Post-Draft Interviews

Post-Draft Interviews
Jun 29, 2006, 01:23 pm
Interviews conducted with most of the Green Room participants following their selection in the NBA draft, courtesy of the NBA.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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 tournamen.

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: And you got started playing basketball kind of late, talk about what sports you played before you played ball, if you did play other ones?

O’Bryant: I started basketball early, actually. Yeah, I played basketball since I was like seven.

Q: I thought you had started late?

O’Bryant: No.

Q: Who got you started playing?

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.



Q: There was a lot of attention on the first draft pick who came from Italy. Can you tell us a little about yourself, from Senegal, and what do you know about Seattle, as well, which obviously is in the Pacific Northwest, any thoughts on this.

Sene: Say that again?

Q: Any thoughts on the Pacific Northwest and just being in Seattle?

Sene: I'm sorry, I don't understand.

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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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

Carney: 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?

Carney: 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?

Carney: 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?

Carney: 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.

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