Borchardt | Butler | Dunleavy | Ely | Gooden | Haislip | Hilario | Jacobsen
Jeffries | Rush | Tskitishvili | Wagner | Wilcox | Williams | Woods
Q: How difficult was the decision to leave Stanford early?
Borchardt: Obviously, it was a hard decision and there are a lot of people back there who helped me get to where I am and I just appreciate everybody who helped me out there and having such a great experience there.
Q: Will you finish your degree?
Borchardt: Definitely. Iím going to go back, probably take a few courses correspondence-wise and maybe some summer school and try to finish up as soon as possible.
Q: Reports have you going to the Knicks. Do you think you will go lower than the seventh pick?
Borchardt: Weíll see. I guess there are a bunch of different scenarios that could work out. I know there is genuine interest [with the Knicks]. And I know they are interested in a couple of other big guys. Weíll see how it pans out, but this is definitely a situation Iíd look forward to playing in.
Q: How would you feel about going into a situation like the Knicks have?
Borchardt: I would look forward to the challenge. I know this is a team that had one of its first non-playoff years in a long time. Anytime you can maybe help restore a franchise to where they previously were Ö thatís a challenge that any athlete looks forward to. If they donít want to just step into a situation Ö a guy like Mark Madsen, one of my former teammates, got a on a team that has won three straight NBA championships. I know Mark is loving his situation, but at the same time I think he would enjoy the challenge as well.
Q: Do you have a preference where you get picked?
Borchardt: Not really. I told somebody else earlier that Iíve had a real great experience everywhere Iíve gone and learned so much from different coaches and GMs. I think there are strengths and weaknesses with every team, but Iím more anxious just to figure out where Iím going and not necessarily where I want to go.
Q: Have you talked with former teammates Mark Madsen and Jason and Jarron Collins about the NBA?
Borchardt: Yes, Iíve talked with each of them. I hadnít made my decision until rather late in June and I was able to talk to Mark and the Collins twins and they had nothing but great things to say about the NBA and that they were really enjoying their time. That was definitely a big influence for me.
Q: Whatís the process been like?
Butler: Iíve worked out for 10 teams and the process has been long and hard, but itís a process you must go through. It worked out pretty good for me. Iím a little tired, but I just have to keep fighting it. Itís a beautiful thing to be here in New York City and Times Square at the draft, itís fun.
Q: What teams have given you the best vibes so far?
Butler: I like them all. I donít know where I might end up. Iíll leave that up to God, and hopefully I end up somewhere I can come in and play right away.
Q: What does it mean for you personally?
Butler: I know itís going to be very emotional tomorrow. Itís been a long time coming, and I had a hard road to cross, but Iím here and Iím just going to enjoy it.
Q: Do you know if anyone is telling you the truth right now?
Butler: Itís kind of up in the air, because youíve got trades. If anybody told you they would take you right now, theyíd be lying because so many things can happen on draft night. Youíve just got to wait and see. You wonít know until the minute your name is called.
Q: Does the thought of playing for a losing team bother you?
Butler: I went to the NIT my first year in school and we went to the NCAA Tournament my second year -- and went far in the tournament. Sometimes itís about rebuilding and proving your loyalty to an organization and being a leader on and off the court.
Q: What was the decision making process like for you?
Butler: There were a lot of factors. Was I leaving too early? Leaving the state of Connecticut and starting a new home somewhere else, it was just hard to leave because everything was so perfect there, but itís about timing and Coach [Jim] Calhoun told me it was a perfect time to leave. I did a great job and left a great legacy behind. ďYouíll always be remembered here so take a piece with you and leave a piece,Ē and thatís what Iíve done.
Q: Was there a moment during the season where you said, ďIíve done enough, Iím ready to go.Ē
Butler: It wasnít until about a week after the Maryland game when Coach Calhoun told me that might have been your last game in a Connecticut uniform. I felt that way also, but I didnít lean that way. I kept going to class and doing the right things just to see what would happen.
Q: What entered into your decision to enter the draft?
Dunleavy: Really, to come back for my senior year at Duke is something I really wanted to do. But when it got down it, I felt like this is such an opportunity, itís my dream. For me to not give myself that dream, to deny it and possibly it never happen next year, I couldnít do that to myself. I wouldnít be able to live with myself if that happened. I just felt like this was the best thing to do, and luckily itís something that I really want to do.
Q: What has your dad told you about life in the NBA?
