TrueHoop: Hashem Thabeet

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz

Before writing about basketball, I worked in opinion journalism. The interview subjects you encounter in that world generally make their livings expressing their ideas in words. In many cases, these are people who are paid to have conversations, give speeches, and write books. One of the hardest things to get used to is the reality that athletes are a different breed of subject -- particularly young athletes. You might prep a series of questions that you're certain will produce dazzling, thoughtful responses, only to find your notebook or recorder filled with short declarative sentences that you can't do much with.

The process behind TrueHoop's Draft Prospect Chat is the media equivalent of speed dating. The six prospects move from station to station, making quick conversation for 15 minutes. When time is up, they rise from the TrueHoop couch, then drift over to ESPN Radio, or ESPN HotList. And so it goes for 90 minutes.

The chat produces fun stuff, but there's a lot to be gleaned from the subtext of our conversations that doesn't make it onto the transcript:

Tyreke Evans
Evans is a phenomenally creative guard and was one of my favorite players to watch last season, but when he first sits down with us, he doesn't offer much. He's totally polite, but biographical queries and meta questions about the draft are answered minimally. 

Then something happens. 

The subject turns to actual basketball, in this case, Evans' deadly crossover. Evans lights up and becomes animated, gesturing how he executes his go-to move. Evans then explains how he teases his defender with a light crossover first. Sometimes, that's enough to get the defender off-balance to his left, meaning Evans can slide past to the right. Other times, the defender shows he's not falling for that that, then Evans comes with a much bigger and harder crossover which actually creates an opening to the left.

This portion of the conversation clarifies an inconvenient limitation for people who want information from ballplayers. Sometimes, athletes aren't inclined to tell you how they feel -- and that's their right. This reticence can be mistaken for inaccessibility, but it's often nothing more than a desire to guide the conversation to a more comfortable place. And aren't we all like that?

Brandon Jennings
Jennings and Evans are an exercise in contrast. As a personality, Jennings is an exhibitionist. He slouches on the couch and speaks freely. He projects the confidence of someone completely unafraid that he might say something silly or self-incriminating. It isn't that Jennings is a loose cannon, or even careless. It's a commitment not to take himself too seriously. 

As the case study in American basketball's Freshman Year Abroad program, Jennings has been peppered with an exhaustive diet of questions about what it means to play in Europe as a 19 year old -- what it means to him, to his game, to the NCAA, to the future of education as we know it, to the psyche of the American teenage jock. You almost feel guilty probing him on this stuff, except that Jennings is still processing what it all means, even as he speaks. Unlike most athletes who -- with the help of agents, media consultants, and their own practice -- have boilerplate responses ready for the five most commonly asked questions put to them, you sense that Jennings has never given the same answer twice. This condition got him into trouble with the Ricky Rubio flap, but it's a quality that makes him engaging, and one of the best conversationalists and most interesting people in this draft class. 

Stephen Curry
With all the mock drafts, parlor games, and media scrums in New York this week, it's easy to forget that for most of the kids that will be drafted tonight, the announcement of their name by the commissioner  will be the single biggest moment of their lives. At his availability Wednesday afternoon, DeMar DeRozan expressed this more profoundly and sincerely than anyone I've seen this week. For him, the cliché holds -- it's a dream come true. And it's a bigger dream and a more profound truth than most of us can relate to.

For Stephen Curry, the experience is probably radically different. Here's a kid who grew up around the NBA, rubbed shoulders with the gods, and knew them by name. While most of his fellow draftees have coveted the dream from afar, Curry had had a frame of reference every day of his life living under his roof. Given all that, does Curry appreciate this distinction? Is he aware of how much different this process is for him? I think so. The evidence is most apparent when Curry talks about Davidson, the comfort that came with knowing every kid on campus personally, with being a person first and a celebrity second. It's a level of self-awareness that should serve him well. 

Tyler Hansbrough
There isn't anyone in New York City having less fun than Tyler Hansbrough. The kid they call Psycho T seems miserable, and you can appreciate why. Hansbrough has been lauded as the ultimate competitor, the kid on your youth team whose competitive spirit was held up as a shining example of how to play the game -- any game. Yet on the eve of the draft, the narrative constructed around Hansbrough tells a different story: Players with his assets tend to be overvalued for those intangibles, and smart teams would be wise to avoid prospects who look like him and have his skill set and body.

