Posts Tagged ‘Rookie Diary’

Rookie Diary, Volume 7: Myles Turner

VIDEO: Turner puts up big numbers in March

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off.

This week: Turner discusses how he can still feel like a rookie this late in the season and how the experience of having a prominent role for a team in the playoff picture, rare for a first-year player, can be beneficial in future seasons.

I still feel somewhat like a rookie. I can say that.

The biggest thing about it right now is that it’s almost like a new season is about to begin. The playoffs is a whole new intense atmosphere, it’s people making harder fouls a lot more often. People are out here grinding it out. Even these last few games, teams that have already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs are playing hard. It’s like a whole new season.

It’s definitely ramped up. The teams we’re playing are playing really hard. We played Orlando the other day and they’re not going to make the playoffs but they played us really tough. In the East right now, we’re all competing really hard. Each game matters, even for the teams looking in at the playoff standings. This is an important time.

I’m scoreboard watching now. I wasn’t really doing it that much at the beginning of the season. But now I do check the playoff picture. The scores and the standings. We have the standings posted in our locker room. It shows all the standings, in the East and the West. I look at it every time I walk by.

It’s good to have this experience early, the playoff intensity and the playoff basketball experience early. I think that’s going to help me down the line. I’ll be ready for the pressures for years to come.

It’s gone by pretty fast for me, especially since I missed all those games because of the thumb injury. I think that made a big difference because I was just getting started when most rookies were hitting the wall. I was feeling good. I was feeling great coming off the injury. It was almost like I had fresher legs when I was just coming back.

The biggest way I don’t feel like a rookie anymore is that I have a set routine now. Before, at the beginning of the season, I was still trying to figure a lot of things out. What am I supposed to be doing? On game days, I’m like going through everything. Now everything feels so routine and normal, just a protocol of everything I do. Now I can go and already have my day planned and do what I need to get accomplished, especially on the game days. That’s one thing that feels a lot different. That’s a great thing.

I definitely miss first coming in and those first few games, that feeling of being out there for the first time. I do miss that feeling. That part does seem like a long time ago. I can say that. It does feel like it has been a while since those first few weeks. That shows the season can go by so fast. But I don’t have any drawbacks. I’ve just been excited to get my career going and I’m loving the direction it’s going in.

Rookie Diary, Volume 6: Myles Turner

VIDEO: Turner touches on variety of topics

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses the pressures and emotions of stepping into a playoff race in his first season.

I definitely feel it starting to ramp up. Every game means something now. Not like it didn’t mean anything before, but it’s like every game now, especially within the Eastern Conference, can really determine how far you go. In one day you can go from sixth place all the way to like 10th.

The change is most likely coming from the coaches’ perspective, the coaches’ point of view. They’re really on us a lot more about little things, whether it’s being in certain spots on defense or picking up our intensity on offense. The coaches are on us a lot more.

It can be a little hectic just knowing that the team is depending on you to fill your role and do stuff that’s never really been asked of you in your life. It can be a little tough. But at the same time it can be fulfilling as well.

It really depends on how you look at it. My approach is I take it day by day. You can’t let it be too straining on you. But you’ve got to make sure you approach it the right way.

I think the only thing that really needs to change is the way you look at your preparation, to make sure you get as much rest as you need. It’s completely different than college when the NCAA tournament was getting close. The difference in talent on the court speaks for itself. But I think it’s different in your preparation, how the coaches view things. In March Madness it’s almost like you can make a mistake and get away with it because you’re not playing as strong of a team all the time, especially in the first round. But in the NBA, anything can happen. You’ve got to be ready for anything. You can’t really make mistakes like that because one mistake can be very detrimental.

I know without a doubt this is a personal test. Hopefully I’m in this position a lot in my career with making that playoff push. But I’m pushing myself and I’m hoping to see the results from it.

My teammates haven’t really said anything to me about what to expect. I think it’s something you have to go through by yourself. But everybody’s remaining positive with me, telling me every time I make a mistake to keep my head up, to keep working, keep learning, keep growing. Things of that nature.

The coaches haven’t necessarily told me not to get caught up in the emotions, but I’m pretty sure that’s their mindset. They might be a little nervous. But I’m pretty sure everybody’s been here before.

