Interviews with the Green Room Invitees

Interviews with the Green Room Invitees
Jun 24, 2004, 01:00 am
Keep in mind that we had half an hour to interview seven guys and then another half an hour to interview the other seven (Kris Humphries was a no show for the entire day) so I may have missed a few.

Also, it would have taken me half an hour to get in even one question for Okafor, Howard or Gordon (I couldn't even see them they were so crowded) so I passed on that. There were at least 100 reporters there if not more so it wasn't really too easy talking to anyone before time expired and they were snatched up.

Devin Harris

Givony: I heard you worked out for the Suns 2-3 days ago, the way it looks right now it might come down to you or Jameer Nelson for them at the #7 pick, what have you been hearing, do you have any idea...

Harris: I have no idea.

Givony: What did the Suns tell you when you walked out of there?

Harris: They said we'd be happy to have you in the organization but we're not sure if you'll be around where we will be picking...If you are, you're someone we'll definitely look at.

(rude reporter barges in with yet another cliche question about transition from NCAA to NBA and why he declared)

Givony: Thanks Devin.

Rafael Araujo
(THE nicest guy in New York City)

Some reporter: What have your workouts been like, what kind of things have NBA teams been looking for out of you?

Araujo: A lot of teams want to see me shoot the ball, they were really impressed when they saw me step back and shoot the ball really well from behind the three point line and from mid-range. For a big guy, they really want to see a big guy shoot the ball you know? So I have a great range and I'm surprising and that's why there is talk of me going higher.

Same reporter: Do you think that's what sets you apart? Talk about your game.

Araujo: Yeah, I improved a lot in my game. I play the low post game really good, I shoot, I run the floor well. They've been really impressed, they see that I'm so big and they think I'm slow, but I'm really not and it seems like they've been impressed. I impressed a lot of the players.

Same reporter: Are there any current NBA centers that you would compare yourself to if you had to make a comparison?

Araujo: I try to look like a Karl Malone, I'm looking forward to meeting him and having the opportunity to get to talk to him because he's a big guy, no too tall, athletic, strong, has good range, shoots the ball really well...I like his game a lot.

Givony: Rafael I have a question...Larry Miller the owner of the Utah Jazz recently said on the radio in Salt Lake that if you are around at #14 the Jazz are going to take you... So is that a done deal, you don't even have to pack your bags, you are staying in Utah?

Araujo: Oh, it's not a done deal, everything is a question mark. I don't know yet.

Givony: So you don't know who's going to draft you?

Araujo: Nothing is for sure, everything could be possible, maybe not...I could be picked earlier, I could be picked later, who knows what's going to happen?

Givony: So would you be disappointed now if the Jazz passed on you twice at 14 and 16?

Araujo: No, I wouldn't be disappointed, that's the decision they make for the team, if they think they don't need me in there that's fine, some team is going to need a big guy that can play. I don't want to go over there if they don't think I can play.

Givony: So why do you think he said that? I'll pick you at 14 if you are there?

Araujo: I don't know. I wish I knew how to give you an answer. Maybe he like me a lot, if he did say that maybe he is really interested in me. I hope he keeps his mind set.

Givony: Did the Jazz call you after that?

Araujo: No, no, they never called me. They talked to my representative but I can never say nothing.

Givony: So you've worked out for them twice already right? How did that go?

Araujo: I was there one time. I did really well.

Thank you so much Rafael.

Sergei Monya
(via translator/agent)

Givony: Hey Sergei, I'm just wondering, how are you feeling right now? You've only been in the States for a week or so. Are you excited, nervous, overwhelmed by all this?

Monya: It's a major sporting event, a major basketball event, it's great to be here.

Givony: So you have a contract for another 4 years I heard in Russia, is that true?

Monya: I have a clear escape clause from my contract after the following season. Plus, the club has already indicated that they are willing depending on where he gets picked in the draft to discuss his possible entry into the NBA next season.

Givony: So where would you have to be picked for that to happen? What would the buyout be?

Monya: The buyout doesn't really depend on me.
Agent: Just to clarify, there is a buyout already agreed upon in his contract and it all depends on where he gets selected in the draft.

Givony: Do you feel like you are at a slight disadvantage considering the fact that you haven't worked out for any NBA teams or do you think that your career at CSKA speaks for itself?

Monya: I'm not sure that everything I've done is enough in terms of to show everything I've got, but he hopes that it's enough and that time will show.

Givony: What was it like playing in the Final Four in Tel Aviv, how did that help you as a player and what kind of memories do you have from there?

Monya: It's a huge basketball holiday for all of Europe, 4 of the best teams and the best players in Europe playing against each other in one location. It's an amazing event, full gym, great atmosphere, this is the best basketball in Europe.

Givony: What about your teammate Viktor Khryapa? What kind of impact do you think he'll have next year in the NBA?

Monya: I'm sure everything is going to work out great for Viktor, he's a good guy, a great player and I wish him the best.

Givony: Thanks for your time Sergei.

Andris Biedrins

Givony: Hi Andris, how is your foot doing?

Biedrins: Um, my foot is doing well, but I'm using antibiotics right now because there is a little infection in my foot and there was a sore and I couldn't walk and now like last week I don't feel any pain, there is no more sore, I don't feel any pain, I can walk normal but I still need to use drugs now to make sure that the infection is 100% out.

Givony: Are you going to be ready for Summer league?

Biedrins: I think so...I think I will be ready for summer league. I need just a few days to get out all my problems.

Givony: How did the injury happen?

Biedrins: I think I started to wear once a couple of new shoes and there was a little bit of a blister in my foot. I thought alright, a blister, it's OK, not such a big deal, so I played and played and I came to Chicago and it was much bigger and my foot was sore, there was redness with all the pain. So I worked out for Chicago and Cleveland, and the next day I was working out and it was like so big that we went to the hospital and they put me in the hospital and said it's an infection and you need to use the antibiotics.

