NBA Pre-Draft Interviews
Wednesday in New York NBA media world and
a group of top prospects for the 2007 NBA draft met
for NBA pre-draft interviews, the day before the Draft. Here are some NBA pre-draft interview quotes from Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Corey Brewer, Spencer Hawes, Yi Jianlian, Rodney Stuckey, Acie Law, Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Julian Wright said. Ignore this link.
GREG ODEN NBA PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEW
Q: How is important is it for you to go No. 1 overall?
Oden: Important? Itíll be nice, but really, to play in the league, thatís been a dream of mine and wherever I go itís going to be fun and playing basketball is what I want to do. But number one, thatís always nice.
Q: Have you had a change to enjoy this whole experience or has it been overwhelming?
Oden: Iím sick right now, so Iím enjoying it but my head is blasting, my throatís swollen and my nose is running, so I probably got everybody in New York sick right now.
Q: What do you think youíll bring to a franchise as far as marketability?
Oden: I bring a smile, I bring some dance moves, I come in and Iím walking around, doing all that stuff, thatís what I do. Iím just going to be a nice guy who likes to have fun. The smile says a lot, that always works.
Q: You hear that youíre the next Hall of Famer and great center. Is that a lot of added pressure for you?
Oden: I started to think about it, but then I had a chance to meet Mr. [NBA Commissioner David] Stern, and the first thing he said to me was, ďAll that stuff, throw it away. Iím not going to talk to you about advertisements for basketball. You have fun with basketball and all that other stuff is just extra, itís not going to be bad because you need to worry about basketball at first.Ē When you have that man say it to you, youíre like, whoa.
Q: What about the pressure to be good right away?
Oden: Thatís hard and I know its going to be difficult, but I had a chance to talk to David Robinson and what he said to me was you just need to take time. Thereís going to be a lot of pressure, donít put it all on yourself. Youíre going to get it from everywhere, but you just have to take time. Itís very difficult to just come in here and dominate right away. Take your time, get better every time you can, but for you to be dominant, itís going to take some time.
Q: What has this whole experience been like coming to New York and preparing for the biggest day of your life?
Oden: New Yorkís great, I actually had a chance to go to Ground Zero and that was amazing. Thereís a bunch of construction and a fence put up around it, but we got to see the Memorial, we got to drive by on our bus and got to think, this is a big huge space and Iím remembering what happened when I was in the 8th grade, and that was just amazing.
Q: How are you able to handle all this pressure being a young guy?
Oden: Itís not that bad. Iím just staying calm and Iíve got great people around me that take care of everything else. Everything is good.
KEVIN DURANT NBA PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEW
Q: Can you talk about the process you are going through and your feelings about the draft tomorrow?
Durant: Iím more than excited. Itís all Iíve been dreaming about and tomorrow canít come any faster. Iím just waiting to get my name called and itís just going to be a joyous day.
Q: Do you care if you go one or two?
Durant: No, I donít care at all. I canít complain at all. Being in the first round is just a blessing for me. Iím just happy to be in this position. Iím happy my family is happy about me being in this position. I canít complain.
Q: If you were the GM out in Portland, who would you take number one and why?
Durant: I heard this question a million times in two days. Iíve been telling everybody, Iím just a basketball player. Iím not a GM. I donít know what the team needs or anything like that. Iím glad I donít have to answer those questions.
Q: How did you feel about your workout in Portland?
Durant: I felt pretty good. I could have shot the ball a little better. I could have done some things a little better, but all in all I think I did okay.
Q: How do you feel about being compared to Tracy McGrady?
Durant: Thatís a great comparison obviously. T-Mac is one of the best players in the league and Iím just honored to be in the same company as him. Next year itís going to be kind of awkward playing against him.
Q: How has this experience been building up for you today?
Durant: Itís been hectic, but itís been fun. Iím glad Iím going through this process. I wouldnít want it any other way. Iím loving it right now. All you guys looking at me like Iím Michael [Jordan] or a rock star. Iím loving it. Itís been some of the best three months of my life.
Q: Is it true that whichever sneaker company you sign with, you want your shoe to be moderately priced?
Durant: Most definitely. Growing up as a kid, I couldnít afford the $120 shoes. If I could, I would love to make a shoe that kids at 10, 11, and 12 could afford.
Q: What do you think the toughest thing is going to be after you go to the team after the draft?
Durant: Just adjusting to the game. Itís the pro level. Iím going to be nervous my first summer league game and my first pro game, but I just have to tell myself thatís what I work for. Itís all going to come true.
JEFF GREEN NBA PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEW
Q: How much do people talk to you about playing either the 3 or the 4?
Green: Not often because hopefully they realize I can play the three and the four, multiple positions, so itís not just set in stone at one position. I can do a lot of different things, off-the-dribble or down in the low post, so hopefully theyíll have me playing multiple positions.
Q: How was your workout in Phoenix?