I think my teammates are starting to establish that trust a little bit more, but they know I’ve never been here before so it’s still a work in progress. I know I’m very confident in my abilities. I’m a very confident player.

And, yes, I’m starting to get some flashbacks as the NCAA Tournament is about to start. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be in it very long last year – we lost in the first round – so I didn’t really get to feel that true intensity. But right now, that same mentality I had to get prepared has stayed with me.

Rookie Diary, Volume 6: Kristaps Porzingis

VIDEO: Porzingis shows kids some of the finer points

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses the transition from playing in Spain with fewer games and much more practice time to the NBA with several games a week and occasional struggles to find chances to practice.

We would almost scrimmage every day in Europe. That’s how it is. And then you play once a week, on the weekends, usually on Sundays. It’s way different over here. You don’t have as much time to work on your game individually and you don’t have as much time to practice. The good thing is that you have a chance to play every other day and that helps a lot to get better. But you don’t have that much time to spend working on your individual skills.

At first, I wanted to do so much work that I would just tire myself so much that I got worn out. Now the Knicks have started to control me more and they don’t want me to practice that much. That was the thing at first. I wasted a lot of energy trying to do a lot of work and not really being smart about and not knowing what the schedule is like. Now I think I’ve gotten used to it.

Before, I would come in early, work out, then have the team practice, and then try to shoot after practice as well. There were moments some days I was just really tired. It got to me. But the team helped me out. They’re taking care of me and making sure I get enough rest. They wouldn’t say anything to me at first, but they saw that some days I was just so tired. They had to control it, what I’m doing and how much I’m shooting. Now it’s a little more controlled.

It’s a challenge to find time to get extra work without wearing yourself out. Especially when you come in in your first year and you know you’ve got to work on your game and you want to become a better player every day. For me, it’s almost anxiety that you want to work, you want to get better, you want to prove something every day. But you’ve got to be smart because the season is long, a lot of games, and you don’t want to wear yourself out before the season’s over.

I would do the work before and after the regular practice but I also like to go on those days when you don’t have a practice and get to the gym, be by myself, set up the shooting machine and just shoot and be by myself. I’ve said this in interviews before, that’s like a church to me. I go the gym and there’s no one there, you can just be working on your skills by yourself.

Usually the team is not too happy if I go too late so I try to go at normal times. Sometimes a little late – 8, 9 p.m. – but not usually later than that. I’ve tried to be there later, but the key doesn’t work. I think it stops working at 11. They want us to get rest obviously. They want us to be smart about getting rest.

I’ve talked to the assistant coaches and they’ve been telling me that they’ve seen a lot of growth in my game from the beginning of the season. I don’t see that much. I think I’ve gotten better at reading the game and what is coming. They’re seeing a lot of improvement, but I only see the weaknesses. I only see what I need to work on. I don’t really focus on what I’m doing well. The way I view things is different.

I just know there are a lot of things I see that I need to work on during the offseason. I want to keep working on my post game. I have some post moves. But I want to be the guy who you can give the ball to and know that I can score or at least draw a foul. Obviously I want to get stronger. This will be a big offseason for me to work on my strength, my mobility. I want to be a guy who can switch on guards and play defense on small guards on the perimeter. There are a lot of things I need to work on. There’s nothing I do perfect, so there’s a lot of work to do.

Rookie Diary, Volume 5: Myles Turner

VIDEO: Myles Turner soars in to swat Enes Kanter

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses handling rookie hazing and how it doesn’t end even as he turns into one of the top players on the team.

Nothing really much has changed. Sometimes teammates joke with me a little, that I’m not a rookie any more, I’m too big-time for them now. Stuff like that. But nothing’s really changed. I’ve still got my rookie duties. Everybody still expects me to do what I do. Nothing has changed because the minutes have changed.

The guys have been consistent. I still have to get all the Gatorade and drinks for the bus. I still have to get the breadsticks. Those are the biggest responsibilities. Before every road trip I have to go to a place and get five or six boxes of breadsticks for the flight.

