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Dime Q&A: Festus Ezeli and Will Barton Talk About The NBA Draft Process

By 07.09.12

Dime: What was the weirdest interview question you got?
WB: I can’t really think of one honestly.
FE: One of the scouts asked me about my mental toughness and I told him ‘Yes, I’m very mentally tough.’ Then he brought up a practice from about three years ago and he said that at the end of the practice we were running for something we did wrong and I had my head in the trash can after it. Then he asked what I had to say about that since I was mentally tough. That kind of caught me off guard because I’ve never thrown up in my four years at Vandy so that question kind of stumped me. I told him I’d never thrown up and that I didn’t remember that happening but if it did happen that was three years ago, and there is a reason why I’m at the Combine now and at these workouts is because I’ve gotten better.

Dime: What was your worst flight experience?
WB: Going to Milwaukee I was in the airport all day long because my flight kept getting cancelled or delayed so I hated that.
FE: I can’t remember which one because they all kind of mixed together in my head now, but I remember being on one of the small planes and there was a ton of turbulence which was really scary. That scared the heck out of me.

Dime: What’s the nicest hotel you stayed in?
WB: The hotel in Miami. It had everything with it, it was a huge hotel, the rooms were big, and the hotel was just really nice overall.
FE: I liked a lot of the hotels, they were all really nice, the teams definitely took care of us which I liked.

Dime: What was your favorite memory from the whole process?
WB: I don’t know if I have one favorite memory, but just the process as a whole. Working out, travelling, meeting with these teams, and meeting new people, I really liked everything about it so the whole process was great.
FE: I think it was about a span of four workouts where I was working out with Fab Melo all in a row. We hung out a lot and I got to know him really well and he’s a really cool guy so getting to know him was a cool experience. It was really interesting to get on the court with him and compete and then afterward we could hang out and be friends.

Dime: What is the funniest story you have from the process?
WB: I heard one time, I think it was with Orlando, I didn’t work out for them but I just heard this from some guys I worked out with somewhere else. At the time they didn’t have any GM or coach, so there was nobody running the team and the scouts and other people ran the workout and after they had that workout all of those guys were fired.
FE: I can’t really say cause it’s kind of inappropriate for this interview.

Dime: What was your least favorite part of the whole process?
WB: I didn’t have a least favorite part, but being away from my family was very tough.
FE: Hopping from city to city and that whole flying thing. Each flight I took was about three hours and you would get to one city at night then work out in the morning, so you didn’t have much time for breaks or anything.

Dime: If you could change anything about the way you went about the last two months, is there anything you would change?
WB: No I wouldn’t change anything.
FE: Nah, I thought it was a good process. I left everything out there and gave it my all so I’m happy with it.

Dime: What’s the best advice or best lesson you got from someone during this process?
WB: I really didn’t have any.
FE: I was talking to some executives from Orlando and they were telling me that the best advice to give someone who wants to be in the League for a long time is knowing your role. A lot of guys are out of the NBA not because they aren’t talented enough but because they don’t buy into their role and try to do too much which makes them look like a worse player. So they said to do what you do best and do it well all the time and you will be successful. I’m looking forward to doing just that.

Dime: If you had to give advice to someone who goes through this process next year, what would you say to them?
WB: I would say to be as mentally tough as possible because the process is really tough. Go in there with a great personality and work hard every day to get better and to achieve your goals.
FE: Although the process is taxing, I really enjoyed it because I got to go around and showcase my talents. A lot of people complained that it was very hectic because of all the travelling but at the same time there are also people out there who are dying for an opportunity like that so you have to appreciate that and know how lucky you are to be in that position. That’s what helped get me through my workouts because I knew how many people wanted to be in my spot and how great it was to be in that spot.

How will Festus Ezeli and Will Barton fare in the NBA?

Photo via AP

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