Armon Johnson Interview
Armon Johnson is a focused young man chomping at the bit to take his game to the next level. With his strength, athleticism, and pro-ready game, he should be a contributor on whatever team selects him on Thursday night. We caught up with Armon as he anticipates the NBA draft.
Q: Do you feel that you’ve opened a lot of team’s eyes with your strength and athleticism through the measurement testing?
A: I think so.
Q: Some have said that you are one of the most athletic players in the draft. That must bode well for you.
A: That’s a nice compliment. To be included with some of the other athletes in the draft is nice. I just want to get on a team and be able to show what I can do.
Q: Since you weren’t in the national limelight as much playing at Nevada how important did you feel the workout phase was for you?
A: The whole process I’ve taken a little more personally since I played at Nevada. I felt that as long as I got my chance to show what I can do I’d be alright.
Q: I read that former WolfPack guard Ramon Sessions is excited to see your potential in the NBA. He mentioned that he thought your strength was the 5 on 5 play more so than the individual workouts and that would show at the next level. Would you agree that your game excels more at the 5 on 5 level than at the individual workouts?
A: I do feel like that just because that’s how the game is played but I’ve worked on my game just so that I could be prepared for these situations. I don’t feel like it hurt me at all.
Q: When I watch you I see a point guard who is physically ready to play at the next level. Is this a fair assessment?
A: Yeah I definitely do. My body feels great. I’ve worked on it a lot and I think I’m ready to take the next step.
Q: Are there any point guards currently in the league that you would model your game after at all?
A: Yeah, Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo are players that I try to imitate.
Q: Those are two pretty good models to have. When I watch footage of you seem very comfortable in pick and roll situations. Do you think your game might flourish more in the NBA where it is pick and role and isolation situations than a slow it down college style of game?
A: Most definitely. Having that pick and roll opportunity almost every play is something that I’m very much looking forward to.
Q: A lot of people feel the point guard position is the hardest to adjust to at the next level. Are you worried or excited about that transition?
A: I’m extremely excited about that. It’s the next challenge and I’ve been waiting for another challenge since I left college. I’ve been waiting around just working out having these pre draft workouts and that’s my next challenge so I can’t wait for it.
Q: Do you see yourself as more of a scoring point guard at the next level, a distributor, or a combination?
A: Maybe a combination of that. I really feel I have the ability to shoot the ball but that’s something that gets overlooked. I like it when teams overlook things like that than its more of a surprise when they see it. I also feel that I’m a lot better distributor than I get credit for as well.
Q: Your assist total rose over the course of your 3 years at Nevada. Do you think that is a part of your game that people are sleeping on?
A: I definitely feel that’s a part of my game that people are sleeping on. The system we played (the triangle offense) I wasn’t in a lot of pick and roll situations so once I get into those pick and roll situations I feel that I’ll definitely do well.
Q: Is there a style of play in the NBA that would suit you?
A: I’ve shown that I can play the triangle system but I do feel that my game would flourish playing the pick and roll or isolation type systems.
Q: True or False: You are the best left-handed prospect leaving the University of Nevada this spring?
A: (laughing) I’m gonna let y’all decide that…
Q: Talk a bit about Luke Babbitt’s game. I know that both of you will probably be linked, especially in the Reno area, as you both enter the league at the same time and look to be first round prospects. Are you excited to see what he does at the next level?
A: I’m extremely excited to see how Luke does. I’ve seen how hard he works and how modest of a person he is and I just love being around that man. He’s one of my good friends so I’m very excited to see what happens with him.
Q: I think it says something about the Nevada program when both of you test so well at the pre-draft camp with your measurements. I think he surprised some people as well?
A: He’s definitely more athletic than he gets credit for. I see that all the time. I’ve seen him do things that guys who get credit for being athletes can’t do.
Q: Have there been any teams in particular that have shown greater interest in you?
A: I try not to ask my agent about that because I would like to wait until at least the day before draft day because I’ve been working so hard to get to this point that I don’t want those thoughts in my head. I guess I would just like to be surprised.
Q: How surreal would it be for you to hear your name called on draft night and to fulfill that lifelong dream?
A: That’s going to be like a whole different world. I was sitting here thinking about that today cause they were showing old clips of an old draft and I was like ‘Man, I could be one of those guys.’ It’s mindboggling I’m so excited.
Q: Are you going to go to the draft and run down and jump David Stern when he does call you or are you going to watch from home?
A: (laughing) no, I’m going to be with my family at that time. I haven’t spent time with them because of this process so I’m just going to be with them that night.
Q: Have you thought about the first thing you would purchase when you collect that first NBA paycheck or have you got there yet?
A: I haven’t even thought about that man, maybe I should, but I haven’t got there yet!
Q: Congratulations on making it this far and we’ll be watching you the rest of the way.
A: I appeciate it man, thanks for the interview.
Q: And we’ll have to track you down midway through your first season when you are lighting the league up.
A; For sure.