Another time, when we went to Toronto, I had to fill out everybody’s customs forms. Every single one for the team. That took about 25 or 30 minutes. And the rookies have to wait last in line to go through customs. I hate that.

Monta Ellis is probably the hardest on me among the veterans as far as the rookie treatment. He asks me to do a lot of stuff out of random when we’re on the road. It can be anything. It can be going out if he wants chicken wings. Or maybe he wants me to go to the corner store to get him Gatorade or something. Little stuff like that. He just does it to mess with me sometimes.

But I would never consider saying no to anything they expect me to do. It’s just something everybody has to go through. Everybody has to go through a little bit of rookie tormenting and what not. It’s a rite of passage.

It just depends on how you look at it. It can be grueling if you’re saying, “Aw, man. Here we go again. I have to do this.” Or you can just take it with a grain of salt and say you have to do it because it’s basically your responsibility.

But it definitely helps having another rookie, Joe Young, for some of this. It makes it a lot easier for sure. There was one week when he hasn’t been here, when he was in the D-League, so he’s been with us pretty much all year.

I figured all this would come up a lot more with my family and friends asking me about it, but it hasn’t really, surprisingly. They just ask me what it’s like guarding LeBron or Carmelo and stuff like that.

I know I’ll have my chance later in my career to be on the other side. I’ll probably go easy on the rookies my next couple of years. Down the road, I’ll probably ramp it up because of what I had to go through as a rookie. I don’t have any specific ideas yet. Not yet. I’m sure I’ll come up with some.

Rookie Diary, Volume 5: Kristaps Porzingis

VIDEO: Porzingis, Towns bask in first All-Star experience

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses his first All-Star Weekend, in Toronto as a member of the World team, coached by Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, against the United States squad in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.

The whole weekend was a lot of fun, even the day, Thursday, with a lot of media, a lot of interviews, a lot of pictures and stuff. I got to meet a lot of the rookies again and connect with all the internationals again, so it was a fun day. And then obviously the thing I was most excited for was the game.

I met coach Messina. He’s really big from coaching in Europe. To be on his team, that was great to learn from him a little bit and just to get a feel what type of coach he is. Just to be with the internationals, on the same team. It sucked that we didn’t get the win. That wasn’t fun. But the event was fun and I had a good time.

It was very organized obviously. But being with the Knicks is organized. Everything there was just perfect. There was a lot of security everywhere and making sure we were on time everywhere and doing the right thing. It was really a nice event, very well organized. I hope to come back next year.

I obviously want to be in the main game, the Sunday game, some day as well if that’s possible. My big dream is to be in the All-Star game. But I don’t want to look too far ahead. I just focus on this year first and then we can go day by day. If I keep growing as a player I think I will have an opportunity to be there one day.

That was my first time meeting coach Messina. All the Europeans kind of have an idea of what kind of coach he is. He’s not a typical NBA coach. He’s an elite coach that screams a lot. He’s that type of coach. I knew kind of what to expect, although obviously he knew what kind of game it was so he wasn’t really yelling at us or anything. But you can feel – I’m not sure how to say it – his presence and that he wants you to succeed and he wants 100 percent from you. He’s that type of coach. You never want to really mess around too much with him. He’s a very disciplined coach.

I think the biggest surprise for me was how well organized everything was and how they manage your time so you can be everywhere on time and at the same time you can relax a little bit and have that time with your family. Maybe not that I was surprised by it, but I was content about it went the whole weekend.

I think being there in my first year with my family there in Toronto and sharing that moment with them will be my best memory. We just hung out a lot. They were at the game. We went for lunch. We were hanging out whenever I had time off.

I arrived Thursday afternoon and left Saturday morning and went to the Bahamas for a quick vacation. But it wasn’t what I expected exactly because there was a lot of people from New York there. I couldn’t really hide because of my height. All day, basically, I was talking with the fans and taking pictures. I didn’t have the chance to relax.

But I was rested physically for sure when I went back to the Knicks. Maybe not as much mentally. But this break was really good for me and I think for the whole team as well, just to come back fresh. I definitely feel that I got some rest.

Rookie Diary: Pacers’ Turner on injury, teammates and … bread sticks

Myles Turner

Indiana Pacers rookie big man Myles Turner

By Myles Turner, for

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off.

