In a hotel ballroom in New York, all kinds of NBA draft prospects just met with the teeming media.
Some of what they said:
- Blake Griffin said that if he had the second pick in the draft, he'd use it on Hasheem Thabeet.
- Hasheem Thabeet says that since college, almost all of his court time has been dedicated to offense. Former NBA player Scott Roth showed him video of various possessions in college, and on a lot of them he had a "bad base." Therefore, Roth and Thabeet have worked extensively on footwork.
- Tyler Hansbrough was asked again and again the various knocks against him, if he's worried about being the last guy in the green room etc. He handled it perfectly. "People ask me," he says, "why people doubt me. I don't know! I'm not doubting me."
- Brandon Jennings was surrounded by a huge crowd of reporters. He said some interesting things, for instance that around Christmas he almost abandoned the Italy plan. But he stuck with it. Why? "I wanted to continue proving everybody wrong." He also said the sentence "I've heard I'm an exciting player to watch in the open court." High-school junior Jeremy Tyler has followed in Jennings' footsteps in going to Europe to age past the NBA's high-schooler ban. Jennings says that if Tyler stays in Europe for two years, he'll return to be the top overall pick in the draft. "I guarantee that," says the guard.
- Jonny Flynn discussed his low shooting percentage in college, and said the problem was that he had the green light to shoot at all times. (Hmm ... do we need to talk about shot selection?) The Niagara Falls product also said "It's not me getting drafted, it's Niagara Falls and all of Western New York." Whichever team drafts him is going to have some serious travel expenses this season.
- Stephen Curry did appear remotely nervous and said he was on a high just enjoying the whole experience. On draft day, however, he says "I'll probably tighten up, start sweating bullets."
- Jrue Holiday went from low on everybody's draft boards, to now being a likely lottery pick. How'd he do it? His advice: "Work hard, don't complain, never gve up."
- Gerald Henderson is pretty jazzed up about how well Philadelphia is represented in this draft -- Tyreke Evans, Dionte Christmas, Wayne Ellington and Henderson are all expecting to find NBA homes tomorrow. "It's pretty cool," he says. "We have all come home and worked out together and we all played against each other in high school."
Now in New York, with a basketball, a smile, and a little mohawk: Brandon Jennings.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBA/Getty Images)