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June 26, 2014 at 9:47 PM

C.J. Wilcox: ‘I’m really excited to be in the NBA’

Had a chance to chat with C.J. Wilcox after he was taken No. 28 by the Los Angeles Clippers in Thursday’s NBA draft. Here’s a transcript of the interview.

(How do you feel?) “Relieved to be in the first round. I was nervous from about 20 on. It was a really nervous time for me and my family. But luckily, we got the call a couple of minutes early and we knew what was about to happen.”

(We talked earlier this week and you said you expected to be taken between 23-38. Turns out you were right.) “My agent told me you’re in the mix here and you’re in the mix here. We don’t know if they’re going to take yo there or take you there, but this team really likes you and if you’re there at this point they might take you. He told me the Clippers and I was in their top three and if I was there, it was a really good chance that they would take me. I kinda had a basic idea in mind. I talked to Detroit yesterday and he was like that’s your ceiling. I don’t think they’ll let you slip past there. So I just used that to gauge where I would go.”

(Do you know much about the Clippers?) “I spent a lot of time in LA this spring and I made it to a lot of games while I was there so I’ve seen them in person. I know Jamal (Crawford) is on the team. Chris Paul came out and worked with us a couple of times so I’ve seen him a little bit. I don’t know too many other players, but I know how they play. I know they like to defend and they like to win. I talked to Doc Rivers and he asked me if I was ready to come in and make an impact and ready to knock down shots. I know it’s going to be a tough challenge, but something I’m looking forward to.”

(Do you remember your workout with LA?) “It was my worst workout that I had. The worst out of all of them. [Laughs] I called my agent afterward and said ‘Man, that was my worst workout.’ He said I’ll get feedback for you. He called me back and said, don’t worry about it. They’ve watched you for awhile and they like you and it’s still a possibility. It’s funny how it worked out. I didn’t walk out of there too confident.”

(Why was it your worst workout?) “I didn’t shoot the ball well. I think it was my fifth workout of the week and I was beat and tired. I was kind of ready to get home to San Diego because I knew I had a break coming up. So I didn’t perform as well as I would have liked. But it worked out.”

(Honestly it seems like an odd fit for you because LAC has J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford. Have you thought about that?) “I thought the same thing when I went there. I was like geez. I looked around the locker room and they had all of these people at my position and I was thinking I don’t know why I’m even working out here. But it’s just a bigger challenge coming in here. Doc said he didn’t draft me to trade me or sit me, he wanted to use me. So I need to take that as a challenge and fight my way into a position in the rotation.”

(How cool is it to be close to the family in San Diego?) “Man, it’s crazy. My dad said I don’t know why we brought you to San Diego, but now I know. He didn’t know why we were there, but it worked out. I’m just grateful and really excited about that. He’ll be able to make it to a lot of games. And they’re not too far away.”

(Would you describe where you’re at, who’s there with you and what’s was the room like when you  got drafted?) “I have some high school friends here and some family from my mom’s side. (Lorenzo) Romar is here and (Paul) Fortier is here. It’s pretty low key. Everyone was nervous from about 20 on. Everybody was nervous and saying I should have been picked there or why didn’t I get picked there. I actually saw something on my phone pop up. Somebody tweeted Clippers and right at that moment my dad said the Clippers are going to take you. I think they called Romar and he told my dad. And from there we were celebrating before my name was called. I’m really excited to be in the NBA.”

(Your thoughts on six Pac-12 players taken in the first round of the draft.) “Love it. It just proves how many good players there are in the Pac-12 and how we go overlooked a little bit. It just proves that we have good players in the Pac-12 and there’s more coming. I was really excited.”


Comments | More in News | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, NBA draft


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