That pisses Hansbrough off, which is apparent from the moment he sits down on the TrueHoop couch. He's combative and defensive, and eager to get his point across: He's a winner. He's competitive. He's a grinder. Aren't these things the league allegedly values?

Hansbrough's dilemma is a tough one: He's the world's, what 300th best basketball player? The NBA is brutally unsympathetic to his plight. He'll be chosen in the first round tonight, but the certainty that's accompanied him throughout his career -- the comfort of knowing that his tenacity would be rewarded every step of the way -- is about to disappear. Hansbrough knows this, and that awareness is fueling his anxiety.

Hasheem Thabeet
Just before Thabeet walks in, the ESPN Zone folks set a platter of savory goodies on the table on the far side of the room. When Thabeet enters, he spots the chicken wings, fingers, chips and dip and takes a seat. He pours himself some lemonade, digs into the wings, and asks if we can come to him.

Sure.

Thabeet loves the process, adores being in New York this week, and is particularly fond of TrueHoop's "Thabeet" set list -- which is the first thing he mentions before the formal chat gets started. Thabeet's presence fills the room. The party will be at his house and, if there's good food, Jordan Hill will be there. Hill, whom we sat down with half an hour earlier, spots Thabeet and the spread, and re-enters the room, making himself comfy next to Thabeet, grazing on the spinach dip. 

When Thabeet's fifteen minutes are up, he extends his huuuuuge hand in our direction and bids goodbye. He can't wait to figure out what's going on next. 

We're at ESPN Zone in New York City, where several NBA draft prospects will be stopping by. Kevin Arnovitz and I will be asking them all kinds of questions, including yours.

The chat, including the place where you should submit your questions, is here.

The schedule (all ET):

  • 4 p.m. Tyreke Evans
  • 4:30 p.m. Brandon Jennings
  • 4:45 p.m. Stephen Curry
  • 5 p.m. Jordan Hill
  • 5:15 p.m. Tyler Hansbrough
  • 5:30 p.m. Hasheem Thabeet

The chat transcript is below the break. 



Henry Abbott
This season it seems coach Cal yelled at you a lot. Was that a bad thing?

Tyreke Evans

He's the kind of coach who wants things done a certain way, and if you don't to that, he's going to let you know. It's nothing bad, though, he's just telling you how he wants it, that's all.

Kevin Arnovitz
You have a tight relationship with Jameer Nelson?

Tyreke Evans

I've known him for a long time. He played ball with my brother. He's one of those guys who's a good friend of ours. He tells me to stay focused.

Henry Abbott

You, Dionte Christmas, Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson ... you know them well? Take pride in Philadelphia?

Tyreke Evans
Wayne I've known him for a long time. Played AAU ball. We all played each other in high school and coming up. It's a fun thing.

Kevin Arnovitz
When people refer to you as a combo guard, what does that mean to you? Do you take it as an insult?

Tyreke Evans
I just think of myself as a basketball player. Some people see me as a 1, some people see me as a 2. But I just go out and play the game. A lot people think I'm better with the ball in my hands. I did that at Memphis, people see me as a one. But I know Jonny Flynn, he's a friend. I could play with him, and I think I could play with Ricky Rubio. With two ball-handlers just more people you have to guard.

Kevin Arnovitz

Let's talk about Sacramento...

Tyreke Evans
Kevin Martin is a good player, great scorer. Two big strong guards in the backcourt would be great for Sacramento.

Henry Abbott

Why did your family run your own AAU team?

Tyreke Evans

I thank God for my brothers. A lot of good players don't have people to watch out for them. People offer you money. Young kids will want to take that. If they take it and they get caught, they're going to wish they never took it. Just keep playing basketball and try to get to the next level.

Kevin Arnovitz
Is it true that Barack Obama told one of the Maloof Brothers for the Kings to draft you?

Tyreke Evans
I was shocked when I saw that. I didn't realize Barack Obama knew who I was. I knew he was a big time basketball fan, but didn't know that he knew who I was. It was an honor.

