Quotes From Pointguardpalooza
Mike Lee named it pointguardpalooza yesterday, and it lived up to its name this afternoon. Not only were three of the best point-guard prospects in the country live in Verizon (Steph Curry, Jonny Flynn, and Brandon Jennings), they all spent many minutes rapping with a huge D.C. media contingent, and they were all quotable, although some more than others. (Yes, Brandon Jennings won.)
The day started with Flip Saunders coming out into the hallway and asking an official to turn down the AC inside the gym. Bad start, if you're a player.
"This by far has to be the hardest workout I've been through," Jennings said.
"One of the toughest ones I've been to," Curry said. "Usually they'll push you hard and then give you time to recover and push you again, and there's three or four water breaks in between. We had to sneak off to the side and reach into the cooler, try to get a little water, a towel, stuff like that. Flip, he likes to get up and down and get shots up, and that's how they scheduled the workout today."
"Definitely an intense workout," Flynn said. "[Ernie Grunfeld] kind of joked with us, saying that's how it's supposed to be, that's how we want it to be. We didn't want to put on no AC, we want it to be hot, no fans, get you guys running as much as possible, see how you guys can withstand."
I'll let Mike report on how they withstood, but I'll provide some of the many highlights from the talking portion of the afternoon.
* Jennings was talking about how much he learned about life by stepping out of his boundaries for a year in Italy. I asked exactly what he had learned.
"That over here, it's just great over here," he said of the U.S. "Over there, you know, they have a lot of struggles. You know, the economy's not that great, they don't make a lot of money, just the way they live is different from here."
See, I always thought living in Rome would be sort of a dream. I asked him what was different.
"Well, we [didn't] have a drier," he said. "We have to hang our clothes outside. So that was one thing that was really tough for us, you know, hang drying our clothes. You know, not having all the fast food. Just the way they live is totally different. A lot of things be closed on the weekends and things like that.
Panda Express, he said, was the fast food he missed the most. Plus, he noted, Italians take three-hour lunch breaks, when you can't go shopping or anything. I thought only Mike Wise took three-hour lunches, but either way, I can't see this being a bad thing.
* Curry needs six more classes to graduate from Davidson, and he's taking one this summer between his workout schedule. The class?
"Young Adult Fiction," he said. "Just finished Tarzan, and what are we doing now.... Reading the Hardy Boys."
That's a new one for me, the crit-lit approach to teen detective tales. Now, if we're talking Nancy Drew, I could deconstruct the bejeezus out of that.
* Flynn talked several times about this notion that he's too short to be a dominant pro. I asked when he first started hearing he was too short.
"Oh, I can't even remember, that's how much I've heard that," he said. "Playing everything, playing basketball, playing football, playing everything you hear you're too small. You kind of get used to it. But I think what determines a person is the thing pump-pumping inside his chest, a big heart, and I definitely have that. I think with a big heart and the intangibles that I have on the basketball court, that's a deadly combination."
I asked if he knew exactly how big his heart was, but he didn't. Also, heart size is commonly thought of as an intangible, but I'd think it could be pretty tangible with the right equipment.
* Someone asked Jennings how he would handle the more physical NBA game. He seemed surprised.
"It's more physical in the NBA?" he asked. "I think it's more physical overseas. You know, they don't call anything. You can grab, you can choke a player out, you can do anything. It's real rough over there, so I think it'll be kind of easier for me in the NBA. You know, I won't mind getting bumped or being hit, because I've been hit all year."
So I asked about Italy's most physical team.
"Oh man, I think it would have to be the team from Siena," he said. "You know, they're a real big team in Italy. They're real rough, the refs don't call anything, and they'll bump you off screens, you know, hitting you, everything, grabbing. It's like a dog fight, man. It's crazy."
Siena is definitely the '90s Knicks of Serie A. Jennings said he never got choked out, but added that the Italian fans were crazy.
"It's like being at a soccer game," he said. "You know, they have flares, they're smoking cigarettes, singing, playing the drums the whole game, yelling at you, throwing stuff. It's real, real, real exciting though....I mean, you can't really understand what they're saying, they're just screaming the whole time."
* Curry has just one tattoo: the letters
TTC TCC and "-30-" on his wrist. TCC is a Davidson motto that stands for "Trust Commitment Care," while 30 is Curry's number. Of course, -30- also means the end of a newspaper story, which I guess Curry wasn't referring to. He also said he would never become a tatted-up NBA star.
"I'd go home, my mom would slap me around," he said. "Can't do that."
* Flynn reportedly has a 40-inch vertical, so I asked if he's ever leaped into the backup of a pickup truck, a la Skins receiver Keith Eloi.
"Oh no, never, never," he said. "I would never try to do something like that. You know, one slip and fall, it could be all over right there. No, I just like to show my ups on the court, when a big guy tries sliding over or something like that, trying to take a charge."
* Flynn, on whether a SoCo player like Curry can have swag: "You've seen it. You've seen it all this year. You know, he comes out here against North Carolina, Duke, it's like he's playing against a team from his conference when he's out there playing against them. Just a guy that's laid back, nonchalant, he likes to be in the background, but his game isn't a background game. You know, he isn't a background singer when he's out there on the court, he's a full-fledged lead singer. He's definitely just a great player, and his swag is definitely tremendous."
* Curry, on whether he has swag: "I mean, I'm developing it, just getting out here, competing against these guys, knowing I can play at this level. I'm gonna have confidence no matter who I play against and what kind of situation I'm in. I guess you could call it swag."
* Jennings, on whether the Euro player has swag: "Some of them did, but not a lot," he said. "Swagger's more of an American thing."
* Flynn, on his agent, Leon Rose: "Leon is a guy who's not gonna tell you what you want to hear, which is great, because you've got a lot of agents out here want to tell you what guys want to hear, but Leon is a guy who always expects the worst. He expects the worst in everything. I remember one time maybe a week or so ago, he said, 'You never know, you could go in the second round.' I'm looking at him like what the hell, second round? But he just wants you to stay on your heels and not get lackadaisical, not get complacent with what you're hearing or what everybody's writing on the Internet."
* Curry, on what he's proven in his workouts: "A lot of people said I was 6-1 at first," he said. "I'm 6-3."
That a way to show 'em.
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