Chatting With Top 2008 NBA Draft Prospects

June, 25, 2008
6/25/08
4:02
PM ET

Here's the anticipated schedule, all in Eastern Time:

  • O.J. Mayo 4:15 - 4:30
  • Eric Gordon 4:30 - 4:45
  • Jerryd Bayless 4:45 - 5:00
  • Derrick Rose 5:00 - 5:15
  • Kevin Love 5:15 - 5:30

As much as possible, we'll be working in questions from the comments of this post.

Henry Abbott: Thanks for joining us. Looking forward to getting started soon.

Henry Abbott: First question: Any team impress you in workouts?

O.J. Mayo: The New York Knicks and the Miami Heat really impressed me. The facility, first-class operation. Both places I went to were top of the line.

Henry Abbott: Ok to play in Minnesota?

O.J. Mayo: It really doesn't matter. It's just an honor to get the opportunity to play for an NBA organization.

Henry Abbott: Obama or McCain?

O.J. Mayo: Obama. My friends like him. He seems like a great guy. I feel confident he'll lead this country in a good direction.

Dejan (Vancouver, BC): O.J., if you had to compare yourself to one current or former player, who would it be and why?

O.J. Mayo: Earl the Pearl Monroe.

benjamin (Sydney, australia): Hi OJ, if for some reason you fall to the sonics, do you think that you would be able to co exist with kevin durant? best of luck from australia!

O.J. Mayo: [Laughs] Oh yeah I could. I played against him, and I know Kevin. It would be an honor to play with him.

Ben (NJ): How was working out with DWade in Chicago and are you excited about the potential to be backcourt mates in Miami?

O.J. Mayo: Working out with him was great. Definitely a unique experience for me. I would love to play with him.

Chris (Dallas, Tx): What classes did enjoy most at USC?

O.J. Mayo: I enjoyed this media class. I forget what it was called. About entertainers and the media. I can use a little bit of what I learned in that class in my life now. It was about, for instance, the difference between different news services and the like.

Henry Abbott: That was quick! O.J. was whisked away to another interview. Eric Gordon is here. First question about Indiana program. Did all the turmoil of the last year affect you?

Eric Gordon: Towards the end of the first season, the turmoil did affect my status.  It was hard core. Towards the end of the season, we lost seven out of nine games. Without Coach Sampson, our whole team was finished. I think Indiana will be pretty good within the next three or four years.

Henry Abbott: We heard you'd play with Derrick Rose at Indiana, what happened?

Eric Gordon: That was just an option. I always thought he would go to Memphis. We played AAU going into my senior year, in Atlanta and Las Vegas together. We did play really well together.

Henry Abbott: Do you follow any mock drafts?

Eric Gordon: I have been hearing I'll be drafted from four to seven. Seattle, Memphis, New York, the Clippers. I have no preference.

Eric Gordon: To me it really doesn't matter what size the market is.

Mike (toronto, on): Eric, a lot of people are comparing you to Ben Gordon of the Bulls. How legit is that? How are you different?

Eric Gordon: It's pretty legit. I'm probably more explosive, and take it to the hole more. I'm a little taller.

Christian (Charlotte,NC): Eric, how do you feel about the criticism being thrown your way, i.e. too short to play 2 guard and weak ball handling?

Eric Gordon: It really doesn't matter. It's all about producing. Ben Gordon of the Bulls is undersized and he's playing almost like an All-Star. I can handle the ball, I was just never asked to play PG in college.

Henry Abbott: Obama or McCain?

Eric Gordon: Obama. I follow politics. He's a people person. He's in for everybody's needs.

Henry Abbott: Have people started asking you for stuff yet? Asking you to buy them things?

Eric Gordon: A little bit. Not a whole bunch of people. I give people stuff if I don't need it.

Henry Abbott: Who did you work out for?

Eric Gordon: I worked out for Minnesota, Seattle, New York, and the Clippers. All of them were in new gyms. The practice facilities were nice. I could be comfortable at any of those places.

Henry Abbott: Is this the beginning of something (an NBA career) or the end of something (making the NBA)?

Eric Gordon: I'd say this is really the beginning.

Henry Abbott: Are you one of those athletes who is really careful about what you eat?

Eric Gordon: I stay away from a lot of bread. I drink water. I don't eat any dessert. Never.

Eric Gordon: Eating like that, and playing hard every day, I have lost a good 15 pounds.

