It's different, definitely different. In the playoffs the atmosphere is a lot better, the atmosphere at home games is great, and the fans are so loud. The tournament is just one game. Its one and done and not a series. The tournament is like sudden death, you have to go all out. It's exciting.
So would you say the crowd is a little better in the NBA?
In college, when you're at home, the crowd is very intense. At home in the playoffs the crowd gets like that but maybe not so much as at home games in college.
You played PF in college and are primarily a SF in the NBA, how have you had to adapt your game?
I've always played different positions throughout high school and growing up. I played 1-4. I've never really had trouble adapting. I've played on the perimeter a lot more growing up, so in a way I still need to get better in the game with my back to the basket right now.
Youve started to play spot minutes as a PF for Chicago especially in the 3 guard lineup. Are your responsibilities as a PF in the offense similar or different than when you play SF?
It's similar, but when you are on the wing you run more, handle the ball more, and take more perimeter shots. When you're a PF you have to be more intense inside. It depends what the team needs at the time though.
You've said you want to improve your post game, what type of post moves do you see yourself using in the offense?
It depends a lot on who's guarding me. With a big guy I try to use my quickness to the basket, and if it's a small guy I try to shoot over him. It really depends on how the other team is playing me. I really just need to try to get better all around in the post.
Do you see yourself more as a low post or mid post guy?
Probably mid post is more for me. It depends what the team needs mostly, but the small forward is more of a mid post position.
Do you see yourself bulking up and possibly playing more PF down the road?
I like to be versatile. I like playing different positions. It makes you more of a needed player than when you have just one look.
Do the Bulls get most of their shots through the structure of the offense or do guys have a lot of license to create on their own?
I think this year we've learned to do our thing to create shots. The first couple years, as rookies and younger players, as it should be, we got most of our shots coming out of the offense. We weren't really smart enough as players to go out and create on our own as much. We were smart, but not as smart as we are now. Now we find a lot of different ways to get shots whether it's through the offense or on our own.
You have a reputation as being one of the hardest working players in the NBA, can you describe a typical off season day for you?
Oh man, during the off season at first I try to take a little bit of time off. After that I try to work out three or four times a day. Im always trying to find something more to do. For me playing basketball is fun. So I don't really mind going out and just playing, getting some rest, and going right back out again. For me, it's just having fun.
Who else on the team is a hard worker, does anyone else really stand out?
Ben Gordon. Ben Gordon works real hard. Coming in together as rookies and seeing what he does, I really appreciate how hard he works.
You grew up in the Sudan and were influenced a lot by Manute Bol who first introduced you to basketball are you involved with charities back there?
Oh yeah, and I want to try to do more. I really want to use basketball to really help. I don't want to say hero, but I want to be someone who makes a difference somehow. I'm hoping to build courts in the Sudan and help with schools. I think one day when it's all said and done I'll be able to make a big difference. I love basketball to begin with but Im hoping to use it to be able to help as well.
You're only 21 and you're already doing so much already which is great.
[laughing] Yeah, but before I know it I'll be 50. I like helping others because I enjoy it. Since I've been young I've always want to help. It's amazing to be able to make such a big difference.
Is there anything specific that you would point out for people wanting to help?
There is the World Food Programme. There's always a lot of ways people can help, and if people want to help they'll find a way. In the world today, you can just push a button and find a way to help. You don't have to help with what I'm doing. There are so many good causes around the world, so you can always find something you believe in and enjoy. Its just good to help people in some way if you can.