Tuesday, Oct. 7, 3 p.m. ET
Wizards' Nick Young Talks Basketball, Documentary
Tuesday, October 7, 2008; 3:00 PM
Washington Wizards guard Nick Young was online Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. ET to take your questions about the team, his hopes for this season and the documentary, Second Chance Season, made about his senior season in high school.
A transcript follows.
Nokesville, Va.: What was the highlight of your rookie year?
Nick Young: The highlight would probably have to be dunking on LeBron. And scoring 27 against one of my favorite players, Kobe Bryant, which was pretty cool.
Chevy Chase, Md.: Hi Nick - Good luck in the new season - we watched you light it up last year and really like it when you dunk! Do you think your game will change now that you're in a second year? And if so, how? We're hoping that you'll no longer get rookie minutes!
Nick Young: Me too! I've been working hard and I hope it pays off. I'm not a rookie no more, I've been through all the aches and pains, getting thrown in the cold pool, playing 20 minutes one game and not getting in the next. I'm hoping to get consistent minutes this year, and I think if that happens you'll see more highlights, dunks and more of my game.
Washington, D.C.: Do you foresee any weaknesses on this team? Where is there most room for improvement?
Nick Young: I'd have to say everywhere. Everybody is getting better, working hard. Having Gil out is kind of a weakness in itself right there. We just have to play hard and put some of the points up that Gil provided. We need to play our game and be confident, but I don't see any one weakness.
Uptown, D.C.: Are you gonna rock the Gumby 'do again?
Nick Young: I don't know. I'm thinking about doing something. I need some help with the new hairstyle. I need the fans to help me with this. I see DeShawn and Andre with the flattop, I've done the Mohawk. I might go with the full-scale Dr. J afro, like the older dudes, the older cats, blow dry it out, but I'm not sure.
Washington, D.C.: Who is the biggest clown on the team?
Nick Young: I'd have to say it's a top 3 or top 5 -- I'd be up there at 1, then between DeShawn and Gil, probably Gil. Andre Blatche is up there. You could go with any of them four and get a good number 1 though.
Oh yeah, and the new rook, JaVale, is kind of a jokester too. Everyone has fun in our locker room. It's not what I expected coming into the NBA. Everybody gets along with everybody.
Northwest, D.C.: I saw the documentary on you and your family from your high school days on ESPN. I do not typically like those type of documentaries, but this one captured my attention. How are your mom and pops? Your HS coach appropriately lit into you! Are you still cool with Farmar? The documentary kind of showed you as a talented but immature player. How have you and your game grown since HS and college? What do you think you need to work on?
Nick Young: My mom is doing good, my pops is doing good, they're still the same people. I'm still cool with Farmar -- he's big time now playing next to Kobe -- but we're still friends.
My coach helped me grow, I think, if he let me do whatever, all that yelling kinda hurt at the time, but it was tough love. And we still get along.
I'm glad when you saw my documentary, you didn't change the channel.
Chocolate City: That's way harsh that Gil kicked ya'll out Are you and Dominic still living together?
Nick Young: Nah, me and Dom have to grow apart and leave the nest. That was cold how Gil kicked us out though -- we just came home one day and the locks were changed. We had no way of getting in. But that's just Gil being Gil. He told us it was going to happen but we didn't believe him,
But it was almost rent-free for a whole year, so that was alright, that was fun.
Oakton, Va.: What were your specific offseason goals, what did you do specifically to achieve them, and how happy are you with the improvement you made in your game this summer?
Who is the one player on the team that keeps you honest about doing everything you can to become a better player?
Nick Young: Keeping me honest -- Gil, Caron, Antwan, the big 3. Especially Gil. He's been on me since day 1. All three of them have high expectations and I want to live up to them.
This summer I worked very hard, and I think it will show if I get the minutes. I worked on my ball handling and on different moves -- splitting the defense on the pick and roll, my jump shot, that kind of thing.
Rockville, Md.: Nick,
What was the biggest transition you had to make from SoCal to D.C. and what is your favorite part about D.C.?
Nick Young: It was hard. Just leaving the West Coast and that sunshine -- the time change, I would go to sleep at like 3 a.m.
But DC turned out to be great. It's more than I expected. It's a fun city, it's outgoing, it's got good shopping -- California has good shopping but DC is up there. That's what I was worried about, where I can get my new shoes, but it turned out alright.
And I had never had a real winter until I came to DC -- our winter is sunshine, but we actually had a little snow and it's all cold and you have to watch how you drive. You could have a real Christmas drinking hot chocolate and everything.
Chocolate City: Did the team get new uniforms?
Nick Young: I don't think we did. I think we're going with the same uniforms. I don't know yet. I was hoping for some new uniforms, some different color shoes, but I think it's the same.
Fairfax, Va.: Do you think you'll get an invite to participate in the slam dunk contest this year? If so, you think you can take Dwight "Superman" Howard out?
Nick Young: Oh yeah. If I get the chance to, I would be very hyped. It's on national TV and there are too many people watching to lay an egg. I've been doing dunk contests since high school and I haven't lost yet, so I think I could do alright against Dwight. If I make it, I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve.
Fairfax, Va.: What other schools besides USC did you consider? If USC had not offered, where would you have gone?
Nick Young: If USC didn't make me an offer...I probably would have gone up the street to UCLA. I really didn't want to leave California. I was too scared, I was a mama's boy. Somewhere in the Pac-10 for sure.
Seattle: You and Juan Dixon seem to be similar types of players. What do you think of his game so far and do you think the two of you can be on the floor together in the same backcourt?
Nick Young: I think he's a veteran, he knows how to get his shot off, he's been around for awhile. I think having us in the backcourt, there will be a lot of shots getting up, a lot of getting up and down.
He's been trying to be more of a point guard in practice and more of a leader. He's trying to help me find spots on the floor to be at and to help me out. So it will be alright. He played with Gil and Larry Hughes, so I know he can play.
Rockville, Md.: If you were the general manager, would you have tried to trade for Gabe Pruitt over the offseason?
Nick Young: Ha! Oh yeah. If I was the GM, yeah. Gabe is a great player, he's a big point guard, at the time we needed a backup point guard. We've played together for three years, even in the summer leagues, I know how he plays and he's a great player. I think this year he'll get more playing time. I'd have made a deal for him.
DC: Did you tell DeShawn that you're going to take his job sometime this season?
Nick Young: Nah, I don't want to start no bad chemistry. DeShawn has been around for awhile, and I'm just looking to get my time. I'm not looking to start no trouble with my teammates.
And DeShawn is one of my guys. But with Gil out, he might be the point. I'll do it that way. But I'd be happy with 6th man of the year.
Lexington, Va.: I really enjoyed your documentary. Was the first time you saw the man who killed your brother when you watched the documentary? What was that like?
Nick Young: To tell you the truth, he's not what I figured him to look like. I was picturing a super gang member or something like that. I was shocked -- I thought I wasn't ready to see it, but then I felt more cool about it. I had been waiting to see this guy for a long time, and when it happened, I could put some stuff behind me.
Chocolate City: What's on your iPod right now? Do u like Mac Dre at all?
Nick Young: I just got a new iPod the other day, my brother took my last one, and my girlfriend the one before that.
The first thing I put in was Kanye, then TI, then Young Jeezy, then a lot of LA songs like E-40.
Thanks for the questions. Preseason is underway. Look for us this year, we're going to do it. And look out for what we're going to do to the rookies this year. There's a lot of payback, and I've been looking forward to it.
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