Jordan (Slinger, WI)

How do you feel you did in pre-draft workouts, overall?

Tyreke Evans
I think I did great. My stock went up. I was seven or whatever, and now top five. I showed my strength and size, and that I can score over little guards. After every workout they were calling my agent saying I looked like a young LeBron James. I think five-on-five would give us a better chance of getting hurt. Three on three you can show the coaches what you can do. I think it's perfect how they run the workouts.

In workouts team told me they didn't think I could shoot like that. I played in the dribble drive offense in college. One thing in my mind was to drive. But in college I scored most of my points from the 3-point line.

Kevin Arnovitz
What are your thoughts about the Memphis situation?

Tyreke Evans
I think they'll be alright. It's going to take a while for them to get to where they were a few years ago, but they'll be alright. I heard they got one of the top recruits...that's pretty good. They've got a good coach and they'll be okay.

Kevin Arnovitz

What's the hardest thing about the pre-draft/workout process?

Tyreke Evans
Traveling. Once I get there I'm ready to play basketball. But the traveling, catching the train, catching the plane, cramping up. That's tough. But once you get out there and play, it's all about basketball.

Kevin Arnovitz
Who's your model NBA type?

Tyreke Evans

LeBron James, Tracy McGrady. But Penny Hardaway was the first player I ever looked up to.

Zheli Hao (Guangzhou)
What are you going to spend your first NBA paycheck on?

Tyreke Evans
First thing I'm going to do is take care of the one that had me. My mom. If she wants a house, a yacht, or whatever. Then maybe I'll get a house or a condo or something, but I might rent.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Tyreke, what do you need to work on once you're drafted and getting ready for your rookie season?

Tyreke Evans

My shot. My passing ability. I'm a good passer, but I want to be a Steve Nash type of passer. I want to hit it on the spot. Fewer turnovers. My defense is good, but I want to make first-team All-Defense every year.

Ed (MD)

Tyreke, can you tell us anything about William Wesley?

Tyreke Evans

He's a good friend of my brothers. There for me, helping out with the AAU team.

mike (USA)
How did you do on your SAT?

Tyreke Evans
I did pretty well. Got into college! Took forever to take them though.

TexFTW (Gainesville, FL)
Reke, do you think any other Memphis player will be drafted besides you?

Tyreke Evans
I want to see my Memphis teammates taken, so we can take vacations together. I want to see Antonio and Dozier both get drafted.

Mackey (Ok)

Could you shut done Wade or Kobe?

Tyreke Evans

Nobody could shut those guys down. But you could possibly play good defense on them for a few possessions. Even if you're a tough player, though, they're still going to get that ball in the basket.

Henry Abbott

Thanks a lot Tyreke. Brandon Jennings will be here in a few minutes.

Henry Abbott

Brandon Jennings is here. Brandon, the mohawk -- is that new?

Brandon Jennings

It's a couple of weeks in. I'm always trying different things. I had the Gumby. I had the High-Top Fade. Now I'm trying this.

Kevin Arnovitz

How happy were you to get back to Los Angeles? I saw a tweet a couple of weeks before you came back saying that you were dying for Roscoe's. Did you get your Roscoe's fix?

Brandon Jennings
I got to Roscoe's. I didn't get there as soon as I got home because I was training. I had to wait a week, but I got there!

Ed (MD)
Brandon, you haven't been afraid to speak your mind during this process. What does that tell us about your personality?

Brandon Jennings
I'm an per
son who is outgoing, and I like to compete, and want to be the best.Of course I think I'm a better player than Ricky Rubio. He does have a lot of professional experience. Has the upper hand. As the competitor that I am, I'm always going to think that I'm the best player.

Kevin Arnovitz

When people say "European Style of Basketball," what do they mean?

Brandon Jennings

They mean a halfcourt game, team game, a lot of pick-and-roll. It's about the team. It's live or die. They don't play for the money, or the stats.  They're about winning. I have a lot of respect for the game over there.

Kevin Arnovitz
On your blog you posted pics of your five favorite point guards: Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, John Stockton, Steve Nash, and Jerry West...

