Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.
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June 26, 2008 6:37 PM
Posted by Percy Allen
The newest Sonic Russell Westbrook conducted an eight-minute teleconference from New York with media members from Seattle and Oklahoma City. Here's the complete Q&A.
(Opening statement) "I'm very excited to be a Sonic. I'm looking forward to next season. I'm very, very excited. I've been working so hard to put myself in the best position possible. I'm very excited."
(Are you surprised you went this early?) "Not really. I worked so hard over the summer. … And it's paid off. I'm very excited."
(Did you have a sense where you would be drafted?) "I felt that I might go four. But you never know because of trades and things like that. I'm just sitting there waiting for my name to be called. And to go pretty early, I'm very happy to hear it."
(Talk about playing with Kevin Durant and Jeff Green) "Them are two good guys. I talked to Kevin Durant before the draft. He was really happy for me and congratulated me and things like that. Kevin was the Rookie of the Year last year. I'm looking forward to getting him shots. Getting him open and making him a better player as well."
(Do you consider yourself a point guard or are you a hybrid and more of a two guard?) "I consider myself playing the point guard at the next level. I've been working this summer. I've been playing point guard all my life pretty much. Now it’s my time and I can show it to the whole world playing at the next level."
(What area do you need improve?) "I see myself sometimes going too fast. Moving too fast. I see the game so fast. That's one thing I would like to improve by seeing the game slowing (and) slowing down sometimes."
(This time last year, you were trying to make the lineup and now you’re a lottery pick. Talk about the past 12 months.) "It's been real crazy. Every day I thank God and I'm blessed. I wake up every day and I thank God. Just work my tail off every day to try to become the best player I can possibly become. Now it's finally here. It feels like I'm starting all over again so I got to do the same thing again."
(How well do you know Earl Watson?) "I just saw Earl before I left LA. He was congratulating me and things like that. Earl is a real good guy. … I know Earl will teach me some things. He was teaching me some things before the year."
(How do you feel like coming to the Sonics given the offcourt troubles?) "I feel great. The Sonics are a great organization regardless of where it is. The team is great as well."
(Where you aware the team might be playing in Oklahoma City next season and are you ok with either there or Seattle?) "Yeah I'm aware that the Sonics might play in a different city. But I don’t think that’s a big issue. I feel if the team has good chemistry and it's a good organization (then) I won’t have no problem."
(What's it like going back-to-back with teammate Kevin Love? Do you have bragging rights now?) "Not really. Kevin was my roommate all last year. He's a great friend. A great teammate. I'm very happy for him and his family. This is what we dreamed of going to UCLA and it happened for us both. Going four and five. I'm very happy for Kevin."
(Explain your emotions when you found out you were going to be the fourth pick.) "I was real excited. Just like wow I’m finally here. I got a chance to walk up to shake David Stern's hands. I been thinking about that all of my childhood watching the NBA draft growing up and now it’s finally here."
(Describe the atmosphere there.) "My mom, my dad and my little brother. Up until this day it's been great hanging with my family. I love my family to death. It's just been a great experience overall. Every other player’s family is here. It's just been great. I’m very excited."
(When did the Sonics tell you they were looking at you for the fourth pick?) "When I went to work out there. When I went to work out there, they thought I did a good job. My agent let me know that they were considering for the pick. They've seen my a couple of times in LA and I just tried my best to workout every day I was in the gym because you never know who is watching."
(When did you decide you were a NBA prospect and when did you decide to enter the draft?) "At one point throughout the it never came to my mind. Every night I just prayed and thanked God every day I got an opportunity to play the game. I went out and gave it my all every game. And it gave me the opportunity to become an NBA player."
(Was there a point in the season when you started considering the draft?) "Not really. I wasn't trying to focus on the NBA or the next level. And then close to the end, I kind of thought about it. And then at the end of the year, I felt I was ready to make the next step."
(Talk about the freshman being drafted.) "Them are some good guys. I respect all of them. O.J., Derrick (inaudible). All them guys, I respect them. Some of them are the same age as me (19). They are good guys and I'm very happy for them and they’re families."
(Are you surprised there were so many freshman?) "Not at all. They are good players. They are good caliber players. They’re one of the top players in the country as freshmen so I'm not surprised at all."
(Any unusual hobbies?) "Just me. I’m a little laid back off the court. Hanging out with my little brother when I go back home. Listening to music when I’m not working out. Just being myself. Hanging out and enjoying life every day and thanking God."
(Are you surprised to be where you’re at?) "Kind of sort of. I was working every day. I never thought I'd be able to jump. Running in the sand. Doing plyometrics. It paid off at the right time and I’m very happy for it."
(How important was to stay on the West Coast?) "It means a lot, but my family is going to come to the game regardless of where I’m at. My family is always going to be with me and I'm always with my family."
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