On Thursday, January 15, tulsa66ers.com sat down with Tulsa native and former NBA lottery pick Ryan Humphrey. ďHumpĒ was acquired as an allocated player (a player with significant local ties) during the off-season, and he is working his way back from two knee surgeries. Humphrey has scored in double-figures during his last nine games, while averaging 17.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists over that stretch, including two games at the NBA D-League Showcase in Orem, Utah.
posted by Tulsa66ers.com | January 15 @ 1:30 pm
Tulsa66ers.com: What are some specific areas that you like to focus on during practice?
Ryan Humphrey: I guess that Iíll start personally and then as a team. Personally I like to focus on shots that Iím going to shoot during a game. I like to work on my free throws, I like to work on my post moves and jump shots. As far as a team, we work on our overall defense and passing.
What do you think is your role on this team?
RH: Iím trying to teach people different aspects of the game, and do whatever else is needed. If I need to be a scorer, or I need to defend the other teamís best player, or if itís rebounding, Iíll do whatever is needed for the team.
How is that a different role than you have had with your other teams?
RH: In college it was basically a similar role. In the NBA, I have been more of an energy guy, trying to change the pace and be a spark plug off the bench to be a catalyst for the team.
How do you feel about your first experience at the D-League Showcase?
RH: It was good event, although I wish it would have been at a warmer site, but you canít control everything. With all of the NBA scouts and GMís there, overall it was a good experience.
Were you able to get any feedback from other coaches and scouts or GM's from the NBA teams in attendance?
RH: The main question was whether or not Iím healthy and if I would be able to hold up over the course of the season. And I think that Iím progressing to where I once was.
Who did you look up to as a basketball player growing up?
RH: I looked up to Shawn Kemp growing up, but if I look at it now, I would have to say Antonio McDyess. He has had three knee surgeries, and if he can come back from those, then I can too.
Who do you think you could compare your game to?
RH: I was one of those guys in the NBA and really athletic but now I just try to be the best that I can be. I never really compared my game to anyone else.
What did you learn in college that has helped you in your professional career?
RH: Just the ups and downs, with all of the trials and tribulations that come. Not everything is going to be smooth, and if you just stay positive, then good things will happen.
Having played in Memphis and Orlando, as well as a bit overseas, what is it like for you to be playing in your hometown?
RH: It is great. I always used to dream about coming back and playing either here in Tulsa or even with the Thunder. But itís just nice to be here in my own environment.
What has been your most memorable moment so far in your career?
RH: Iíve had a lot of them. What stands out the most though is coming back a second time after knee surgery because the doctor said that they werenít sure how Iíd hold up or how good I would be. But it has been rewarding for me and my family after going through all of the rehab to get back out on the court.
What is your pre-game ritual?
RH: I like to get a good nap, but not sleep too long, because you can get sluggish. So I get an hour or two nap, eat and listen to some music to get ready to play.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and where would you take them?
RH: I would say definitely three people: Jesus, Martin Luther King and Barack Obama. If those three could be at my round table, with those guys, Iíll take them wherever they want to eat.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
RH: I would have to say Miami or one of the Caribbean islands.
What's your all-time favorite movie?
RH: The Godfather, you canít really beat that.
Where do you recommend people to go for fun in Tulsa?
RH: Definitely, if you can, come see us play. But it depends on the age group.
Who do you have in your playlist right now on your IPOD?
RH: Oh wow, I have a little rap, a little gospel, some R&B, but it just depends on what type of mood Iím in.