NBA Draft Lottery Quotes
On May 22 the NBA Draft Lottery was resolved, and Portland and Seattle were the big winners, beating the odds to get the first and second picks in the 2007 NBA Draft. Here are NBA Draft Lottery Quotes after the ping pong balls were settled and the results were official:
Brandon Roy, Portland Trailblazers Player
First Overall Pick
Q: Talk about the prospects of playing with a potentially great center like a Greg Oden?
ROY: It would be great to play with a player like him. He has the ability to change the game defensively and offensively. He has the chance to be special.
Q: Does this kind of make up for a disappointing season?
ROY: It makes up for it somewhat, but it really wasnít a disappointing season. We had a lot of young guys, and we won 11 more games than we did the previous season, and hopefully we can win 11 more this season. And I think we have the young talent to do that.
Q: What popped in your mind when you realized you were going to be in the top three?
ROY: I was really getting nervous. Before it started, I figured things would probably hold up. Then when we made it to the top three, I started thinking about the possibility of playing with a Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. We really have a chance to have a great young team, and Iím excited to grow with this team.
Q: Did you really think this was possible when you woke up today?
ROY: I didnít think we had any chance. I was up there talking to Lenny Wilkens, and I told him I really wasnít expecting this at all. Last year, Portland had the worst record in the NBA and wound up with the fourth pick, so I knew anything could happen. In the end, I think itís great.
Q: What was your good luck charm?
ROY: I didnít have one. I told people, everybody said you have to make up something, and I told them that wouldnít be me. Iíve never had a good luck charm, and I didnít want to start today with one. I came out here being myself and it worked for me. We really have no control over it. The balls bounce the way they do.
Q: Is this team headed toward competing for a championship in a few years?
ROY: I think you have to start thinking that way. When you get a chance to get a top player, that bodes well for the future. I think we really have the chance to build something.
Lenny Wilkins, Seattle SuperSonics President, Basketball Operations
Second Overall Selection
Q: With the franchise in a state of flux, what do you feel something like this does for the situation?
WILKINS: Well, hopefully it gets people [in Seattle] more excited. Seattle has great fans. And like we say, it's not over until the fat lady sings, to borrow a phrase from Dick Motta. And I think we're still working real hard to keep the franchise there.
Q. Being able to bring a franchise player to the team ... you can't measure [the impact] that may have...
WILKINS: No, but I feel more comfortable going back home now. So I'm excited about it, and I think it's good for our franchise, too. We need a boost right now, and I think that helps.
Q. The idea is that Greg Oden will go No. 1 and Kevin Durant will be there at No. 2...
WILKINS: Well, we'll see. We'll see what happens. Certainly one of the two will be [good].
Q. But what about Rashard Lewis, who's a free agent? Are you thinking about that?
WILKINS: We want to re-sign Rashard. That's what we want to do. Rashard's a part of our franchise. We want to keep him and we're going to do everything we can to do that.
Q. Do you possibly see him and Ray Allen being a mentor to a young potential star?
WILKINS: We'll see. I can't tell you that because I don't know who we're going to take yet.
Q. With the situation in Seattle, how do you view this development?
WILKINS: I think it's a positive step. I think that fans can get excited about it. They know who the players are out there, so I think it's a boost.
Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks Vice President, Basketball Operations
Third Overall Selection
Q: How do you feel about the way things went tonight and securing the third overall pick?
WILKINS: Iím happy because we got two picks in the first round. We were positioned if we get the fourth pick, we lose that pick, so to keep the pick and get the 11th spot here is great for us.
Q: Is there any position you are looking to fill with the third pick?
WILKINS: We are going to look at a lot of different variables. We got good choices at both picks and, believe me, we are going to make the best decision on what we need. We are definitely going to draft on what we need instead of the best available guy. This is great for our franchise because I think this will make us instantly a contender for the playoffs. This is big for us.
Q: How much of a relief was it to get in that top three?
WILKINS: I was sweating over there. I wasnít banking on one, but I said just get me the three. We already got eleven, just get me the three and then we have two good choices in the first round.
Q: Are you superstitious at all? Did you bring anything for luck today?
WILKINS: A little bit. I have my tie. Itís the tie I wore in the Hall of Fame, so I said maybe it will help me a little bit tonight.
Jerry West, Memphis Grizzlies President, Basketball Operations
Fourth Overall Selection
Q: Can you tell me your feelings about how the Lottery fell together?