Brandon Jennings
Jerry West was clutch, man! You can't go wrong with Jerry West. Last second shot, you're going with Jerry West! He was a great player, but also, he was a winner.

Henry Abbott

Would you hate to go to a slow team?

Brandon Jennings

You really can't play slow in the NBA. You can have this or that philosophy. But if you get the ball in the open court, you have got to go.

Kevin Arnovitz
What's the best thing about Rome?

Brandon Jennings
Laid back, Stress-free. No worries. I was just out there enjoying life. I did three things; Play basketball, Eat, Sleep.

Kevin Arnovitz
Great city...a lotta graffiti.

Brandon Jennings

A LOT of graffiti. At first I found that disturbing, but then everyone told me, 'Don't worry. It's not gangs." It's just people writing their names. Weird.

Ed (MD)
Can you give us any insight into Sonny Vaccaro's vision of the future of basketball and marketing?

Brandon Jennings

I have no idea. You know Sonny. He always has something going on. Mos def he helped me decide to go to Europe. I had to make a decision, and I decided to go with Sonny.I chose that team in Rome because Dan our GM knows Sonny very well, he came and saw me workout. It was a good fit because I got that rookie year under my belt. They don't make you carry bags and stuff in Italy. But they do make you come in early and workout, and see what type of person I was.

Kyle Zimmerman (RI)
Who is someone you haven't met in person yet that you hope to meet at the draft tomorrow?

Brandon Jennings
David Stern. I've never met David Stern before. I think that was a trick question.

TexFTW (Gainesville, FL)
I read that Josh Childress complained about some off court incidents in Greece during a game. Is the crowd really wild in Italy too? Is it worst than a UNC vs. Duke game?

Brandon Jennings

The crowd is good in Italy. No riots or anything. But when they're cheering, it's crazy. They have drums, they're screaming, and it's louder than anywhere else I have ever played. If you can play there, you can play anywhere. But they're not storming the floor.

Henry Abbott
Were you homesick? What if you had to go back to Italy again?

Brandon Jennings
If I were going back to Italy, I'd be happy just to have that lifestyle. Eat that good pasta, enjoy that wine and all that.

Mike (Naples, FL)
I've heard that Italian women are a lot skinnier than American chicks. Is this rumor true?

Brandon Jennings

Yes. This is true.

Kevin Arnovitz
Looking at what's happened at Arizona, is there a little part of you that's glad you didn't end up in Tucson?

Brandon Jennings

Actually no. I really wanted to go to Arizona. they had a good team. They just needed a point guard and I thought I was that missing piece for them. I had guys to play with. I was excited.

Bryan (Houston, TX)

Brandon, Are u a score first point guard or a distributor?

Brandon Jennings
Distributor.

Mike (Naples, FL)

No wine in the states homie! Aren't you under 21?

Brandon Jennings
That's just what they do in Italy.

Kevin Arnovitz
Do other high schoolers seek out your advice about your experience in Europe?

Brandon Jennings

Yes. Like Jeremy Tyler. I talked to him about two weeks ago. I just told him if it's something you want to do, you *better* be serious about it.Overall, he'll be okay. Bigs are the dominant force in Europe. If he does 2 years over there, he'll be the #1 pick in the draft. He'll come back mature. Also, you can't teach height.

Sable (Irvine, CA)

A big part of finding playing time in the NBA is being able to play defense. Is your defense NBA ready so that you can earn more playing time your rookie year?

Brandon Jennings
In Europe they do a lot of hand-checking, grabbing, moving picks ... I picked up a lot of bad habits over there. I need to get out of those.

Kevin Arnovitz
Where you do you want to go?

Brandon Jennings

4-through-8. I want to go 4-through-8. Those teams all need point guards. Sacramento would be great. They've always had good point guards. And New York. Mike D'Antoni. Who wouldn't want to play for Mike D'Antoni?!

Henry Abbott

OK, Brandon Jennings is hitting the road. Thanks a lot. Stephen Curry is next.

Kevin Arnovitz
When's the first time you beat your Dad at 1-on-1 -- and how did he take it?

Stephen Curry
When I was in 6th Grade at one of his summer camps. I beat him in front of all the campers. He didn't take it too well. He made me run at the next workout session. We play HORSE now. And he beats me at that, because he can still shoot it.

