Paul George Interview
Paul George’s basketball career has been on a meteoric rise since he started playing organized basketball. Gifted with long arms, incredible jumping ability, and a natural gift for putting the ball in the basket, George is excited to show his skills off to a national audience soon. We caught up with him shortly after a workout in Toronto and talked about the entire pre draft process.
Q: So you just got back from Toronto today?
Q: How did everything go there?
A: It went good there. I had a pretty good workout there. We got after it and competed there. It was a good workout.
Q: Who else joined you?
A: It was me, Xavier Henry, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson,
Q: There was a bunch of you
A: Yeah there was 6 of us, Tyler Wilkerson, and some guy from France.
Q: With everything wrapping up and all of your workouts concluding how are you feeling heading into next week?
A: I feel good. I feel like I left a good impression on almost all the teams I’ve been to. I competed and got after all the guys they had against me. You know its always fun to be scheduled and to go against guys that you don’t regularly get to go against so I look forward to those challenges everyday.
Q: The workouts must have been really important for you considering you played in the WAC for your 2 years. Talk about the opportunity to play against guys from the SEC and the Big East and getting to show your talent against those guys.
A: That was the most important part about my whole process was getting a change to play against those guys and show that, yeah I played in the WAC, but my talent is much more than what I could have shown in the WAC so to get a chance to show that off and to get to play against those players was definitely important for me.
Q: Last year you tested the process a little and decided to go back to Fresno for your second year. How exciting has it been to see your stock rise and now there is a chance of a lottery pick, anywhere from 10 to 15, you are going to be able to show yourself on that big stage every night.
A: It’s really exciting. I don’t let any of that get to my head. I want to keep working, keep working, and get better everyday. My dream would not be to get drafted. My dream will be to be a hall of famer and an all star one day so you know getting drafted is such a blessing but I want to get so much farther than that and every team that I go to I want to make the best out of it.
Q: I read that Kobe Bryant is someone you looked up to and emulated growing up in Southern California. Watching him in game 7 of the NBA finals, showing his work ethic and determination. Is that something that you are going to take away from Kobe as you prepare to enter the league?
A: Kobe Bryant is a prime example. He’s probably something that all players should look up to, you know, just his work ethic. He’s out there working hard, and even though he didn’t shoot the ball well, but coming up with 15 rebounds really proves the guy really wants it and he’s going to win no matter what.
Q: Have there been certain team’s show a lot of interest in you or is that something you even let yourself think about?
A: Not really. I would love to play for anyone. I don’t have a preference at all. Any team that I go to, I just want to get to work, you know, right when I get there. As far as teams showing interest there’s been quite a few.
Q: You tested the process last year, you got some good feedback and you returned for a year, possibly to get stronger. Do you feel those things that were weaknesses last year are now strengths?
A: Yeah. I think I did that within this summer. All I needed was some time away from school and away from everything and just do basketball. I think the time I spent working out at my training facility with Don MacLean and my strength coach Steven Campbell I was really able to kind of just focus everything in on basketball and get my body right so I think I cancelled out all those weaknesses that these teams had on me.
Q: I saw some footage of you going up against Luke Harangody and Damion James. That’ll make you tougher?
A: Yeah. It was a great workout. I was prepared fully to go on and workout for these teams after working out with Luke Harangody and Damion James. It’s not easy to score on those two.
Q: A lot of people talk about your upside and your potential, maybe because you were discovered a little later in high school and didn’t do the AAU circuit till later, some think that it is going to take you a long time. When you get drafted and join an NBA team is your expectation to contribute right away. Is that something you think you can do?
A: Yeah, I think I can contribute every year and gain a bigger role every year. Going back on my history, I’ve improved every year as a player and haven’t really played the game at the highest level when I was younger so I feel with a team that works with me and a coaching staff that I know what they want from me I feel that I can contribute right away and be a big time contributor.
Q: Is there anything in your life that could compare to the excitement you would feel hearing David Stern say Paul George from Fresno State?
A: No, nothing at all. There is nothing that could compare to that, especially having my family there. My dad has never flown a day in his life so to get a chance to do that and for him to be able to make that flight that would be big for me.
Q: Have you been officially invited to the draft?
A: If I could get an invitation I would love to be there. No doubt about it.
Q: I think I saw there is 4 or 5 of you, Luke Babbitt, yourself, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton, that you might get invites. Last question. Have you picked out a suit that you are going to wear? If so, is it something crazy, or pretty standard?
A: I’m already suited, nothing crazy, but I think I’ll look really sharp when it comes down to it, but it won’t be anything outrageous. I think I’ll make the suit outrageous if anything.
Well congratulations on everything so far Paul and we’ll be watching you closely.
PG:I appreciate it.
Paul says that he would be willing to play for any team and that he just want to help them as much as possible. Yet he has snubbed teams such as the memphis grizzlies. I hate this act that all these guys put on for the cameras.
out of all the workout videos i have seen this year, the only guy that made me drool was paul george...if he puts it together, watch out