Givony: So which teams did you not work out for in the lottery?

Biedrins: I didn't work out for Toronto, Philly...umm

Givony: Seattle?

Biedrins: Yes, Seattle was the first.

Givony: Phoenix?

Biedrins: No, no, well I was trying to but that was the injury too.

Givony: So how come you didn't even go to Philly to do the interview or the physical, what happened with that?

Biedrins: That's ah because, I, I went to the Golden State because travelling, I don't feel like I have to go travelling because of my feet, and it's a little bit different you know? I told them sorry guys, but there is no way I can do that.

Givony: So did you hear what Billy King from Philly said after that?

Biedrins: No.

Givony: He said he doesn't care that you didn't come, he knows exactly what kind of player you are and that if he likes you he will take you.

Biedrins: Yeah?

Givony: Yeah I think they are OK with that, but there are kind of some rumors we've been hearing for a while that you got a promise from Golden State. Would you like to play in Golden State?

Biedrins: Um, of course but it's both teams that are kind of different. One team, another team, I will play no matter what. I think Golden State is interested and that's fine with me.

Givony: OK Andris, thanks so much for your time.

Biedrins: Thank you.

Andre Iguodala

Givony: Hi Andre, how have your workouts been going so far and how confident do you feel?

Iguodala: They've been going good, I feel like my agent has really put me in a perfect situation with who I've worked out for and I am really relaxed about tommorow.

Givony: It seems like your workouts so far have been kind of a secret, they didn't always go up on the team pages after they happened, what is the reason for that?

Iguodala: I'm really not sure, I think they all went really well so there isn't a reason for that.

Givony: Have you worked out for Phoenix and Toronto?

Iguodala: Yes, I've worked out for all teams 3-8 including some workouts in Chicago at Hoops.

Givony: What happened in the combine? If I had to bet I would have guessed that you would have come out by far as the most athletic player there, was the 35 inch vertical because you are used to jumping off one foot?

Iguodala: No, it's not that. I am used to doing that type of stuff in a game, so it seemed strange to me. It's more like they are measuring your rebounding jumping then anything.

Givony: There was a lot of crap going around saying that Lute Olsen wasn't being too supportive of your decision even after you had made it already, maybe telling people that you weren't ready for the NBA or whatever. Is there any truth to that?

Iguodala: No that's not true. I invited Coach Olsen to come to the draft tommorow and he will be here.

Jameer Nelson

Givony: Where do you think your best workout was so far?

Nelson: Definitely in Phoenix, I thought I really did well there. Philly too.

Givony: Did you feel like you had something to prove after O'Brien kind of ruled out that they would pick you? You had a chip on your shoulder?

Nelson: Yeah, maybe you could say that, I just really wanted to go in and show them what I'm all about. I think I definitely left them something to think about.

Givony: It seems like you are in a pretty good situation because our weaknesses are really all out there for everyone to see, any team that drafts you knows exactly what you can and can't do and the team that takes you is probably going to be one that really wants you. Do you agree?

Nelson: Yes, definitely. I've proven myself over and over again, I'm a known commodity, if a team likes that then they should take me. But if they want to say that I'm too short then they should pass. I'll just keep being myself.

Givony: Has anybody ever said to your face that you are too short?

Nelson: No, but I know what they are saying behind closed doors. But no, never to my face. In fact, I haven't had one team not tell me that they didn't love the way I played after I worked out for them.

Givony: Thanks a bunch Jameer.

Kirk Snyder

Givony: Hey Kirk, you really shocked some people with those results at the combine. Did you have any idea that would be rated THE most athletic player in this draft?

Snyder: To be honest, no. I had this perception about some of these guys based on what I had heard and saw on TV that these guys were going to make me look bad there. I thought Jameer Nelson was going to run circles around me and that Andre Iguodala was going to jump over my head, but it turned out OK in the end. It was mainly a combination of all those things together that got me that I think.

Givony: So honestly, what are your weaknesses Kirk? I've been reading all over the internet that you aren't quick enough, obviously you made those people look stupid.

Snyder: I think my biggest weakness is a lack of exposure. Take a look around this room, look how crowded every table is, people just have no idea who I am. I know that once the season starts and I have a great game or two people will be like: Wow! Who is that guy? Where did HE come from? But I've been doing this my entire life. I'm not going to beat around the bush, a lot of players in college get hyped up because of what school they go to.

Givony: Do you wish that you would have gotten the same hype most of these other guys were getting while they were in high school?

Snyder: No, I wouldn't change a thing. I believe this happened for a reason. I'm a pretty religious guy and I know things work out a certain way because they are supposed to.

Givony: What kind of hype were you getting out of high school?

Snyder: I don't know, you tell me. Was there any?

Givony: A guy that couldn't pass the SAT's.

Snyder: Yup, exactly. A guy that was too stupid to pass the SAT's.

Givony: What are your goals for next season?

Snyder: I want to be one of the best rookies in the league next year.

Givony: 6 weeks ago or whatever people were saying that you are crazy for hiring an agent and that you probably won't get drafted in the first round. Now you are sitting in the same room as all the other Green Room guys. I think players next year might be looking at you as an example of what they can do themselves. So what's your secret?

Snyder: My secret? I don't really have one. I'm just being myself, doing my thing. I always knew that I had the ability, it was all just a matter of getting a fair chance to show it. Just because I didn't go to Duke and wasn't on TV every week doesn't mean I can't play.

Givony: Where do you think you'll be drafted?

Snyder: Anywhere after 5 it looks like. Things are looking good.

Givony: Thanks Kirk.

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