Rahim Jaffer (Mississauga, Ontario)

Hey Stephen, I recall I played you when you were living in Toronto in a High School game, and was wondering if since you've lived here, you see Toronto as a viable option if you drop to the 9 spot.

Stephen Curry
I loved living there, and it was a great place when my dad was there. I'd be very happy if I ended up there.

Kevin Arnovitz
Do you think the whole Making the NBA Thing is less mystifying to you because of your background?

Stephen Curry
It makes it weirder. I was around it, but I wasn't around this part of the process. It's less mystifying, because I was around it, but it's still a whirlwind.

Henry Abbott
A lot questions coming in about your friendship with LeBron James. What is that like? Do we make too much of that.

Stephen Curry

We have a solid friendship. He asks me out. I asked him a couple questions about the draft process. I don't go hang out at his house. But text/phone. I should probably step my game up, though, and get invited to his house. Then maybe I could get him come to whatever team I'm on when he's a free agent.

Orel (Tulsa,OK)

How do you think you would mesh with KD, Russell, and J-Green if picked 3rd by the Thunder?

Stephen Curry

It's a group you can build on. They've established themselves as great players. As a point guard and facilitator I feel I can play with those guys. Westbrook's athleticism. KD overall stardom. Jeff Green can score and do a lot of things. Four guys who can do things all over the court ... that can work. Kevin and Russell have really got the city excited about what's going on. If they can cement themselves as a good team early next year, that could lead to all kinds of good things, and keep the enthusiasm at a high level.

Kevin Arnovitz

You chose a really small school. As the star athlete on campus, is that a different kind of experience than, say, going to Carolina or even Duke?

Stephen Curry
I went to a small school growing up, so it wasn't too much of a change. But it's great to know everyone on campus. It made my sophomore season that much more special. Everyone on campus made the trip to Detroit (for the NCAA Tournament) When I came in as a freshman, I knew everyone personally before I ever put a jersey on. It makes it special.

Kevin Arnovitz
How huge would it be to play at MSG for Mike D'Antoni?

Stephen Curry
It would be very special because of the legacy, the history of the Garden. His offensive system, the up-tempo, that would be a great fit for me. If that's how it turns out, I'd be really happy about it.

Henry Abbott
Stephen is on his merry way. I asked him at the end if he knew where he was going to end up, and he said: "Not the Clippers." Fair enough. Jordan Hill is next.

Kevin Arnovitz

Jordan, Josh Pastner -- former assistant at Arizona, now head coach at Memphis -- has been a big influence on you...

Jordan Hill
Josh was always trying to get the edge out of me. Called me in the morning to make sure I was on time. He stayed on me. He wanted me, he recruited me. He was a great coach for me. He motivated me in a great way. He had a great impact on me.

Kevin Arnovitz
Is it true you have a 89 mph fastball?

Jordan Hill

I don't know if I still have it. I haven't thrown in a long time.

Zack (Philadelphia)

J. Hill... What NBA player(s) would you say your game is most similar to?

Jordan Hill
With my athleticism I'd say I'm like Amare Stoudemire. We're the same height. I can shoot the ball from almost anywhere, so from the mid-range I'd say I'm like Chris Bosh.

Kevin Arnovitz
You've got a young kid. What effect has that had on you? Has that been tough? Has it simplified your life?

Jordan Hill

It helped me out. I want my son to grow up as good as possible. I want him to want to be like Daddy. (and be a good basketball player, too!). I'm trying to do well by him.

Jon (ny)
Coming to NY? We could use a shot blocker and D'Antoni will give you all the shots you need.

Jordan Hill

I love D'Antoni's up tempo style. Love to run the floor. I run well. They have a pass-first PG in Chris Duhon. I feel that's a good fit for me. I used to live in Atlanta, which isn't as busy as New York. New York is a BUSY city. A lot of impatient people here. This is a nice place. I've been enjoying my time since I got here. I have been here three times -- played at MSG freshman year, worked out for the Knicks, and now.

Kevin Arnovitz
You weren't initially considered one of the "top recruits" in Tucson. Did that motivate you?

