NEW YORK — Michael Carter-Williams was at the Westin Hotel in Times Square, Manhattan, on Wednesday afternoon to answer questions before the NBA Draft on Thursday evening at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Here’s what he had to say.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most with the draft?
A: Enjoying the time with my family afterward. Just celebrating a dream come true and a start to a new beginning.
Q: What is it like carrying on the Syracuse tradition in the NBA?
A: The guys coming out of Syracuse really set the tone in the NBA. There’s great players. There’s some veterans. There’s rookies there that did really well this year. Following their lead is a part of tradition, carrying on their tradition. Going in there and performing, and making Syracuse proud.
Q: What about your game translates best to the NBA level?
A: The best thing about my game that translates into the NBA is being able to create for others. Using open space. Using pick and rolls. I just have to keep working on knocking down shots and getting stronger.
Q: What advice did Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim give you?
A: He said you have a great mind for the game. You’ll be fine. Just go in there and work hard and continue to work on your skills.
Q: You played exclusively zone at Syracuse. Do you think you’ll be able to play man-t0-man defense in the NBA?
A: Yeah, definitely. The zone in college is a tough defense. It’s not easy to play at all. You have to really work at it. There’s a lot of movements. A lot of man-to-man principles. I’ll be able to translate fine.
Q: Have you asked Dion Waiters for advice?
A: Dion is real close. Me and Jason Kidd are in the same agency, so he gave me some really good advice. I always look for advice for how to get better as a person and as a player.
Q: A lot of people compare you to Jason Kidd.
A: That’s one reason I wanted to reach out to him. He’s a person I wanted to model my game after. He’s a great person. He had a great career. To learn from someone like him is great.
Q: What is an NBA team going to get out of you?
A: They’re going to get a player who will do anything to win. A positive player out on the floor and a leader going out on the floor.
Q: What player are you looking forward to playing against?
A: I’m looking forward to playing against all of the good players. The Kobes, the Lebrons. All the players I watched growing up. It’s going to be a challenge and I’m looking forward to it.
Q: So are you calling them out now?
A: No, no. There’s no way I’m calling them out.
Q: How did your sophomore season land you here?
A: We had a great year. I think our team did a great job. What’s really put me over the edge, coming into the draft, was the Big East Tournament, and the [NCAA] Tournament. My team and I performed really well. It was just my time.
Q: Who will be with you tomorrow?
A: Everybody. My dad. My mom. My step-mother. My step-father. My little brother and sister. We’re all here.
Q: What will it be like to see yourself in NBA2k14?
A: It’s going to be fun. I play a video games a little bit. I’m not that big of a video gamer. I think my little brother is going to enjoy that the most. It’s just a dream come true.
Q: How will they rate you?
A: I don’t know. Hopefully they’re OK. Hopefully I can get some buckets.
Q: You had a tough freshman year. Did you see yourself as a lottery pick after that season?
A: My mindset was just, everyday, reach for these moments. Each and every day, I worked really hard. So, yeah, I get that question quite a bit. My answer is just every day. Every day I dreamed of being here at this moment. From last year to when I was in high school to when I was a little kid. I think my freshman year helped me a lot.
Q: How did Syracuse prepare you for the NBA?
A: Syracuse has helped me a lot. They prepared me to be a man in the NBA. They prepared me on the court. They prepared me in every way possible.