WEST: Well, I don't really want to comment on it, OK? I don't like the Draft Lottery, never liked it. It's not sour grapes. I just think it's a terrible system and it needs to be addressed. Every other league in the other professional leagues, they all draft according to how they finish in the season. And we didn't come here expecting to get the No. 1 or No. 2, because it doesn't happen very often. The two worst teams this year get No. 4 and 5 in the draft and that's arguably hard to say who's going to be there that will help the team as much as the first two guys.
Q: I know you're leaving July 1. How do you feel the team is set up to move forward with its young nucleus?
WEST: I don't really want to focus on that right now; there's so much work to be done between now and the draft. But this is not the most favorable night for us, that's for sure.
Q: This is considered one of the deeper drafts. Do you feel there can still be solid players at No. 4?
WEST: They say that every year, but there are two great players this year. Don't you believe all the hype you read? There's a bunch of good players there if you can identify the right one. But it's hard to do that.
Tommy Heinsohn, Boston Celtic Broadcaster, Former Player and Former Coach
Fifth Overall Selection
Q: Do you think itís maybe time to go back to a system where every team has a shot at it?
HEINSOHN: What can I say? Itís a dramatic thing. One guy tells me if they donít get the number one pick, theyíre going to have trouble getting fans in the building. The Celtics right now have a very young nucleus, and one of these top guys would have really helped. But, they tell me, in the first six there are players who will help the ball club, so weíll have to see what happens. For the sixth, fifth and fourth teams to end up 1-2-3, itís really unbelievable.
Q: Who do you think the Celtics should be looking at?
HEINSOHN: I really havenít scouted much. Iím not really at liberty to say. The two top kids that everybody talks about are potential franchise players that you can ride for 10 years. They seem to have that kind of potential. Iíve said to other people, it Al Jefferson was coming out this year, heíd be right up there, so in essence, we already have our first pick.
Q: Dow do you see this draft shaping up?
HEINSOHN: What Jerry West told me is that you have the first two guys, and then thereís a huge drop off. But, the other guys will be good players. And, itís no lead-pipe cinch that these two guys will be stars. They have to have the competitiveness, the drive. They got the talent, but you also have to talk about the desire of players. And weíll see what they have.
Q: Are you disappointed?
HEINSOHN: Yeah. Certainly, itís disappointing. It was such an unusual thing where the three worst teams fell to six, five and four. Itís a little screwy.
Larry Harris, Milwaukee Bucks General Manager
Sixth Overall Selection
Q. Do you feel like you can still get an impact player with the sixth pick
HARRIS: Oh yeah. The one thing we knew is that weíd be one through six and we like the draft beyond six, anyway. I think Iím more astonished that one, two and three finished four, five and six more than anything else. Sure, when you go into it you donít want to fall back, you want to try to stay at least three, but the chances of us being three or four is kind of where we thought weíd be worse case scenario. We still like where weíre at as far as six is and what that player will bring us. Itís just a little more work weíve got to do as opposed to being one or two or three. Itíll be a challenge and an exciting next six weeks.
Q. Any areas youíre specifically focusing on to improve your team
HARRIS: I think the way we always approach the draft is that we always want to take the best player. If you look at where our team needs some help, we obviously have some free agent point guards, weíre going to need a swing player as well and we also need a big man. We feel like we can fill any of those three areas in the draft
Randy Foye, Minnesota Timberwolves Player
Seventh Overall Selection
Q. What do you think of Curtis Sumpterís [Foyeís former teammate at Villanova] chances getting picked in the draft with all the injuries?
FOYE: I think that Curtis has a great shot just because of his position and his hunger to play and win. I think that he is going to make it and if he gets drafted it would be great, but even if he somehow does not get drafted he will make the team and be a great player.
Q. How do you feel about getting the seventh overall pick?
FOYE: I didnít move up and I didnít move down. It would be a little bit better if we got between the six and the number one pick, but we got seven and that was the pick we were suppose to get, so I am cool with that.
Q. Did you do anything to prepare for tonight or bring any good luck charms?
FOYE: I got a genie bottle from my little niece and I have some holy water from Rob Babcock. He works in the front office for Minnesota. I just tried to bring them and keep them in my pocket and touch them every now an again. It was meant for Portland to have it, and they are in our division, so I guess we have to play against them now whoever they get.