Jordan Hill
I really didn't care about being one of the greatest HS players. I just wanted to work hard. And it was hard to get my minutes at Arizona, but I was all about getting to the next level.

Connor (NJ)
So, Jordan who was your favorite NBA team as a kid?

Jordan Hill

I was a Bulls fan. I was a Michael Jordan fan like crazy. I moved to Atlanta in eighth grade from South Carolina, but I was still a Bulls fan.

Jerry Eastwood (Haslett, MI)
What was it like not to have Lute Olsen coach you this season?

Jordan Hill

It wasn't all that bad. I wasn't there to play under Lute Olson, I was there to play basketball. He's one of the greatest basketball coaches ever. He had to take some time off to deal with some things, and it didn't effect me. I was there to play basketball and that didn't change.

Vikram Dimba (California)
Some say your lacking defensively to be an elite big in the NBA, what would you say to those critics?

Jordan Hill
I think they say that because I was the only big we had on the team. Tried to stay out of foul trouble as much as possible. They called every little foul on me. Hard trying to play aggressively on D like I wanted. Right now, working with Tim Grover, my footwork is much faster and much better. PAC-10 refs will call fouls on every little thing.

Darius Feguson (Brooklyn)
how much sleep will you get tonight?

Jordan Hill
I'll get a lot of sleep. I'm excited and nervous and tomorrow's a big day. I've got to get my rest.

Sean (Gainesville, FL)
Predict your season averages...

Jordan Hill

Depends on how much playing time: Hopefully...12ppg, 9rpg. But that depends on playing time.

Gabriel (Brooklyn)
Your teammate, Chase Budinger, is also in the draft. Do you like to root for him in a draft? Do you guys keep in touch?

Jordan Hill
I definitely want the best for Chase. I wish him the best. We do keep in touch. We do a lot for each other.

Ben (NY)

Jordan, how do you see yourself matching up against guys like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Amare Stoudemire at the next level?

Jordan Hill
Not saying I'm going to stop players like Amare, KG, or TD every play. But I will try to make it hard, play aggressive and make it hard for them.

Henry Abbott

Tyler Hansbrough is here.

Kevin Arnovitz

Playing with a chip on your shoulder can be really motivating...and it can also be debilitating sometimes. As you head to the next level -- and with all the doubters -- how do you balance that?

Tyler Hansbrough
I use that to an extent, but I'm also just competitive. I do it AS a competitor, not to prove some guy who writes for a magazine wrong. I play that way because I have to win. I'm all about winning. I see myself as a player who can step in and help a team. I'm a proven player, I'm 23, who can step in right away and play at this level.

Kevin Arnovitz
Do you have an NBA prototype?

Tyler Hansbrough
There's no one person I model my game after. But someone likePaul Millsap. Maybe Boozer -- a guy who's around 6-8, who can shoot the ball, has good post moves and is more athletic than people give him credit for.

JE (New Hampshire)

Tyler..it seems that sometimes your "Physco T" persona overwhelms your talent in some folks perception. After your NBA career is over, how do you think you'll be remembered?

Tyler Hansbrough
The nickname is overdone in many ways. People see me as always over-hyper, when in fact off the court
I'm laid back and like to have fun.When my NBA career is over, I'd like to be remembered as a winner, just like I finished my college career stepping off the court with a national championship, and stepped off the court after my high-school career with a state championship.

Kevin Arnovitz

What's the craziest thing that's happened to you during the whole pre-draft process?

Tyler Hansbrough
I spent 10 hours in Dulles Airport one day. That was crazy.

kenny (Indianapolis)

Tyler, what is your "one skill" that is above average for the NBA? Or to put it differently, what skill will be your best skill in the NBA?

Tyler Hansbrough
I'd say my mid-range jump shot. I'll show I can hit the 15-footer, and then mix it up with some jump hooks and things inside.

Kevin Arnovitz
You were a communications major at Carolina. Do you plan on keeping a blog, or tweeting a lot, etc, bypassing clowns like us?

