnít workout for them but Iím glad they gave me the opportunity and if I had to, Iíd die for it. Every time I come out on the court, Iíd die to be on there.



Jarrett Jack, Denver Nuggets, No. 22

Q: Talk about your skills. What do you think about your game is most NBA-ready?
Jack: Just a lot of penetration; being able to put a lot of stress on defenses, find open guys like Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin. Just coming in and trying to contribute any way I can.

Q: Did you expect to be going to Denver?
Jack: They were definitely talking to me throughout the whole process. I didnít know if they were going to take me because they werenít one of the teams that I worked out for, but Iím happy with the selection. Iím ready to get out there and play.

Q: How many teams did you workout for?
Jack: Five.

Q: When Nate Robinson went No. 21 did you think it was a bad sign for you?
Jack: I didnít know where I was going. This Draft has been full of surprises all night. Definitely, that was one of them. I just kept cool and just wanted to wait my turn.



Yaroslav Korolev, Los Angeles Clippers, No. 12

Q: Is it intimidating to you, being a foreign player coming into the NBA? Are you scared at all?
Korolev: Iím not scared because I have great experience, Iíve been playing eleven years already. I think the Los Angeles Clippers, the coaches and everybody, they will just help me come in and feel comfortable in the NBA.

Q: How happy will you be to be playing in a city with palm trees and no snow?
Korolev: Yeah, you know, all the cold wind and being inside buildings, Iím tired of that. I think American people who have never been in Moscow, where itís real cold, they Ė

Q: It gets cold here too.
Korolev: Yeah I know, but still, Iím tired of the cold, I just want warmth. (laughter)

Q: You grew up in a basketball playing family how does that help prepare you?
Korolev: From the beginning I didnít have a choice what sport I was going to choose. When I was 13 or 14, people asked me why I was playing basketball. And I say, why am I in basketball? I didnít have a choice. Always basketball, basketball, and fatherís coaching me outside the house and then inside always talking about basketball. So, I have very good experience.

Q: Who are your favorite players growing up, both from your area and in the NBA overall?
Korolev: I think of course, overall, that Andrei Kirilenko is the best Russian player. So it will be a great opportunity for me to talk to him, to meet him. I didnít have that opportunity in Russia, because we are different ages. I talked with Sergei Monia, heís a very good guy. Of course I want to meet the great NBA players too, just to talk with them, meet them.



Sean May, Charlotte Bobcats, No. 13

Q: With you and Raymond Felton going to Charlotte after being at UNC last year, how do you think this will help the Bobcatsí marketability?
May: I think for Raymond and I, itís a huge opportunity, especially coming from the background we have, playing at Carolina. It will help bring some more faces to the franchise that the people in North Carolina, the people who support that franchise, can go out and see. And they know the face and theyíll know the people that they are going to see. So for us, we have a huge opportunity and a huge challenge ahead of us and weíre both very much looking forward to it.

Q: Do you think the phone lines are ringing right now?
May: I think maybe people are calling in, trying to get tickets right now. So hopefully it will help ticket sales a little bit.

Q: The prospect of playing with your former teammate at UNC, Raymond Felton, what do you think that will do for your career and how will it help your adjustment?
May: It will help me a lot because it will give me someone right away that I can trust and who is also going through this process. Iím going to need someone to lean on. Times arenít always going to be good, so we can reflect off of each other and build our relationship that way. We already have a great relationship, which you know by watching us when we played the last three years. The way we play together Ė you donít really see that amongst a point guard and another big man, so for me to get the opportunity to do that again, to get some of those passes from Ray, to get me going and help start my career off is going to be tremendous.

Q: Looking at the Bobcatsí roster, they have a great young foundation what are you looking for and how do you think youíll complement Emeka Okafor?
May: I think when you look at the roster Gerald Wallace is really good. You have Emeka, heís really good. The thing with me and Emeka, I think you can play us both at the same time because heís that big and that strong. So he can play 5 and I can play 4. And I think the thing that the Bobcats really like about it, is that they werenít really good last year rebounding and you put two guys like that who love to rebound, thatís what they pride themselves on, it looks like a great fit. And then you have a little speedy point guard in the background, then things could work out great.