Dunleavy: Heís told me a few things. Itís more what I experienced with him, traveling around on the road, being in practices and games and locker rooms, stuff I picked up. And I realized that itís certainly a glamorous life on the outside Ė thereís some downs to it Ė but I think itís going to be great. Iím really looking forward to it. To be able to have my dad there, if there is a problem or questions I have, itíll be great.
Q: How do you feel about fitting in with the Golden State Warriors if they take you at three?
Dunleavy: I think it would be a great fit for me. Not only is it an organization I think is on the rise, itís a great city, the Bay Area, and also the guys they have on their team. I know three or four of them fairly well and think theyíre really good guys. Itís a younger group, so it will take time, but I think Iíd fit in well and would mesh well with those guys.
Q: What did you think about Antawn (Jamison) having dinner with you? How much did that mean to you?
Dunleavy: It meant a lot. It was kind of like a recruiting dinner, showing me that they really wanted me. And anytime, especially in the NBA, that you get that feeling, itís a solidifying feeling. I just appreciated him coming. It was kind of strange, because anytime two guys from Duke and Carolina get together to have dinner in the area, it usually doesnít go well, and people will look at it and say, ďWhatís going on?Ē But we had a good time. I had a lot of questions for him, and he helped me out with some stuff.
Q: How has your life changed since deciding you were going to enter the draft?
Dunleavy: Itís just changed from a standpoint of logistics. I know Iím not going to be living in Durham next year. Itís kind of moving on to a more professional lifestyle and whatís next for me is up in the air right now, but it hasnít really changed me that much yet. Iím still the same person, and I imagine Iíll stay that way.
, Fresno State
Q: Do you feel lucky to be in a situation where youíll likely go to a team that either made the playoffs last year or is close and you can come in a play a defined role?
Ely: Thatís one thing Iím looking forward to. I think staying for the full term in college helped me out to where I feel Iím ready to help a team right now. When youíre in my position, youíre probably going to a winning team and when that team has success the next year, you feel like a part of something.
Q: How do you help yourself during workouts?
Ely: Just working hard. Showing people everything they said I couldnít do. Iíve worked on the jumper since I ended school. Thatís one thing I really didnít do in college because we had shooters. I proved I could do it. And just trying to stay consistent and always being a low post threat and always being able to play defense.
Q: Does the fact that youíre 24 and a little more mature than some younger players help you?
Ely: I hope so. When people my age come in, itís not so much about getting us ready. When you stay in college, youíre probably ready to help a little sooner. Your physical maturity is further along than an 18-year-old. When you throw an 18 or 19 year old in there, they get banged around. College isnít the NBA, but itís better than some of the levels guys are coming from.
Q: What can you do for a team next season?
Ely: Anything to help. If itís being a low post presence, score when I get the ball or playing defense, blocking a shot. Anything I can do, Iíll do.
Q: Do you think youíve had to fight off the stigma of being from Fresno State?
Ely: I think Iíve had to fight that off a little bit. It all ends when they meet you, when the general managers meet you and the coaches meet you, they can tell whether youíre a jerk, or someone they shouldnít pick, or somebody they would like to have. Once you meet them, the stigma ends. Fresno State has had its ups and downs, but weíve been rebuilding our reputation the last few years.
Q: Do you think you were a first rounder last year?
Ely: I donít think I was anywhere near the first round. I thought I was probably a second round pick and would have had to fight to make the team. I think coming back helped me out a lot and that it was probably the best decision Iíve ever made in my life.
Q: Whatís this experience been like for you?
Gooden: Itís been wild, like no other so far in my life. Iím learning a lot of new things every day, starting to learn that this is a business more than a sport, almost. Iím learning the business aspect of this and creating a foundation from that.
Q: Are you a small or power forward?
Gooden: A power forward that can step out and do some things on the perimeter, just like some other fours in the NBA, and Iím just trying to get there with them.
Q: Is there anyone in the league you model your game after?
Gooden: Not really. But Iím trying to make my mark in the league. Iím trying to work hard and get out there and show some new things that power forwards can do.
Q: Youíve been linked to Golden State and Memphis. Your thoughts?
Gooden: It would be good either way. Itís just something thatís out of my control so I try not to think about it or dwell on it too much. If you dwell on one team and you donít get there, itís a whole other story. So, I let them handle it. If it turns out that Iím either at Golden State or Memphis, I think it will work out fine.
Q: Do you think you could end up with the Knicks at No. 7?
Gooden: I guess I could end up with any of those 29 teams. There are 29 picks in the first round so you donít know what is going to happen until after draft day.
Q: What does it mean to know that you will be one of those picks?
Gooden: It means a lot. Iím just anxious to try and put my hat on as early as possible and go up there and shake Commissioner Sternís hand and take my photo. Thatís one of my dreams, and itís starting to come true.
Q: What do you bring to a ballclub?
Gooden: I think I bring a lot of versatility and create a lot of mismatch problems as far as guys guarding me that are smaller than me and guys guarding me that are just as big or bigger than me. I think the NBA is about matchups, and I present some of those match-up problems.
Q: Do you have a number in mind when you declared and are you happy with where youíre at right now?
Haislip: I guess Iíve moved up a little higher than I originally thought. This is what Iíve always wanted to do. I thought this year I had a good season and had the opportunity to come out, and thatís what I wanted to do.
Q: At what point during the season did you make a decision?
Haislip: I really didnít know until the last couple of games. I was like, Iíve got a fairly good shot at this. This is what I want to do and letís give it a shot.
Q: What were some of things you heard during workouts?
Haislip: All the teams had good advice in terms of working on my footwork, ballhandling, just be open-minded and keep listening and be ready to learn and work out and Iíd be fine.
Q: What do you need to do to be able to contribute right away?
Haislip: Just be ready to do whatever. Teams asked me how I would handle coming in and not being asked to score, just rebound and play defense, and I told teams I was comfortable with that. I just want to play.
Q: Do you feel lucky that youíll probably go to a team that has a better chance to win?
Haislip: Yeah, Iíll be happy playing on any team in that range. Iím just trying to get a chance. I come from a small town, I never really thought Iíd have a chance at this. I donít mind just coming in, blocking some shots, giving some energy. I just want to be somewhere.
Q: What are your thoughts about being in the Green Room tomorrow?
Haislip: Itís something you always see on TV, and now I have a chance to be sitting there and walk across the stage when they call my name out, itís going to be unreal. I might be feeling a little queasy tomorrow.
Q: Where was your best workout?
Haislip: Probably the one in Milwaukee. Everything was going well for me, I was making all of my shots, everything felt great.
Q: What are you expecting tomorrow?
Haislip: I really donít know what to expect. Anywhere in that 8-14 range is OK with me. Iíll be the first guy from my city to do anything like this. Itís a joy for me. At the start of the season, I wasnít on the radar. I just kind of came out of the blue, and itís been working out for me.
NENE (Neh Ė nay) HILARIO
, Vasco da Gama, Brazil
(NOTE: A Portuguese translator was provided by the NBA)
Q: How long have you been training in Cleveland?
Translator: On the 24th, it has been three months.
Q: There are major changes coming in his life. Is he ready for them?
Translator: He is not sure if he is ready or not, but he has got to be, and he is getting in the mood and shopping and getting ready.
Q: Do you like the people you have met in the United States?
Translator: He says he likes them very much and that people have welcomed him and he is very happy.
Q: When did you start thinking this would be the year for you to come to the NBA?
Translator: He never really thought he would get to this point. But he listened to the advice of more experienced NBA players who said he could do it now.
Q: When did you start playing basketball and what was the first sport you played?
Translator: He started playing basketball at 10 years old, but he was also a very good soccer player. He also did some swimming and martial arts, but he really loved basketball.
Q: When did he stop playing soccer and concentrate on basketball?
Translator: When he was about 14, the soccer was getting in the way of the basketball, so he stopped playing soccer to concentrate on basketball.
Q: How strange is it to play basketball in a country where soccer is No. 1?
Translator: He was born in the country of soccer, and he said it was almost an obligation to play soccer, but then he grew so much that he had the body of a basketball player. So he tried to pursue that.
Q: How does he describe his game?
Translator: He likes to play in the paint, and he is very good with rebounds and blocked shots. For his height, he moves well and runs fast on the court.
Q: I just spoke to the coach of Brazil and he confirmed you will be on the National Team that will play in the World Championship (in Indianapolis in August). Please comment?
Translator: He is very happy to be representing Brazil in the World Championship and he hopes to play his best game there. Brazil, despite being a young team, has very good technical abilities and will not let the experience of other teams bother them.
Q: Have you and Curtis Borchardt talked about this whole process?
Jacobsen: Yeah. Itís been a tough process for both of us. For him Ö Iím a little envious of his position because he is supposedly a lock for the lottery, which I agree. Curtis has had a hard road here, so I feel like he deserves this. Iím real happy for him. Weíve talked several times in the past three weeks about workouts, how theyíve gone, hunches. But neither of us really knows exactly [where weíll go]. I wish I could tell you more and Curtis probably does, too, but Ö We really are happy to be here. I truly am. Iím excited about this. My family is here with me and Iím just like ďIíve never done anything like this.Ē This is my first time around, and I donít know how to act (laughing).
Q: How did your workout with the Nets go?
Jacobsen: Really good. I was telling another reporter about it. Of all the workouts that Iíve done Ė I did 12 workouts Ė they were my second to last one. What kind of separates workouts, obviously is your performance, but also about how you feel about the organization and whether you can envision yourself playing there. And I just got a really, really positive vibe from Coach Byron Scott and Rod Thorn. After I worked out, we talked and Byron was a Pac-10 guy, L.A. prodigy, he was a guard, heís still real young. We got along as if we knew each other for like five years. That didnít happen with other teams. It just didnít. It was a fun workout. Iím not expecting them to pick me, but if they did, Iíd be real excited.
Q: Have you talked to Jason Collins?
Jacobsen: He was at the workout. He came to watch and we talked for about an hour afterward, and he said he loved the Nets. He said their team chemistry was a lot better than he had expected of the NBA. You kind of have this stereotype of the NBA going in; everybodyís got their own agenda. Heís said this team was just as much of a team as we had at Stanford.
Q: Overall, your best workout was with the Nets?
Jacobsen: No. I donít think my workout, basketball-wise, was as good as I could have had. I definitely had some better workouts than that. But just as far as the feeling that I had there, I only got that feeling at like five organizations, and I did 12 workouts.
Q: Which were the five?
Jacobsen: Sacramento was really good. The Lakers. New Jersey. Detroit. Memphis. Chicago. All five of those, I thought these would be good places. I could see myself here.
Q: Is this what you expected when you put your name in for the draft?
Jeffries: I was kind of hoping it would go like this, that in my individual workouts be able to show the kind of talents I have, what kind of player I am in terms of my individual skills. I figured Iíd do well.
Q: Do you have any preferences for tomorrow night?
Jeffries: You definitely want to be in the top 10, but if you donít get that opportunity, you just want to find the best situation for you. Wherever you can go and get a chance, itís all about being a professional at this point and playing to the best of your ability.
Q: Was the plan for you to spend two years at Indiana and move on to the pros?
Jeffries: I went to school, and I had the idea of finishing out and going four years, but once the NBA presented itself, I had to establish a game plan. I made plans to go right down to Florida after the season ended and just started training. Iíve done it for three months, my body has responded well and the workouts have gone well.
Q: Do you feel like you can contribute right away?
Jeffries: I feel like Iíve shown in these workouts that I can play right away. I feel like I can add on the size over the rest of the summer and kind of refine some parts of my game and be able to come in and play minutes as a rookie.
Q: Is playing at 230 pounds a little heavy for you?
Jeffries: I donít think so. Iím 6-11 so 230 is a pretty good weight for me. I measured a little taller than I thought, and everything has gone well. As long as you put on weight and do it the right way, you shouldnít feel a big difference.
Q: How much did measuring a little taller in Chicago help your stock?
Jeffries: I think itís helped a lot. There arenít many guys 6-11 that can do the things I do on the court. I think when you can get somebody whoís my height, it causes mismatches on offense. Whenever you have something like that happen, itís a bonus, especially in this process.
Q: Any nervous anticipation right now?
Jeffries: Just anxiety right now. Not really nervous, because I feel like Iíve done a really good job during these workouts. I think that over the course of this, I feel Iíve responded well and shown I belong in this situation.
Q: What position do you eventually expect to play?
Jeffries: I think it will be like a Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett kind of thing, just put me out there and I can cause problems with my size and skill.
Q: Do you have any feel as to what teams are looking at you?
Rush: People say Iím 10 to 14 right now, 10 to 15. Iím just excited and anxious to get to my city and start playing.
Q: Which of your workouts were you most pleased with?
Rush: Miami went really well, Indiana went well. New Orleans Ė I had a lot of good workouts. I think I only had one where I didnít perform well, and that was Memphis. But other than that, theyíve been all good. I got great feedback from them. Iím just ready to see what happens.
Q: You went to Indiana twice, didnít you?
Rush: Yeah. So maybe thatís a sign that theyíre really interested. Weíll see. Who knows?
Q: Can you talk about your decision to enter the draft?
Rush: I felt I was ready. Everybody said I had an up-and-down season, but I didnít think so. Our season was kind of crazy because we had so many expectations on our team and myself. It became a big bulls-eye on my back and on my teamís back. Everybody was out to stop me. I was the main focus of everybodyís defense, and thatís why my production went down, I think. I still averaged, what, 20 points a game? People say I had a bad year Ė I donít know how that works, but my year was good enough, and I thought I was ready and prepared to take it to the next level.
Q: How much did you talk to your brother before making your decision?
Rush: I talked to him a lot my sophomore year. This year it was my decision, but sophomore year, when everybody thought I should come out, I asked him, ďMan, you think I should do it?Ē And he was like, ďHey, man, do what you want.Ē And I chose to stay. Iím happy I stayed. People might say I could have gone higher last year than this year, but I learned so much this past year Ė how to play the game, and itís going to make me a better player down the road, what we went through this year.
Q: Did JaRonís experience teach you anything about not getting too high or too low?
Rush: I think Iím in a totally different situation than JaRon was. People say Iím definitely going in the first round, where with him, people didnít know. People expected he would, but they never knew. But with me, itís pretty assured Iím going in the first round.
Q: Does your family seem a little more at ease this time around?
Rush: Yeah, a little more secure. My family doesnít worry too much. They kind of let me do my deal, and theyíll come support me, whatever I do. They supported me a lot this year, and told me, ďHey, if you want to do it, go ahead and leave.Ē And thatís what I did.
, Benetton Treviso (Italy)
Q: When did you know that you were going to be not just in the first round but a very high pick in the draft?
Tskitishvili: I donít believe it today. I will believe it tomorrow. We will see. I canít do anything. I was very surprised. The situation came so early. I think I am young. I think that I can improve and become a good player.
Q: How much does the success of Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker have to do with the interest of NBA teams in European players?
Tskitishvili: In Europe, there is a lot of talent. People is watching them and they see that players have talent and play good. For example, Pau Gasol, he had a great season and was the best rookie. That is why people are watching Europe. And a lot of American players are going there [to Europe now].
Q: When did you start playing basketball?
Tskitishvili: I was 12 going on 13. I was just dancing before that.
Q: Do you anticipate you will have to explain to teammates that you were a dancer?
Tskitishvili: Everybody asks me, ďDid you dance before?Ē And I ask why and they say, ďBecause you look like a dancer. You dance with the ball on the floor.Ē The dance helped me a lot to play basketball, because I can move on the court. Flexible, elastic.
Q: Would you rather play for Phoenix because (Benetton coach) Mike DíAntoni has been hired as an assistant coach there?
Tskitishvili: If Phoenix will pick me, I will be happy to go there. Also, Mike DíAntoni will be there. Iím telling you, he is a friend of mine. I love that guy. I love that man. He is good person and helps me a lot. I call him every day.
Q: What is the strongest part of your game?
Tskitishvili: Counterattack, the fast break, run a lot, shooting.
Q: Which teams did you work out for individually?
Tskitishvili: Golden State and Miami. I worked out in Italy.
Q: Can you compare the European system with going to college and playing in the United States?
Tskitishvili: If you are playing professional basketball, you never have time to go to school, because you are practicing twice or three times in a day. Itís really different. You donít have time for that.
Q: Why wouldnít the Knicks take you if were available at seven?
Wagner: Probably because they have a lot of guards.
Q: Do you consider yourself a point or shooting guard?
Wagner: Just a guard.
Q: Do have a preference, though?
Wagner: No. Iím just a guard.
Q: Do you think you could come in and play the point?
Wagner: Just put me on the court, Iíll do anything.
Q: What would it mean for to play your home games in Madison Square Garden?
Wagner: I like playing there. Everybody has dreamed of playing there. To play there every night Ö that would be nice.
Q: With your family and friends watching.
Wagner: Theyíd be here every game. Itís only a train ride away.
Q: You donít think the Knicks will select you, though?
Wagner: I donít think so. Iíll just have to sit and wait.
Q: Any idea where you may go?
Wagner: I donít know where Iím going.
Q: Is that nerve-wracking?
