DraftExpress DraftStation: Media Day, Part III

DraftExpress DraftStation: Media Day, Part III
Jun 28, 2005, 03:49 pm
The NBA draft media day was a very interesting one to say the least. I was very excited in the responses to the tough questions asked and the responses that I was given from players such as Fran Vasquez, Yaroslav Korolev, Gerald Green, Martell Webster, and Rashad McCants to name a few. I was then virtually crushed when I attempted to transcribe these interviews only to find that my tape had broken. Here is the small bits and pieces that I was actually able to make out:

Yaroslav Korolev

It must be noted that Korolev spoke pretty good English for an international player and he had a guide provided by the NBA entitled something along the lines of “How to Deal with Mass Media” with the subtitle similar to “Learn all the tricks on how to answer questions from ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc”. Yaroslav definitely seemed to use some of the tricks, basically avoiding every tough question that I asked him. Here is what I got out of him though:

DraftExpress: What teams have you worked out for?

Korolev: None.

DraftExpress: Well if you haven’t worked out for any teams, why is there so much speculation that the Clippers have given you a promise to select you with the 12th pick in the draft?

Korolev: I have no clue. Many people on the internet and in the media say things that aren’t necessarily true, and I know nothing of any team promising to take me.

DraftExpress: How much is your buyout with CSKA?

Korolev: (didn’t seem to understand what I meant by a buyout, so I had to explain a few times). Oh, I have no clue what my buyout is.

DraftExpress: So if you are not picked by the Clippers at 12 and you slip to somewhere in the 20's or later and the team wanted to develop you in the NBDL or CSKA, would you be open to that?

Korolev: Yes, I would be open to it.

DraftExpress: So if a team were to develop you outside of the NBA, would it be in the NBDL or would you tell them that you’d like to return to CSKA?

Korolev: I don’t know. We’ll find out when I’m picked tomorrow. I can’t say right now because I don’t know what the team who picks me is going to want to do with me.


Gerald Green

DraftExpress: Why did you decide to only work out individually and not go up against other top players in the draft in attempts to move up your draft stock?

Green: Well, after seeing other players go down, I was afraid of being injured in one of these workouts. It was just not a risk I was willing to take.

Fran Vazquez

It must be noted that when I first saw Vasquez, I was honestly in a state of shock. He looked as thin as a toothpick, much smaller then he looks in the video clips that the majority of us have seen. He is listed at 238 pounds, but looks much closer to 220 in my opinion. Here is the only question I was able to make out:

DraftExpress: What are your thoughts on your performance against Tiago Splitter in the ACB playoffs?

Vazquez (through interpreter): I’d do well one game, he’d do well the next game (laughs). He is a very great player with a very bright future ahead of him, but all that mattered was that my team came out on top.

Deron Williams

DraftExpress: You had previously stated that you would only work out against Chris Paul. Why did you decide to work out against Raymond Felton?

Williams: Because people were saying that I was scared of Raymond Felton. I’m going to be going up against guys like Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Stephon Marbury, Gilbert Arenas every single night so why am I going to be scared of Raymond Felton?

DraftExpress: Now I know that I was quite surprised and I’m guessing that just about every team was surprised for that matter in how well you fared in the athletic testing in Chicago. Did it feel good to finally silence all of the critics who doubted your athleticism and said that you were too slow to succeed in the NBA?

Williams: It definitely felt good. I think that throughout my workouts and then my physical testing in Chicago, I have definitely shocked a lot of people and I have made more teams open their eyes to the type of player that I can possibly become in this league.

Martell Webster

DraftExpress: What do you think the range is of the possible teams that could select you tomorrow?

Webster: I feel that I’ll go anywhere from 3 to 10.

DraftExpress: Now I’ve heard that you had quite the workout for the Bobcats and they were quite impressed with you. If they were interested in you, would they have to reach for you at 5 or do you think there is a chance you’d still be on the board at 13?

Webster: They’d definitely have to take me at 5.

DraftExpress: Do you feel that throughout the workout process you have silenced critics in regards to the questions on your lack of ball handling skills and athleticism?

Webster: I feel that I have answered those questions. I do not feel that my ball handling and athleticism is suspect, I feel they are legitimate. Of course those are two things that I definitely need to work on, but again, I don’t think they are suspect. I’m regarded as a good shooter, but I still need to work on that as well. Even Michael Jordan was not perfect in every area of the game.

Rashad McCants

DraftExpress: Did it feel good to finally answer all of the questions about your height and athleticism at the Chicago PreDraft camp combine testing?

McCants: (Doesn’t say anything, just smiles and nods his head.)

DraftExpress: What do you think is the range where you’ll be picked?

McCants: 10-14.

DraftExpress: Now a lot of people have questioned your toughness because of your inability to finish workouts. Can you please explain why exactly you didn’t finish those workouts?

McCants: In Toronto, I ate a huge breakfast, which was a stupid move on my part. I got sick midway through my workout because of the mistake I made. In Charlotte, I pulled my hamstring at the end of the workout. It wasn’t that I wasn’t tough enough to finish the workout, things just happened.


Antoine Wright

DraftExpress: Seeing you play at Texas A&M, most scouts and draft fans thought that you were an above average athlete, yet you tested very poorly at the Chicago camp. Why was that?

Wright: I’m a basketball player. The testing at the Chicago camp does what it does, but it does not say anything of how good of a basketball player you actually are at all.

DraftExpress: So would you say that the combine testing at Chicago is overrated?

Wright: No. The testing serves its purpose, to show how well a player does in those tests. People think that those tests are the only way to measure athleticism, but they’re not. How is hopping on one leg going to tell you how athletic someone is?

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