Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard was interviewed on the Dan Patrick Show after scoring a career-high 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
A full transcript will be posted later Thursday afternoon.
Update: Here's the transcript.
Would you believe Kobe Bryant would compliment you like he did if you heard that 10 years ago?
I probably would have been like, 'I hope so,' I don't know if I would have believed it.
Favorite player growing up?
I really liked Allen Iverson. After a couple of years, I started to really like Gilbert Arenas, because he was the most recent draft pick for the Warriors, and he started to really play well for the Warriors. Then he left and went to the Wizards and he took his game to another level. I was a big Gilbert Arenas fan.
Asked anyone for an autograph during your rookie year?
No I haven't. When we played the Bobcats in Charlotte, if I had gotten a chance to speak to Michael Jordan, I would have asked him for an autograph but I wouldn't ask a player that I play in the same league as right now for an autograph.
When did you now you could play in the NBA?
I knew it when I was in the fourth grade I think. I started to learn how to work hard, getting better any summer, in my head I put it together, if I could work hard, keep making these strides, over the summers, really focus on improving then I could probably make it happen.
'Welcome to the NBA' moment?
I think our last game in LA was probably the time I had that, it was a prettty close game, I scored a few buckets and the Lakers crowd was into it, Kobe was killing, he got to the free throw line, they needed those free throws and I told him, 'Kobe, I just need you to miss one.' And he just kind of ignored me, stayed focused and made both free throws. At the timeout I remember walking back on the floor and he walked past me and tapped me on my back and said, 'This isn't my first rodeo, rook.' I was like, 'Wow.'
Trash talk last night?
No, we didn't. Strictly competing. Somebody talking trash to Kobe, he might talk back but other than that he's one of the most focused locked in players I've ever seen on the floor.
Will you be playing in the NBA at his age?
Hopefully I will. I'm sure it took a lot of preparation and stuff that he had to do really well, as far as rest and keeping his body up and taking care of himself, hopefully I can.
Scouting report on the Lakers?
Just try to make it a fast-paced game, especially for us last night, they were coming on a back-to-back. They have an older team, a lot of vets on their team, try to keep the pace up and run the ball, try to have a high-possession game. They're slower, they want to get into their isos, they want to post up Dwight [Howard] and Pau [Gasol]. I think just try to play a faster paced game and really double Kobe. Send some people at Kobe to try to make him take tough shots, try to wear him down.
Didn't do too well with the gameplan on Kobe?
I thought he we actually did do well. But he just makes tough shots. I thought we did a good job of focusing on what we wanted to do, we sent two guys at him, a lot of times he was making the right plays. He made tough shots, a lot of that stuff was out of our control, how tough the shots that he made were.
MVP this year?
I would give it to LeBron James.
Guarding LeBron James
It's a handful because he's really gotten a lot better scoring the ball on the block, his jump shot is a lot better, he's so big, strong. I don't know by how much [he outweighs me] exactly but I'm sure it's a lot.
How long before you yell 'help' when you're guarding LeBron?
I wouldn't yell help. I would just have to take that basket before I start yelling help.
My team does't really do hazing. We've got a young team. I do have a Hello Kitty backpack but that's nothing compared to what some other rookies have to deal with. They bought it for me and told me I have to walk around with it and there's a Barbie inside of it that's supposed to be my daughter that I've got to take everywhere with me on road trips. Other than that, I don't have no responsibilities as a rookie.
Best team in the NBA?
Probably the Miami Heat. Oklahoma City is a really good team also but the Heat, their chemistry has gotten so much better, they've got three All-Stars on their team, they've got great players around them, the players around them really complement them, the shooters, knowing their role, playing hard on defense, it's a really tough team to play against.
Who is Rookie of the Year?
Hopefully it will be me.
Who is your competition?
Who is my competition? Anthony Davis, Brad Beal, Dion Waiters.
Thanks to Roy Wonder for getting there first in the FanShots.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter