Hornets.com 1-on-1: Memphis' Rudy Gay

Tuesday, December 25, 2007
By: Lindsey Wyckoff, Hornets.com

Hornets.com caught up with on-the-rise Memphis forward Rudy Gay prior to the Southwest Division teams' Dec. 7 meeting in New Orleans. Gay, one of Chris Paul's closest friends in the NBA, was also a teammate of Hornets second-year big man Hilton Armstrong at the University of Connecticut.

Hornets.com: How do you think the Hornets have been looking so far this season?
Gay: They’ve got a great team this year. They’re a young team, but there are a lot of good players and Chris Paul is one of the top point guards in the league.

Hornets.com: Now that you have a year under your belt in the NBA, has it been easier this season as far as preparation and expectations?
Gay: I don’t know if it’s been easier, but I feel better prepared for it. There are some great players in the league with a lot of talent, so you’re always going against the best. I think the biggest thing was taking care of myself and getting used to how long the season is.

Hornets.com: What are some of the biggest improvements you’ve made since last year?
Gay: I worked on everything in the offseason, but conditioning and offense were my two biggest focuses.

Hornets.com: Chris Paul considers you one of his best friends in the league and says you speak often. What do you guys talk about when you catch up during the season?
Gay: We just talk about what’s going on in the league — what teams and individual players are playing well. We’re both young guys and we’re still learning.

Hornets.com: You and CP both claim to be pretty good trash talkers, who wins the trash talk battle when you face off?
Gay: [laughing] Well, last game, he won — I missed a few free throws when he was talking to me, but this game, I’m going to make sure I get the best of him.

Hornets.com: Did you get a chance to catch up with former teammate Hilton Armstrong at all today?
Gay: I did actually. Hilton and I were close when we played together and we always have a good time when we see each other.

Hornets.com: Do you have any good Hilton stories from your college days?
Gay: [laughing] Well, not too many about him, but he pulled a pretty good prank on me. He has a pet snake and one day after practice, he put it in some of my clothes in my locker. I saw it, sprinted across the room and was screaming so loud. It was so embarrassing, but really funny, too.