This week: Turner discusses having to watch much of the start of his pro career because of a fractured left thumb suffered Nov. 11, the support from teammates and coaches, planning to return in early-January … and getting rookie hazing anyway.

When I first heard how long I was going to be out, I immediately wanted to break down a little bit, but I knew I had to remain strong in the situation. These things happen. Injuries are part of the game. I just had to stay up even though I was really frustrated. I realized it’s time for me to reflect and get a little bit stronger in my lower body.

I never would have expected this as the start to my career. Nobody wants to face an injury. I was just starting to get some rhythm going. I just started playing a substantial amount of minutes, about 15, 20 minutes in the rotation. I was doing my role and doing pretty well and building my trust with coach, and it just happened out of nowhere. Of course I was a little frustrated. But once I get back I know I’ll come back stronger.

VIDEO: Myles Turner suffers an injury vs. the Celtics

Everybody has really rallied around me. Paul George, missing almost all of last year, he has gone through more than anybody. He had to miss out on almost a whole year and sit back and reflect. He told me, “Be patient with it, these things happen.” George Hill, he missed a lot of last year too. He told me that he had the same surgery and that it’s something you can come back from very easily. And the coaching staff has been with me too. The whole Pacers organization has been great.

That means a lot. It means that my teammates have rallied around me. I just know that they’re really invested in me and what I can give to this program. Them having my back like that, it definitely means a lot.

I’m there every day anyway. I get to the arena about three or four hours before the games. I still shoot every day. Even though it’s casted up, I can still shoot. I’ve been shooting for the past three weeks now.

I’m hoping to be back right around New Year’s. I’ll probably miss the rest of this month and then get back out there in early January. I know it’s going to be tough after missing so much time, but I’m working on my conditioning right now. The biggest thing is getting back in running shape, moving around the floor. You can do all the treadmill stuff you want, but there’s nothing that can replace being on the floor. I’m getting my wind and my legs back under me. That’s probably the biggest thing, getting my conditioning back up.

I don’t get any sympathy from the veterans because of the injury. I still have to get some bread sticks and donuts for the plane ride. I’ve still got to make sure I get this guy’s soda or do whatever I need to do. They definitely haven’t taken it easy on me.

Yeah, bread sticks. They like the bread sticks. Everybody. I’ve got to get like 30 of them, these special stuffed bread sticks, before the plane rides, plus these special donuts. It’s rough.

I wasn’t expecting any handouts or anybody to feel sorry for me. At the same time, it’s a little tough carrying everybody’s stuff with one hand. Usually Joe Young, the other rookie helps, but he’s in the D-League right now. He’s supposed to come back next week. Hopefully I’ll get some help for the next road trip.

Rookie Diary: McCollum Goes One On One With NBA Executive Rod Thorn

Rod Thorn

NBA executive Rod Thorn was recently interviewed by Blazers rookie C.J. McCollum.

By C.J. McCollum, for

Following his interview with incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, getting the nod for his fashionable mix of checks and plaid, Blazers rookie guard C.J. McCollum sits down with newly appointed NBA President of Basketball Operations, Rod Thorn. In a behind-the-scenes look at NBA league headquarters, McCollum gets to the bottom of the new Finals format, talks about the early-in-the-career injury he shares with Michael Jordan, and gets advice for his future — always maintain the best conditioning, learn as much as you can about the game, and don’t forget about what goes on off the court.

C.J. McCollum: What is your day-to-day schedule like now, being in such a position in terms of controlling the fines?

Portland's C.J. McCollum has some lofty goals for his life after his NBA playing days are done.

Portland’s C.J. McCollum has some lofty goals for his life after his NBA playing days are done.

Rod Thorn: I get here anywhere from 8 to 8:30 (a.m.), and we have people that work here who have a series of reports that I go through when

I get in. Did we have any flagrant fouls last night? Did we have any technical fouls? Did we have any altercations, fights, anything of that nature? I’ll have a report on all of that. We want to make sure that we’re on top of everything so that’s the first thing I do when I come in. If there is an altercation anywhere, I will always get a phone call, no matter what time it is. If there is an altercation, you interview the players to see what they felt about it and you end up making whatever decision you end up making.

