Austin Daye Interview
NBADraft.net: So how does it feel to finally have the draft over and done with, and no longer have to worry about what team you're going to?
Austin Daye: It feels great. I don't have to worry about anything anymore. I just have to go out there now and prove to people why I was the 15th pick. I know there are a lot of people out there who doubt me, and think I'm not tough enough but that just gives me extra motivation to push myself. I want to go out there and show everyone that I'm tougher than they think, and I deserved to go that high.
NBADraft.net: You obviously made a great decision after being taken 15th in this year's draft. Was it a difficult decision for you to leave Gonzaga early with a lot of doubters out there who thought you should stay in school?
Austin Daye: It was a hard decision for sure, but I wouldn't have made that decision if my family, my adviser and I didn't think it was the best decision for me. Gonzaga was a great experience but the NBA has been a dream of mine for a long time, so I felt now was the best time for me to go.
NBADraft.net: What was your draft workout experience like? Where were you working out at, and who were you working out with?
Austin Daye: I was working out in Vegas the whole time during the draft, I'm actually getting ready to workout as we speak. It's been a great experience so far and I feel can only get better. I was working out with Quincy Douby, Jared Dudley, Al Harrington, just to name a few, it's been a good group of guys.
NBADraft.net: What role do you see yourself playing with the Pistons, how do you think you can help them?
Austin Daye: Just someone who can come in and do anything I can to contribute, just try to learn from the more experienced guys. Really I'm just trying to come in and fit-in I don't want to try and do to much, but just let the game come to me, and whatever coach wants me to do, I'll go out there and do it.
NBADraft.net: How did it feel to see your name as the #1 draft pick on the NBADraft.net mock draft back in August of 2007?
Austin Daye: I felt great, I was happy, It was great to see that someone saw my potential and people were beginning to take notice of my skills. To be placed ahead all of those good players, even if it was only for a few months was really cool.
NBADraft.net: What type of goals do you have for next season?
Austin Daye: Honestly just have a solid rookie year. I'm not trying to go out there and put up shots and try to get rookie of the year, of course that would be nice but that's not my top priority. I want to go out there and do whatever I can to help the team, block shots, rebound, score, whatever they need me to do. My biggest thing is I want to learn from the veterans, because they all know how it is to be a rookie.
NBADraft.net: What type of workouts have you been doing to get stronger?
Austin Daye: I've put on 6 lbs already, I've just been working a lot in the weight room, just trying to build myself up and get ready for the summer league and the long season. I know I have to get stronger, so that's something I've really been focusing on.
NBADraft.net: Which NBA guy do you model your game after?
Austin Daye: Rashard Lewis and Tayshaun Prince. Those are 2 guys that are really good players, some of the best at their position, and I feel if I can model myself after them I can have a very successful career also. Their versatility really sets them apart from the rest of the guys at their position, so I think learning from them would really help me out.
NBADraft.net: What do you think about the addition of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva?
Austin Daye: Those are two great players that can only help this team, so I'm real excited about the addition. Both of those guys have proven themselves in this league, so I think the move will only add to the depth of this team.
NBADraft.net: Congrats on being the 15th pick and best of luck next season and with your future in the league!
To put him number 1 in 2007 was a very dumb decision. He nearly slipped to the second round, also i think he is 6'10 one of the best shoooters in the draft, and can swat shots, so he is unique.
Detroit has had success with skinny players in the past (Tayshaun, Rip) so maybe this will work out also for them. Would have liked to see him spend another year in college though.