Tyler Hansbrough
I want to establish something where people from home -- Poplar Bluff -- can stay in touch. Maybe do a blog with the local paper. I may step my game up and get on Twitter. But I definitely want to stay in touch with everyone.

austin daniels (murrieta)
how would you like to go to the jazz would there be alot of pressure on you if boozer leaves

Tyler Hansbrough

I think I'm a good fit for the Jazz. I'd be willing to come in as a proven player, move in right away and help out their team. I think I'd fit in with Coach Sloan's system. Having played for Coach Williams it's a bit of the same way. Everyone listens and buys in.

Kevin Arnovitz
Are you enjoying this process? It doesn't always look like you are.

Tyler Hansbrough

I'm a little nervous. I want to figure out where I'm going and where I'm headed.

Sean (Gainesville, FL)

Best of seven series; 09 Tarheels vs 07 Gators, who wins? I say my Gators sweep you guys 4-0.

Tyler Hansbrough

My first thought was there would be no sweeping, but I take it back. Tar Heels 4-0.

Jesse (Bend, OR)
I've seen you take a few 3's in college... NBA 3's in your range?

Tyler Hansbrough
I can see myself being a capable NBA 3-point shooter by my sophomore year. I work on it. I train now with the strength coach from North Carolina, Jonas Sahratian.

Kevin Arnovitz

Give us a quick scouting report on Ty Lawson as a point guard...

Tyler Hansbrough

Very fast. Runs the court well. Capable 3-point shooter. Funny -- prankster.

Henry Abbott
Thanks a lot Tyler. Hasheem Thabeet is next and last. And keep the questions coming!

Henry Abbott
Hasheem Thabeet walked in here saying oh, so are you the guys who did the post with all the Thabeet songs? OK, so what's your favorite out of all the "Thabeet" songs on TrueHoop?

Hasheem Thabeet
I like the Madonna one, from a concert in Europe. I think it was Thabeet goes on?

Kevin Arnovitz
You once said that you were "uncomfortable with the way people look at you" sometimes. What did you mean by that?

Hasheem Thabeet
I'm just tall. Sometimes people look at me like I'm something from another planet. And they keep looking and keep looking, they get close to you. "Are you real?" It used to bother me, but I can't do anything about it.

Vikram Dimba (California)
Who would you compare your game to? Would those Mutombo comparisons be accurate?

Hasheem Thabeet
Mutombo blocks shots, I block shots. But other than that we're different. I'm capable of doing a lot of different things. You couldn't ask for more than he did, but I have heard people say I'm more like Dikembe and Yao. Dikembe on D, Yao on O. Those are the kinds of goals I have set for myself. I haven't gotten to shoot the ball that much at UConn. But I was working on it all the time. I think I'll surprise some people with my offense.

Tom (Jacksonville, FL)
You played against DaJuan Summers, what'd you think of him?

Hasheem Thabeet
He's good. He's one of the great players I have played against. They give us so much of a tough time when we play them.

Kevin Arnovitz
You have one of the most active Facebook pages I've ever seen. You tweet like crazy...

Hasheem Thabeet
I try to interact with fans as much as I can. A lot of times, like today, it's a great way to stay in touch, let people know what's going on.

Kevin Arnovitz

...and the April Fool's Joke?

Hasheem Thabeet

A lot of people were like, "What is he thinking??" They were surprised. It was pretty funny and cool that so many people responded to it.

Henry Abbott

Do you care where you go?

Hasheem Thabeet

Do I care where I go? To me wherever I end up is a good situation. This is a great opportunity. Not a lot of people get to do what I get to do right now. To be one of those choices, for any team, is phenomenal.
I missed my workout in Memphis only because I had to deal with immigration issues. When I left UConn my student visa expired, so I had to get that straightened out. I didn't want to get deported. I wanted to get drafted.

Kevin Arnovitz
Do you feel pressure to be basketball's ambassador to East Africa? Is that a fair expectation for people to have?

Hasheem Thabeet
I don't see it as a pressure. It's something that feels natural. I don't really mind being an ambassador. You have to do it because a lot of people have hope for you. For me it's an opportunity. It's every kid's dream to go somewhere and represent everyone.

Henry Abbott
And that's a wrap. Thanks so much to everyone for hanging out and asking good questions. And thanks to Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, Jordan Hill, Tyler Hansbrough and Hasheem Thabeet for making the time.

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