Brian (Scottsdale): What is the strangest question that was asked to you during the whole interview process with teams?

Eric Gordon: There are some crazy things on those psychological exams. Let's leave it at that.

Josh Thatcher (Pasco, Washington): How often did you hit the weight room while in college?

Eric Gordon: At least three times a week. It's about the same now.

Evan (Indy): What team were you a fan of growing up?

Eric Gordon: None really. I just liked watching my favorite players, like Michael Jordan, Penny Hardaway, and Tim Hardaway.

Henry Abbott: OK, thanks Eric. Jerryd Bayless is now in the hot seat.

Henry Abbott: A question from earlier, I understand you have been competing against O.J. Mayo for years. Now you're both working out for Miami at the last minute before the draft. Feel like you're still competing with him?

Jerryd Bayless: O.J. is a great player, and we have been competing against each other for years. In 8th grade AAU we first played against each other. Probably played 15 times or so. It's great to be mentioned in the same breath as him.

Henry Abbott: Any idea where you're going to go?

Jerryd Bayless: No. No idea. I'm a little nervous, wondering where I'm going to go. But I'm just excited for the opportunity.

Henry Abbott: You didn't play any zone in college. Ready to do that in the NBA?

Jerryd Bayless: Oh yeah. We did in high school and AAU. I did.

Henry Abbott: You know a lot of NBA players?

Jerryd Bayless: I know Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry ... they help me. I'm trying to figure this out for myself.

Henry Abbott: How you sleeping?

Jerryd Bayless: I'm sleeping fine. I'm able to relax.

Henry Abbott: Worried about the style of your next coach?

Henry Abbott: No. In the NBA, with the 24-second shot clock, you pretty much have to keep scoring quickly at all times.

Henry Abbott: Let me ask you about William Wesley. I know you are close to him. What kind of role does he play in your life?

Jerryd Bayless: Wes has been a mentor to me. Helped me out. I have asked him questions about on the court stuff. Whatever I need. He has helped me. Never anything negative. I'll always respect and love him for that.

casey (westwood): what is your favorite team growing up jerryd?

Jerryd Bayless: The Suns, I guess.

Henry Abbott: Do you pay attention to any particular stats?

Jerryd Bayless: No. None at all. I can't even tell you what my stats were this year. It has just never been a big deal to me. If you can play you can play.

Henry Abbott: Parents supportive of leaving early?

Jerryd Bayless: Where I'm at now in the draft, it's a pretty good position. My parents were supportive. We sat down at the end of the year and made the decision together. I wanted to get started with my career early, and hopefully we'll make the best of it.

Henry Abbott: What are you hearing about where you might go?

Jerryd Bayless: It's all over the place right now. No idea.

Rafal (Poland): Hi Jerryd. Do you would like play for Sonics. There's a lot rumors the Seatlle selcet u with 4th pick. (sorry for my english).

Jerryd Bayless: It would be great to play with Kevin, trying to turn around a situation. I think we could be pretty good in a couple years.

Henry Abbott: OK, thanks Jerryd. Derrick Rose is in the house.

Henry Abbott: My first question. Do you take seriously the concerns about being in Chicago? The pressures of playing in your home city?

Derrick Rose: No, it's not a problem. I have been playing there for 13 years or so. I kind of stay to myself. I'm used to just playing there. I have my brother and my family to worry about tickets and all that. That's their job. My job is just to play basketball.

Derrick Rose: I won't get nervous until tomorrow or something. Now I just can't wait until all the media stuff dies down.

Scott (Vail): other than MJ, who was your favorite Chicago Bull and why?

Derrick Rose: Scottie Pippen. He did all the little things, and played defense.

Alex (Florida): Derrick would you be disappointed if Chicago took Beasley and you landed in Miami

Derrick Rose: No, I think I'd be a great fit there too.

Henry Abbott: What about being MVP this year?

Derrick Rose: I said that was a goal. You want your goals to be from outer space, almost, so that one day you can achieve it. I just think about playing the game, against NBA opponents.

Jose (Anaheim CA): What are your thoughts of running the fast break for the Bulls (with Thomas, Noah, Deng, Gordon)? P.S. please Derrick, never get a motorcycle.

Derrick Rose: It's really scary. It would be a scary fast break. Just know that. And I don't like motorcycles.

Jason (Tennessee): Derrick, you seem to have a quiet demeanor, but the PG position is about leadership. Do you feel you can be a vocal leader when required?