Wagner: I donít worry about. Wherever I go, Iíll just make the best of it.
Q: Is there a player in the league you think you are similar to?
Wagner: First, I have to see what type of role the coach puts me in.
Q: Some people say you might be the most talented player in the draft, yet you probably wonít be one of the first few players chosen. How does that make you feel?
Wagner: This draft stuff is crazy. But I just have to go in and show them. I just have to keep working hard. It just motivates me.
Q: How has one year of college ball prepared you for the NBA?
Wagner: It helped me a lot. I learned a lot about the game. With Coach [John] Calipari, you learn something every day. Heís been in the league, so at Memphis we played NBA-type basketball.
Q: What part of your game do you still have to work on?
Wilcox: My outside shooting and ballhandling, but everything is coming along well for me right now.
Q: Did you work out for Chicago?
Wilcox: I did three (regional) workouts: one for the East Coast, one for the Midwest, and one on the West Coast.
Q: Was it a foregone conclusion in your mind that you would be in this position, or is it something where your development this year was rapid?
Wilcox: It was what happened over the last year. At Maryland from the beginning of the season, I wanted to work hard every day, and things just started flowing for me. I wasnít starting early in the season, and I picked my game up and just played hard. Everything was hidden, and once I got the starting position, I wasnít going to give it up. So I just kept working harder and harder, and closer to the end of the season, my teammates started giving me the ball more and looking for me more on defense. Every time we played a big-time player, they wanted me to defend him. That was the weakness my freshman year, my coach always said I didnít play defense. Winning the national title also helped me to make my decision.
Q: Was there one game that made your decision to come out for you?
Wilcox: Close to the end of the season we played Kansas, and that probably was the one that pushed me out of school. The talk was how are you going to do this or that against [Drew] Gooden? I just went out and played my game and everything just started falling for me. I said if I take this mentality and bring it with me to the next level, I can be a great player in the NBA.
Q: What was your approach in your workouts?
Wilcox: I just tried to block out all the scouts and play like I was playing in a regular game. I didnít look at it like I was being seen by NBA scouts. My first workout I did I was a little nervous. After that I just put all the butterflies aside and played for me.
Q: What is the first thing I want to buy?
Wilcox: I just want to take care of my mom and make sure she is straight. I just want to take care of her bills. I really donít need too much. My mom took care of me for 19 years, and I owe her now, and I am going to take care of her for the rest of her life. I want to be a major impact player in the league so I can stay in the league a little longer so I can get her some things she might not need but she might want. I just want to relieve a lot of pressure off of her and have her live a happy life.
Q: Have you thought about how far youíve come from St. Joeís in Metuchen, N.J., to Duke and now on the verge of the NBA?
Williams: I havenít thought about it that much. Itís probably going to hit me tomorrow when Iím standing up on that podium. Thatís when everything is going to culminate. Itís not going to be until then when I think, ďWow, Iím here. I made it.Ē
Q: Since your playing days in Metuchen, have you thought you would get to this point?
Williams: I always hoped. But sometimes circumstances donít work out in your favor; Iím really blessed that the ball has bounced my way. Iím glad Iím here, and Iím going to make the best of it.
Q: Is there a team you prefer to go to? Chicago? Golden State?
Williams: Iím just happy Iím going in the draft. A lot of things can play out differently if things donít work out a certain way. Right now, Iím open to anybody. I just want to play.
Q: Are you nervous about tomorrow?
Williams: Yeah. I have been nervous and anxious the past two months. Itís been crazy; every day you hear a new rumor that this can happen or that can happen or if he [Yao Ming] comes over or if he doesnít come over. So many little things play big parts of this whole thing. For me, Iím happy that the day is coming tomorrow. I want to get things set, find out where Iím going to be, and make the best of it.
Q: Are you done at Duke? You will be graduating in three years?
Williams: Yes. My class work is done. Finito. Itís over. I donít want to talk about classes anymore (big smile). Iím happy everything is done. I graduated, and I have my degree.
Q: What rumor did you hear today?
Williams: I heard today that things arenít going that well in China. They wonít have all the paperwork done, and the Chinese government is a little apprehensive about that. Thatís what I heard today, but I donít know how itís going to play a role in the draft.
Q: What have the last two months been like for you?
