Hornets.com 1-on-1: Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young

Hornets.com 1-on-1: Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young
By: Clyde Verdin, Hornets.com
January 3, 2011

Prior to the 2010-11 season series finale with the Philadelphia 76ers Monday at the New Orleans Arena, Hornets.com caught up with third-year forward Thaddeus Young.

The 6-9 standout from Georgia Tech is one of five players to enter the NBA after their freshman season with the Yellow Jackets, joining the likes of Stephon Marbury and Chris Bosh. He started every game of that freshman season before moving to the NBA, where he was named to the T-Mobile All-Rookie second team in 2007-08. In just three years he’s played in over 200 games with Philadelphia and has started 138 of them.

Hornets.com: You were teammates with both Willie Green and Jason Smith before they were traded to the Hornets. Are you surprised with how well they are playing here in New Orleans?
Young: I’m not surprised at all. They are both two great guys and two great basketball players. Jason is an athletic big man who is going to help any team wherever he goes with his rebounding and intensity. Willie is a scoring guard who can come out and get you anywhere from 10 to 20 points any given night off of the bench.

Hornets.com: Did you have any words for them when they left knowing that they were going to a place where they would be counted on more to contribute?
Young: I just told them to go out there and continue to do what they were doing here and obviously their record is better than ours right now, so they are definitely helping the team and getting wins.

Hornets.com: What was it like playing against them on Dec. 12 in Philadelphia, and seeing them in the other team’s colors and uniform?
Young: It was crazy seeing them on the other side with the other team. You’d think with me playing with these guys for three-and-a-half years that they would always be there. But when you look on the other end and see them and it doesn’t even seem real. It was great playing against them though and we talked after the game and we wished each other the best of luck for the season and beyond.

Hornets.com: You and Jarrett Jack both had lots of success while at Georgia Tech. What is it like coming from such a strong basketball school that’s produced a lot of quality NBA talent?
Young: It means a lot. We have a lot of great pros in the league and had a great coach in Paul Hewitt that has developed a lot of players over the last seven or eight years. It’s definitely great having your named mentioned along with players that I grew up following and played with.

Hornets.com: You actually lived in New Orleans for a short time before your family moved to Tennessee, and you have an uncle that is actually a Hornets season ticket holder. Any split on who your family will be rooting for?
Young: No way. He still roots for me and will continue to do so. But he’s been a season ticket holder for a while and is still a fan of the Hornets as well.

Hornets.com: Where do you mostly spend your offseason?
Young: Well I go to Atlanta for a week, but Memphis is where I spend most of my offseason. I do get to come down here for a week to see family and get as much time in with them before I have to get ready for the season.

Hornets.com: You were able to coach a group of politicians in a basketball game in Baton Rouge over a summer. What was that experience like?
Young: It was crazy because out of the 20 people who were there for the game, only two of them actually knew how to play the game of basketball. I know they are working on issues with the government and laws, but they were throwing the ball all over the place and it was pretty funny to watch.

Hornets.com: In the midst of your longest road trip of the season, your team is right in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. What are your feelings on the team’s success?
Young: We’re much more comfortable as a team. We’re playing better defensively and that’s been the key to our success. We’re doing a better job of executing offensively, but we’ve made much more of an effort to force teams into bad situations. The sky’s the limit for us on offense, because we have so many guys that can score on any given night, and I believe that gives us an edge on any given night.

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