Derrick Rose: I have been working on that ever since the NCAA finals, and in drills. I yell, tell people what to do, talking throughout the drills. It feels comfortable.

Ryan (Troy,IL): What would you think about playing with Aaron Gray?

Derrick Rose: I would love to throw that guy some alley-oops, or feed it to him in the post.

Henry Abbott: Obama or McCain?

Derrick Rose: Obama is from Chicago, of course I have got to pick him. I don't follow politics much, but I follow him.

Rahul (Chicago): Who was the prototypical pg in your eyes growing up? What did you take from his game?

Derrick Rose: I never studied one point guard. But in the last couple of years, I watch Deron Williams. I watch him a lot. His creativity, leadership, aggressiveness. We're both strong. And he's a big PG.

Henry Abbott: Who'd win a sprint between all the draft prospects?

Derrick Rose: I think I'd get them by an inch.

chris (d.c.): what is your second favorite sport after basketball?

Derrick Rose: Ping pong. That's my second sport. Hopefully one day I'll be in the Olympics playing ping pong.

Henry Abbott: White Sox or Cubs?

Derrick Rose: White Sox! South Side! Yes, the Cubs just swept them.

Justin (Glassboro, NJ): If you go to Chicago...what number would you want (23 is obviously out of the question)?

Derrick Rose: Doesn't matter. They can give me 93 as long as it's the NBA.

Henry Abbott: Let me tell you, right now Kevin Love and Derrick Rose are talking about how great Dennis Rodman was.

Henry Abbott: Kevin Love is here. First question.  Your dad wrote a book: "Love in the NBA." You read it?

Kevin Love: LOVE IN THE NBA! I like to tell people that is like kindling. Get your fire started. Not sure where you'd find a copy, but maybe in the ashes. I've never read it, honestly. I don't think he ever let me see it.

Kevin Love: I should get it. To read what really happened, instead of the fibs he tells me.

Lucas (Minneapolis): Kevin there is word that my Wolves really like you. How do you think you and Big Al would work together both being more offensive minded players?

Kevin Love: I think we'd work together well. He'll demand a double. I can shoot from high post or three, or pass wall to wing or post, or dump it back down. He gets 21 and 11, I get to learn under Kevin McHale. That would be a dream come true.

Phil (LA): Who is your favorite active player?

Kevin Love: Not just one. I look at these guys. I can take from people. Carlos Boozer, Elton Brand, Tim Duncan. All fundamental. Not all over-sized. Get the job done. Perennial All-Stars.

Henry Abbott: Chocolate milk, is that a big deal?

Kevin Love: Why does everybody ask about that? It has been so overplayed. I don't even really drink chocolate milk. Just the first thing that came to my mind. People took it too seriously. It's not like I have a fetish I can't give up.

Dan (LA, California): What do you think about Brandon J
ennings possibly playing in Europe next year instead of playing in college?

Kevin Love: Brandon is a great friend of mine. Know his mother and brother. I selfishly want to watch him at Arizona. He has got to do what he has got to do. One of those guys everyone will look at. Flashy, but very skilled. I think one of best to come along in a long time. Almost up there with Derrick Rose. Tough to see him go, because I want to see him play. If he needs to make money, more power to him.

Henry Abbott: Let's talk about being a student athlete.

Kevin Love: I took my education very seriously. I made honor roll, even with a couple of hard communications classes. I'm going to try to go back to school, especially as people say we have so much free time. A lot of time to spare. Try to get in online classes if possible. But I always knew I was going to be at school for a year or two max.

Kevin Love: It feels like I have grown up with all of these guys. I have known Jerryd for six years. Known OJ since seventh grade. Derrick since freshman year. Mike Beasley since 6th grade. Eric I met rising junior year. Crazy that we all came together. Built real camaraderie. At the hotel last night, I hear banging on the door. It's O.J. We talk a little. We're here now. Been talking about this since 8th grade. Very cool to be a day away from our dream. This is when the business starts.

Henry Abbott: Are you a Blazer fan?

Kevin Love: I have always been a Blazer fan. That would be like a dream to me to play for them one day. I love their team. Greg Oden and Martell Webster are good friends. Love Aldridge and Roy. Kevin Pritchard has really turned that team around. But that said, wherever I end up? That's going to be my new favorite city, I'm going to love it, and I'm going to swear by that place forever.

Henry Abbott: Well that went fast! And with that, Kevin Love is gone.

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