Portland Trail Blazers guard Will Barton discusses slipping in the 2012 NBA Draft and responds to doubts about his weight.
Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Will Barton had a nice night against the Detroit Pistons on Monday, scoring a season-high 12 points on five-for-eight shooting in 21 minutes off the bench. Dave's write-up is here.
Morgan Adsit of FoxBaltimore.com interviewed Barton, Portland's second-round pick, over the summer. I've been meaning to post this transcript for a bit. This seems like a good time. Nothing earth-shattering but the video does have footage of him agonizing during the 2012 NBA Draft, as he slipped out of the first round.
I'm just blessed and glad to have the opportunity to get picked in the Draft. Look forward to doing big things in Portland.
Was Portland on your radar?
Out of all the teams that were interested in me, Portland wasn't one. I didn't know anything about it. Just because I knew they picked six and 11 and I knew that wasn't my range. And then they picked late in the second round and we figured I would be gone by then because we projected about 17-29, in that range. Maybe they had interest in me but maybe they thought I wouldn't be there either. Who knows.
Slipping on Draft night
It's something you've got to deal with. When the Draft first started, I was't too nervous because I knew my range was 17-29. Once it got to that range, I was like, 'I should be going somewhere. I should be going somewhere.' Once the Bulls went at 29, I'm like, 'I've got to go here. If I haven't been called yet, I know I'm going here.' And it didn't happen. I was a little upset.
Back in the gym immediately after the Draft
It was one of those things I loved. This is who I am, this is what I do. If it wasn't for basketball, I wouldn't be here right now. I feel like you've got to respect the game, always working on your game, pay homage to it.
Draft analysts criticize your slight frame
They come at me, 'Oh, he's too skinny to do this, too skinny to do that.' It's like, I've proved myself at every level, high school, college, AAU ball, to rec league, it's been the same knock. If I keep dominating, keep killing, when are the people going to see this kid is going to work his way into whatever he wants to be? Nothing is going to stop me. The weight issue is not going to stop me. It hasn't stopped me.
Opportunity in Portland
I'm going to come in and compete for playing time and minutes right away. I know I'm going to have to start at the bottom and climb my way to the top and I have no problem with that.
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