Williams: It has been a whirlwind. It has been everything but stable for me. From traveling for marketing things to coming back to finish school to working 2-3 hours a day to stay in good shape to flying to Golden State to turn around and do a charity thing the next day to flying to Chicago to work out with Ray Allen for a week, itís been crazy. Iíve been everywhere but home. But this is the life I worked hard for; this is something Iíve always wanted.
Q: How do you think you will fit in a No. 2?
Williams: Itíll be a great situation. In Chicago, they have Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, who I can relate to age-wise. At the same time, you have Jalen Rose, whoís a veteran, but heís only 29 Ė heís kind of a young veteran. I could look toward him for advice.
Q: Is this Christmas Eve for you?
Williams: Yeah, I canít wait to run downstairs and open up all my presents tomorrow. Iím looking forward to it. You look forward to every Christmas, you know it will bring new things. Tomorrow it will be that Christmas for me.
Q: Did you ever think you would be incorporated?
Williams: Not really. Itís kind of weird how things have worked out as far as forming businesses and things like that. Iím just glad to have my parents by my side. Itís great being around them, learn how things are going. Itís been good for me. I have surrounded myself with people who are really smart, who are really good in the business world. Being around that has really rubbed off of me a lot; it has really helped me a lot.
Q: Can you talk about your name change?
Williams: First of all, there is no name change. I didnít go to the government to change me name. The story for those who donít know it is: My marketing guy, Bill Sanders, came up with the idea after the season was just over Ė I knew Bill was going to be my agent Ė that maybe we should call you Jay since everybody called you Jay anyway. It should be Jay Williams, not change the name, but use the nickname. I thought we should hold off on that at the time. I wanted to get myself set first. Then I had to go to this thing for NBA.com, and when the interview was over, I went to Bill and told him it sounded like a good idea, but we should wait a while. This reporter from The New York Times overheard us talking, and the next day it was on the front page. Then people are calling me about changing my name. My friends are calling me ďThe artist formerly known as Jason.Ē Theyíre asking me about a sign or whatever. Listen, my name is Jason, but people call me Jay. Thatís all.
QYNTEL WOODS, Northeast Mississippi CC (Booneville, Miss.)
Q: A lot of people have connected you to Miami (which has the 10th pick). Do you think they are very interested in you?
Woods: Itís too early to say. I donít know who is most interested right now, so Iím just going to the workouts and doing the best I can. I have done six workouts so far, and I have one scheduled with Miami coming up.
Q: A lot of people donít know too much about you. What can you tell them about you as a player?
Woods: I can play three positions, and I think that is my biggest asset right now. I can help a team a lot with that.
Q: What was your school like?
Woods: Small, isolated, out in the country by itself with nothing else around. Not many people have been there (laughs).
Q: This whole whirlwind tour you have been on, with six workouts already, has it been a big adjustment?
Woods: It is a big change. I have to do some adjusting, the way I talk to people, the way I carry myself. Iím just dealing with that right now.
Q: What made you decide to come out from junior college?
Woods: I just thought it was my time, and I went with my first mind.
Q: How much did Kedrick Brownís success at being drafted last year have to do with your decision?
Woods: It did make me look at it, because if he got drafted that high, evidently they are looking at junior college players now. So I think if you have talent, they are going to find you.
Q: Was there a particular moment when you knew you were going pro?
Woods: There was no particular game, but the way I was playing in midseason, I kind of figured I would go into the NBA.
Q: Did it surprise you that your stock rose as quickly as it did?
Woods: It did surprise me. I didnít know what to think at that point. Once I got used to the people coming at me, I got used to it and went on with my normal routine.
Q: Did you have any problems with Coach Calipari (at Memphis) when it seemed the NBA people were very interested in you?
Woods: I never had a problem with Coach Cal at all. I understood what he was saying. I just made my decision with no outside influences, just me and my Mom sat down and talked about it, and I think we made the right decision.
Q: Where do you think you are going to go?
Woods: Iím not sure. I am going to go out and do my best at these workouts, and if I get drafted high, then I get drafted high. If I donít, Iíll just have to deal with it.
Q: Which teams have you worked out for so far?
Woods: Iíve worked out for about six teams. New York, Phoenix, Houston, the Wizards, Milwaukee Ö
Q: What could you do to help the Knicks?
Woods: I think I could score for them. I think it will take a while to get used to the physical play in the NBA, but after awhile I will be ready. Maybe a couple of months, half a season.
Q: Who have you been working out with?
Woods: With Steve Logan (of Cincinnati). We have the same agent (Bill Strickland). We work out together.