Normally we have anywhere from three to five meetings a day on a range of subjects. We’re also involved in international here, we have 18 people that I’m responsible for that work internationally so we get reports from them, talk to them, and see what’s going on in their lives.

I’m also in charge of the referees so we’ll have meetings regarding what’s going on with the referees, what are the trends, are the games getting too rough, are there certain calls we’re not doing a good job with. If there are any problems that we’re having along those lines, we’ll try to address them. So that’s a big part of this department, overseeing and running the referee operations.

Days go by pretty fast here, there’s basically something going on all the time.

CM: You’re putting in some serious hours there. You’ve been a player, coach, general manager, and at the league office. What are the differences you see working for a team versus working for the league?

RT: If you work for the league, you’re thinking about what’s best for the league and how you can grow the business. You’re thinking about a lot of things that may not be just happening today.  You don’t care who wins or loses, but you’re thinking about the good of the league. When you work for a team, I would compare it to being in a silo. You’re more concerned with what’s in the best interest of your team and your players, and you tend to live and die with every victory and every loss. You have more instant gratification, or sometimes it’s not gratifying, if you’re with a team that’s not winning, in that there’s feedback every day. Players are getting better, players aren’t getting better; we’re winning, we’re losing. It’s more short-term as far as that goes. The league is more long-term and you don’t care who wins and losses, with a team it’s a little more short-term, and you live and die with wins and losses.

CM: NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver is taking over soon, what do you think will change, and what has it been like transitioning in to this season? I see you guys are changing the format of The Finals, that’s a huge change.

RT: [Commisoner] David [Stern] has been the commissioner for 30 years, he has a style, he has a personality. Adam has been here 21 years, so he has worked very closely with David for the last 10 to 15 years. I’m sure a lot of things will be very similar, but Adam has a different personality than David, so I am sure there are a few things Adam will do differently. We have a lot of new owners in the league now, and the old line owners, there aren’t very many of them left. There are a lot of new, young guys, so it’s a different group to deal with. I’m sure there will be some differences, but I think it will be a very smooth transition, because Adam has been a big, big part of what has transpired here over the years because he’s worked so closely with David.

As you pointed out, we do have a difference in The Finals, in the schedule from a 2-3-2 to a 2-2-1-1-1 format. When that was put in place in 1984, we didn’t have charter flights, you flew commercial. It was harder to get the media from one place to another. The feeling was, we’ll get more stories if you get the media in a place for three games, and it will reduce the travel. Now those aren’t as big issues. The competition committee felt there was a competitive disadvantage in it in that three of the first five games will be on the court of a team with the lesser record. Usually in a seven game series, if the series is tied 2-2, 86 percent of the time the team that wins Game 5 goes on to win the series. Also, the committee felt the team that had to go on the road for three games would be gone for seven or eight days so there would be a competitive disadvantage for them. There were a lot of things that went in to it and the reasons we did it originally are not nearly as important as they were at the time.

CM: Rumor has it that you played a role in drafting Michael Jordan. When you saw him playing at North Carolina, did you think he was going to become one of the best players of all time? What did you think his ceiling or basement was, and did he exceed your expectations for him?

RT: You know something, when we drafted Michael, my feeling was that we had a need for a lot of different things, but we definitely needed a wing player. I thought Michael would be a very good player. I wish I were prescient enough to even consider that he might turn out to be what he was, but the reality is, I had no idea he was going to turn out to be what he turned out to be. I was very hopeful that he’d be a very good player, and be an All-Star type of player one day. To be arguably the greatest player ever, certainly one of the greatest players ever, I had no idea of that.

CM: I had to ask that. He broke his foot his second year, I broke my foot in the first year, no one remembers that!

C.J. McCollum on his foot injury

RT: He certainly did. At the time it was widely reported that when he was about ready to come back toward the end of the year, the Bulls were very skeptical about bringing him back.  Michael’s retort was ‘I want to play now, I feel good, and I never want to play on a team that doesn’t make the playoffs.’ So he came back, and the Bulls made the playoffs and that’s when he scored 60-some points in one of the games. He had the same injury you had, and hopefully it will work out for you the same way.

