Justise Winslow, recently named to the USA Select Team that will prepare the U.S. Olympic Team this summer in Las Vegas, joined me on 790 The Ticket on Friday.
Here are some highlights:
-- On five former Duke players being part of the Select Team: "It's a nice balanced group. I think I would probably have to play point guard though, which is cool."
-- On the honor of making that team, coached by Coach K, his coach at Duke: "I was excited. I knew it was a great opportunity for me to really grow as a player, play against a lot of the young talent and a lot of the older more veteran guys. And help the U.S. team prepare any way for the Olympics."
-- On whether this validates his rookie season: "Yeah, of course. The guys who have been selected have all earned it, so I feel like just being a part of USA the three times before, and just playing well my rookie season helped me earn this spot. And I think everyone earned it. But yeah, I think it definitely means the group at USA Basketball, they saw something good that I was doing out there."
-- On his confidence, and the line between that and cockiness: "Yeah... I mean, you've got to definitely be confident in your ability, but with me, I'm just always constantly surrounding myself with good players, talented players who are always pushing me. Just the simple fact that I'm constantly surrounded by D-Wade, who is always pushing me to know that there's another level and I can always get better. I'm definitely confident in my game. And I know that after this summer, I'm going to take a huge leap, and make an even bigger impact next season."
-- On saying at exit interviews that he hoped to be a franchise face someday: "Yeah, definitely. Growing up, that was something I always wanted. And being part of an organization that over the past 10, 13 years has sort of been built around one guy, it's just something to look forward to. I know there's a lot of work to be done. I'm not sure what team it will be with, hopefully with Miami, but eventually I would want to be a franchise guy, a leader on a team and the guy that the organization kind of builds around."
-- On how hard he took the Game 7 loss in Toronto: "It was really hard. For me, I've won at every level. In the past six years or so, I've only lost once, that was my junior year of high school. Other than that, I've won three state championships, national championship at Duke, three gold meals, so I've never really lost. Just the whole going to the NBA, that was an adjustment. Losing more games during the regular season. That sort of thing. But I've always just been a winner. So it was just tough taking that loss, knowing that the season was over. We had a lot to look back on and be happy and be satisfied with, but just from a competitive standpoint, it's just hard for me to know that we didn't reach our goal."
-- Does Coach K really text him emoji's?: "Sometimes.... It might be from his grandkids. But maybe like a flex and a basketball and a winky face or something."
-- How much Ms. Cheezious grilled cheese does he eat?: "During the season, not too much. But I've been there probably twice in the past week. But you can still eat healthy there, so it's all good."
-- Him or Josh Richardson in FIFA video game?: "Me. All day."
-- What will he prioritize on the court this summer?: "Obviously shooting. But a lot of movement stuff. Being able to move better on the court. I think that will allow me to seamlessly add in the dribble moves, off the dribble, and it will make my shot a lot better. Just being able to move better will help all aspects of my game. It will allow me to be more explosive and make more plays off the dribble."