Pre-draft Quotables Part II: DeRozan, Flynn, Lawson
I had a great time talking to DeRozan, who seemed more than open to joke about his hops and his famous, former AAU team backer, Master P. I didn't know he had so much personality. Flynn is slated to go later in the lottery, but the Wizards like him. Ty Lawson is expected to go mid-to-late first round, but he talked about always wanting to play in his hometown. Here's DeRozan, Flynn and Lawson:
DeMar DeRozan, Southern California
On the decision to come out after one year: It was tough because college was fun. I grew more as a man with the time I spent in college...It was close to home, some of my family got to see me play. It was something I talked to my family about and it was something they encouraged me to do.
On what he can add to the Wizards: Whatever they need. Right now, one year of college really made me focus on defense. I love playing defense now. I want to lock down players at my position and get stops and that's one key thing I think I can bring to a lot of teams.
On his interview with Washington: They knew a lot. One of my good friends Nick Young, they compared me to him (as far as) cracking jokes and everything, so it was funny.
On the Master P Snickers commercial: When I (saw) him, I laughed about that, what made him do a sneakers commercial, 'Master P-Nuts?" I thought it was funny. I gave him a hard time about it. We always laugh and joke about it.
On criticism that he wasn't always focused: Every game, it was always a different matchup. Some nights I had to score, some nights I didn't. Some nights I had to rebound, some nights I had to defend. A lot of people didn't really understand how different college is from high school. It's just not about going out and scoring 30 points. It's about going out and doing what you've got to do to help your team. That's what I tried to do night in and night out.
On how high his ceiling is: I still feel like there's a lot I have to do, a lot I have to learn. I feel that in myself just with the improvement I made over a couple of months at SC. I feel I still have room to grow, and I feel like I haven't reached half my potential yet.
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
On his size being a negative: "I don't think you can look at that anymore. You look at a guy like Aaron Brooks of the Rockets. He might be 5-8 and he dominated the Lakers and really dominated the whole playoffs. You see a lot of guys like that. You've got Chris Paul, six foot. You have Tony parker, a lot of little guys out there getting it done. I like to say if you have a big heart, your tenacity is matched out there by the guys and you go out there and play with the best of them."
On whom he would compare himself with: "I have some characteristics of Chris Paul. His tenacity. He's hard as nails. He's tough guy. He fires his teammates up. He's one of the best playmakers in basketball. Really knows how to get his teammates the ball in positions where they can score. That's a sign of a great point guard. Getting into the right position where they don't have to do too much to score the basketball."
Ty Lawson, North Carolina
On the team for which he grew up dreaming about playing: "Maybe the Wizards. They are a hometown team. I'd like to play for them. But the team I want to play for now is Miami. That's where I want to go. I liked the Bulls, Heat matchups back in the day. Maybe the Bulls, but they already got a point guard. I'd really go anywhere because I didn't grow up watching a team. I watched players, like Michael Jordan."
On whether he has ruled out possibly playing for the Wizards: "Not really. This draft is probably going to be real crazy. A lot of teams need a lot of things. If I got to the Wizards that would be good."
On coming back for a championship at North Carolina: "It meant a lot. We all tried to go to the NBA last year and we came back for a championship. All of our blood, sweat and tears worked out. It feels like we accomplished something."
On playing hurt during the NCAA Tournament: "It was do-or-die time. I had to play. If we had lost that second game to LSU, I would've taken that to heart. I'm happy to go out there and play and play real well."
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