CM: Going back to the NBA, how do you think the league has changed since you played and since you have been involved with the NBA up until now?

RT: Dramatically. When I came in the league as a 2nd pick, I got a one-year contract, and I had to make the team, it wasn’t guaranteed. There was no other league to play in, nobody played overseas. Our meal money was $8 a day on the road and we traveled commercial, in coach.  It was an entirely different league — not nearly as popular, not nearly what it is today. The athletes are so much better today than they were back when I came in the league. It’s much more international, we have 92 international players this year, that’s almost a quarter of the league. There were none in the league at that time I played.  Now we’re watched all over the world by 215 countries, we’re popular everywhere. We weren’t even popular in the States at that time. I can recall even when Magic Johnson played, The Finals were tape delayed.  They weren’t on live, and that wasn’t that long ago. This league has come an incredibly long way. With the great athletes in this league and how many good young players such as yourself we have coming into the league, I think the future is even greater.

CM: I had no idea. [Blazers player development director] Hersey Hawkins was saying how you always had to take the earliest flight the next day.

RT: If you played on a Friday and Saturday, you took the first flight out the next day. If it was 6 a.m., you had to take that flight. In my first year at the league, we played five games in five days. Now, you probably have 20 back-to-backs over the course of the season. We stayed in motels the majority of the time, not the first class hotels you stay in today.

CM: We’ve got it good! What type of success do you think Jason Kidd will have? A lot of people have said he was a great leader and motivator as a player, so what do you think about him and the Brooklyn Nets this year?

RT:  I think Jason is as smart as any player I’ve ever been around as far as understanding the game and as far as understanding what you need to do to win. That’s a plus. I think Jason gets instant respect because of who he is and he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He also has good players on his team, and he’s got veteran players. He is going to be a terrific coach, they are going to have a really good team. You are going to go through times that are difficult and things aren’t going that well. Everybody has to learn how to do that, particularly if you’re a first time coach, but I see nothing but really good things for him. He’s a terrific guy, knows the game, and he’s going to do great.

CM: I agree. I think he is going to do tremendous things for that team.

RT: When we got him in New Jersey, we had won 26 games. The year we got him, it went up to 52, and we won the Eastern Conference and played in The Finals. We were a bad defensive team, we were a bad rebounding team, we had bad chemistry, and he helped us in all those areas. His ability to pass and do team type things – he was just unbelievable. A great player.

C.J. McCollum talks about his expectations for his rookie season

CM: I’ve done a lot of research on your career and have a tremendous amount of respect for you and what you have accomplished. What would be your advice for me for my basketball career and transitioning into the working world? I am interested in journalism and sports broadcasting, but I would also like to be a general manager. Any advice on the court and off?

RT: I think as you’re coming into the league, your first order of business is to become the best player you can be. Always maintain the best conditioning as you can, learn as much as you can about the game. Secondly, don’t forget about what goes on off the court. You’ll be in a position to make great contacts, you’ll be in a position to have a tremendous reputation not only as a player but also as a human being. If you work at your playing, if you work at making all the contacts you can, doing all you can when you’re not playing, there are so many other things you can do. You’re in a position to make a difference with kids, with other people, and in the business world. Learn all you can about it, don’t waste time. Do all you can with the many advantages you are going to have for as long as you play in this league. If you do, then you are going to have a heck of a playing career and you are going to be in a position to do things after your career is over, whether in the business world, the NBA, or wherever it is. Don’t let this opportunity go by. Too many live for only the moment and don’t try to branch out or think about what is going to happen to them. Hopefully your career will be a long, long one, but it will come to an end someday, so make sure that when it does, you’re ready for whatever comes after that.

CM: Thank you I appreciate that and it’s great advice. I look forward to maximizing and taking advantage of this opportunity. Thank you again for the opportunity to do this interview.

RT: I really appreciate it C.J. I was still in Philly when you came through and did a workout for us. You made a good impression not only with your basketball ability, but also with how you conducted yourself during the interview and workout. Everyone was very impressed with you and I’m sure you are going to have a heck of a career and good luck.