Green: It was a good workout. I was there with Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, we worked hard and went against each other, a lot of one-on-one. It was fun. I like to workout, its something I take a lot of interest in, you have to go all-in and I had a lot of fun down there and it was a great place to be. It was good to finally go against those guys and it was my first time working out against someone. Youíre not by yourself anymore, so you have to do more to show your ability and prove that you can play against anybody.
Q: Being a 3 or 4, did you face off against Joakim and Corey?
Green: Yeah, all three of us went at each other. We didnít hold anything back. You have to be able to play multiple positions in the NBA, because guys your size play the two, being 6-8 like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. So I went against both of those guys.
Q: How has the draft process been so far for you?
Green: Itís something Iíve been wanting to have for a long time. A dream come true. Iím going to be all smiles when my name is called and its time to walk on that stage. Itís exciting but itís been a long, long, long time from June 5 until now working out with teams. Itís going to be great to hear my name called but the next day Iíve got to get back to work.
Q: Whatís going to be the biggest adjustment going from college to the NBA?
Green: Probably just going from 33 games to 82. Thatís the biggest adjustment for anybody making that leap into the NBA Ė playing 82-plus games.
Q: Whatís something you learned in college thatís going to help you at the next level?
Green: Playing under Coach [John] Thompson you have to be very disciplined and I feel like Iíve matured as a person playing under Coach. He taught me a lot of things about being not just a player but a person. You can tell everywhere I go Iím dressed up, growing up and presenting yourself well is one thing he taught me a lot about.
Q: What do you think you can add to a team?
Green: A lot, with my size being able to do a lot of things on the offensive end. Iím a big guy who can take guys off the dribble or play on the blocks or be able to make that pass.
COREY BREWER NBA PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEW
Q: How does it feel for you to be in the draft?
Brewer: Exciting. I never thought I would be here in this situation.
Q: The projections are that they three of you [players from Florida] will be in the top 10. If that happens, how special would that be for you?
Brewer: I don't think that's ever happened -- three guys [from the same school] in the top 10. That would be great. Make some history; that's what Gators do.
Q: Talk about the transition from college to the NBA.
Brewer: It's going to be a lot different. The game's going to be faster and guys are going to be a lot stronger, [but] you just have to handle it.
Q: Talk about how it feels to have the "team" broken up and about your expectations collectively and individually.
Brewer: It's going to be weird not having the guys around. We've been together for three years, almost every day. But I feel like we're all maturing and ready to take on that task.
Q: Talk about the friendship you guys have, which is pretty rare...
Brewer: A lot of people appreciate [our camaraderie] ... it's rare that we get along that we do, but it's good in a way. It's like we're brothers. It started when we first got on campus; an instant bond. And now we're like the best of friends.
Q: There were rumors about Minnesota getting the No. 5 pick. What do you think about the chances of two of you being on the same team?
Brewer: I hadn't thought about it like that but two of us could be on the same team. That would be unique ... We [would] bring a winning attitude to the team.
Q: Talk about what you have to improve on as you make your way into the league.
Brewer: Just focus and be mentally tough; just study the game and watch the players in front of me and learn. You have to learn from the veteran guys so you can step in and contribute.
Q: What do you feel you can contribute immediately to a team?
Brewer: A lot of defensive intensity and [playing] in transition with the offense.
Q: Do you feel the league, as it gets faster and smaller, is leaning a bit more toward your style of play?
Brewer: It's my style, getting up and down -- fast pace. That's what I like to play.
SPENCER HAWES NBA PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEW
Q: Why do you work out for only certain teams?
Hawes: I think the reason I chose those teams is because I thought theyíd be good fits for what I do and what I bring to the table.
Q: What are your thoughts about the Sacramento Kings, who have the 10th pick?
Hawes: I really like how they run their offense, especially how they use a guy like Brad Miller. Heís a seven-footer, but they also let him pass and let him play to his strengths. I think playing with him I can learn a lot of things.
Q: What is your opinion of players having to spend a year in college?
Hawes: I think at the end of the day, itís going to be good for the game. I donít think itís necessarily fair, or anything like that, but I think it definitely helped me out, and I think if you ask most players who spend time in college, I think theyíd stayed the same.
Q: When did it become apparent to you that you were ready to make the jump?
Hawes: I think going through the whole process, and getting feedback, thatís when I really started to figure out that it was going to be the best thing for me.
Q: Some people have knocked your toughness and level of aggression. What do you make of that?
Hawes: I think thatís pretty typical. I think right before the draft, people want to look at the negative and start criticizing, and thatís something youíre just going to have to get used to as a professional. You just take it with a grain of salt.
Q: Do you follow mock drafts?
Hawes: I think if you pay attention to those, youíll drive yourself nuts.
Q: How did you second workout with the Chicago Bulls go?
Hawes: I think it went pretty well. It was different this time, because I was just by myself, but I went out there, they saw what they wanted to see me do, and I think it went well. I think that everything we heard from them was pretty much positive, but there are no guarantees.
YI JIANLIAN NBA PRE-DRAFT INTERVIEW