Rashad McCants, Minnesota Timberwolves, No. 14

Q: Did you expect Minnesota to pick you?
McCants: There was a great chance. I knew there was a great chance. I had a good workout and a great talk with Kevin McHale and coach (Dwayne) Casey and I thought it really went well.



Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets, No. 4

Q: Why was New Orleans your last workout?
Paul: Iím not sure, thatís just the way it worked out. I went to Charlotte and I went to Atlanta. I guess I had those workouts scheduled already. I guess it just so happened that New Orleans was the last one.

Q: What kind of feedback did you get?
Paul: They told me good job. I could tell Coach (Byron) Scott was a little tired, because he had played me one-on-one and played me two-on-two. But they told me they would keep in touch. They had a big grin on their faces. Mr. (Allan) Bristow was great, so I am excited about going out there.

Q: Has Tim Duncan been chatting with you?
Paul: Not this week. I think heís been a little busy. Timmy just had a baby, too. I talked to him throughout the season and wished him luck on The Finals. Heís a great mentor and heís always reached out to me.



Fran Vazquez (via an interpreter), Orlando Magic, No. 11

Q: Is it at all intimidating for you to be a foreign player entering the NBA?
Vazquez: I feel very lucky to be in this position. Iím very excited to be the 11th overall pick to the Orlando Magic. I think other players are better than me, but Iím looking forward to learning a lot.

Q: Have you taken advice from Pau Gasol about what itís like in the NBA?
Vazquez: I have not gotten a chance to talk to Pau. I suppose that Pau would tell me to enjoy the NBA, living in a new city in a new country.

Q: What are some of the skills youíre going to bring to Orlando?
Vazquez: Orlando fans can expect me to run the floor, block shots, get rebounds, and especially to finish the fast break with a lot of dunks. I will also try to enjoy the rest of the players on the team.



Charlie Villanueva, Toronto Raptors, No. 7

Q: Is the fact that Toronto is just an hour flight from New York a relief for you and your family?
Villanueva: Definitely itís a little relief. But itís going to be something different. Iím out of the country. But Iím excited. I want to thank the organization for giving me this opportunity.

Q: What are some adjustments youíre going to have to make to the pro game?
Villanueva: I think I have to be more consistent. You go into an 82 game season Ė even more with playoffs Ė I think I just have to work hard and have a winning mentality and do what I have to do.

Q: Charlie, are you surprised how high you went? Not many people thought youíd go this high.
Villanueva: I had faith in myself. I believe. Thatís always been my slogan. I believe and it definitely paid off. Itís been a long ride for me. I worked hard, and it definitely paid off.

Q: Did you have good contact with Toronto, or a good feeling about the Raptors picking you?
Villanueva: I had no idea they were going to pick me at number seven. One thing I knew is when I went up to Toronto, I had a pretty good workout. And for some strange, ironic reason, I felt comfortable when I went there. I felt like I was home. Fortunately enough, Iím here.

Q: Did growing up in Queen score you points with the NBA brass?
Villanueva: I think it scores a couple of points, coming from New York. You have to be strong, a fighter, and I think the Toronto organization is going to be a good fit for me.



Hakim Warrick, Memphis Grizzlies, No. 19

Q: Can you talk about the wait, what was going through your mind?
Warrick: It was a long wait. It was the longest two or three hours of my life. Iím fortunate that itís over and that I have a chance to play in the NBA.

Q: Did you have any expectations about when you would be drafted and are you content where you got drafted, did you expect to go earlier?
Warrick: Yes, I expected to go a little bit earlier. When I started off I was pretty much all over the board, I thought I got it a little lower, but unfortunately that wasnít the case. But Iím just really happy, really happy to be with a winning team, a young team and an up-and-coming team as well.

Q: Talk about what you think you showed teams that you worked out for and what you didnít show?
Warrick: I think I showed them my athleticism and a couple of teams, I showed them I could shoot the ball and that I can handle it as well. Iíll keep working on my game, sharpening my game and continue to get stronger.

Q: How tough was it in that green room when everyone else had gone out of there?
Warrick: It was tough being the last guy in the room, not knowing where I was going to go because the last couple of teams that were picking, I didnít workout for so it was really tough.

Q: Did you workout for Memphis?
Warrick: No. I didnít workout for Memphis.



Martell Webster, Portland Trail Blazers, No. 6

Q: Your parents must be thrilled now that they can keep tabs on you. How does it feel to be drafted by a team so close to home?
Webster: Yes they are very excited. Itís an easy commute definitely. They can come down to see me and I can fly up to see my family. Itís home.

Q: How did you feel when you heard about age limit, that this will be the last year that high school players will be allowed to enter the draft?
Webster: I felt fortunate to be part of the last group of high school players that will be coming out. The agreement had no effect on my decision though. Even if it took place this year, I would have been happy to go to the University of Washington. But I feel fortunate to be a part of this.

Q: Do you feel from here on out, if youíre part of the last high school class able to go straight to the NBA, what kind statement or legacy would you guys like to leave to show that maybe they made a mistake?
Webster: Basically to go out there and be the best player I could be and show them that maybe high school players still have the ability to in the NBA. That itís a maturity issue. That if theyíre ready to play, theyíre ready play.

Q: What percentage of basketball fans would you say know your name at this point?
Webster: Iím an underdog. I would say maybe 20-22%. Because coming here, at the hotel, they said that I was a lottery pick, in the top 10, but not that many people came in asking for autographs.



Deron Williams, Utah Jazz, No. 3

Q: That was one of David Sternís longer pauses in the past couple of years, what was going through your mind?
Williams: I didnít know what to expect. I had no clue whether theyíd pick me. I was a little nervous. He told me when I got up there that he paused so everyone would know itís DE-ron and not de-RON. He wanted to make sure of it.

Q: Any idea you would be chosen?
Williams: I had no clue. I found out when Mr. Stern called my name.

Q: Did it mean more to you that Utah not only drafted you but that they traded for you?
Williams: It shows they had a strong interest in me and they really wanted me to be part of their organization. Iím definitely honored by that.

Q: How much do you know about Salt Lake City? Itís a beautiful place, but a small venue.
Williams: I mean, itís not a big party city. But itís definitely a good city, a good city to raise a family in, and I just look forward to being there.

Q: Talking to Chris Paul, he said you were joking about who was going to go first of the point guards. Are you surprised of the order?
Williams: Iím happy for those guys. Weíve been joking all week about it, itís all in good fun. Iím just happy for those guys that they got selected right behind me.



Marvin Williams, Atlanta Hawks, No. 2

Q: How does it feel to be the first North Carolina player to get drafted this year?
Williams: Iím very excited. Itís a great honor to get picked, and I wish the best for all the other guys.

Q: What kind of suit are you wearing?
Williams: I am wearing L.A.V. Itís nice right? Itís three piece.

Q: Have you and Martell Webster busted each otherís chops at all the last couple days?
Williams: Not at all in the last few days, but on the court, definitely. We grew up playing against each other in high school. It was always a tough matchup. Martell is a great player.

Q: Do you think you and Martell being picked so early is just the beginning of Washington basketball starting to become more prominent around the country?
Williams: Iím hoping that people are going to begin to open their eyes and pay more attention to Washington basketball. We are not a basketball factory by any sense of the word, like New York and some other places. But Washington does have some great basketball players, and hopefully people are seeing that.



Antoine Wright, New Jersey Nets, No. 15

Q: How does it feel to able to play with guys like Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter?
Wright: I canít wait to get with those guys and learn as much as possible. Hopefully Jason Kidd will make me a better player like he has with those other two guys.

Q: Did you expect to be selected by the Nets?
Wright: No, it was definitely a surprise for me. I actually didnít even get to do a workout for the Nets. So, I was real excited when they called my name.

Q: The Nets have Vince Carter, RJ, they are similar types of players as you, what do think about that?
Wright: Well, like I said, those are two great guards that both play my position, so hopefully I can step in and learn as much as possible from them, and just see what happens. I think thatís an advantage for me as a rookie, to be able to come in and learn from two guys like that.

Q: Is there any part of your game you feel you have to work on before you step on the court?
Wright: I think every player in this draft has to work on learning the NBA game. You have to come in and soak up as much as possible. And in the summer league, Iíll get loose and figure out what itís really all about.





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See 2004 NBA Draft interviews of NBA Draft Interviews.







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