After helping the UCLA Bruins advance to back-to-back Final Four appearances, Russell Westbrook joined teammates Kevin Love and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in declaring early for the 2008 NBA Draft. After deciding to be physical-only participant at the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp, it’s apparent that Westbrook sees himself as a guaranteed top 15 selection. I had a chance to catch up with Westbrook just after he went through his workout at the camp.
Woody Wommack: You were a late arrival at the camp, electing to come with the physical-only group, what do you think of the atmosphere in Orlando?
Russell Westbrook: It’s good, I’m excited to be here.
WW: Did you know what to expect coming in because you’ve talked to former teammates who have been through the camp?
RW: A little bit, I’ve been practicing and working out so I kind of expecting what I was going to do.
WW: How do you think you did in the non-basketball physical testing?
RW: I did alright, but we’ll see what happens.
WW: Do you think some of the activities are overrated, i.e. bench press?
RW: I mean it depends on how teams take it. I just needed to go in there and do my best I could and see from there.
WW: In early draft projections you’re sort of all over the board, what would think if you fell to pick No. 13 and the Portland Trailblazers?
RW: That’s alright with me, I’ve worked this hard wherever I go, whatever team takes me I’m just going to go in there and give it my best.
WW: Do you see yourself as a point guard in the NBA?
WW: What about the people that say you’re a “combo guard?”
RW: It doesn’t matter, wherever the team needs me to go, probably at the next level that will be the point. Unless I automatically grow 3-4 inches in the next week or so, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, so most likely I’ll play the point.
WW: Do you have any workouts scheduled?
RW: Not as of right now (Friday May 30) but we’re going to go back and look at it tonight.
WW: What have you been hearing from teams?
RW: Nothing new really, the same old stuff I’ve been hearing all year. Just lottery, that’s about it.
WW: Is it frustrating sometimes not knowing where you could go?
RW: Oh yeah, I mean you hear all different types of things, somebody might tell you this, somebody might tell you that. But you only know on June 26 when your name gets called so I’ve just got to keep working until then.
Woody Wommack is a freelance sports journalist based in Orlando, Fla. He covered the 2008 NBA Pre-Draft camp for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the San Jose Mercury News, the Bloomington Herald-Times and the Spokane Spokesman-Review. To see more of his work visit his journalism blog at http://woody-wommack.blogspot.com