Dime Q&A: Peyton Siva Talks NCAA Tournament, His First Year In The NBA & More

By: 03.17.14
Peyton Siva

Peyton Siva (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

Dime: Montrezl Harrell and Russ Smith are both projected to go in the first round of the NBA Draft this year. What do you expect in the future from your two former teammates?
PS: I definitely think they’ll both make it. As per account of whoever I think they both have a legitimate shot to make it the NBA and have a great career. They are both great players and they’re proven winners. They are back-to-back champions in their conference and they both won a National Championship. I think they will have great careers wherever they end up, whatever round they end up going.

Dime: If you were an NBA general manager, who would you pick in this year’s draft? Who is most NBA-ready?
PS: The one guy most NBA ready: I got to go with my guy Russ Smith. I’m Louisville biased man, he’s my guy [laughs]. But also I like Jabari Parker. He’s a really solid player; he’s a really good player. Just watching a couple of their games, he’s kind of a do-it-all kind of player. Scorer, rebounder, I think he’s a real good talent.

Dime: What was the biggest transition from college to the NBA?
PS: The biggest transition was the traveling. The speed of the game as well. It’s a lot faster than college. It’s been a big transition for me, you don’t practice quite as much as you do in college. You always have to stay prepared, and be ready for your opportunity.

Dime: You spent a couple weeks with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, how’d that go for you? What was the D-League experience like?
PS: It was great, gave me the chance to go down and play. You know I haven’t played a lot in the NBA, so I got a chance to go down there, to do some reps and get some running against a lot of good players, good professional players. It helped me out a lot in regards to confidence and playing basketball.

Dime: What’s the biggest thing the Pistons need to work on to turn things around a bit?
PS: We show glimpses of how good our team can be. I think we just need to continue what we’re doing. When we do that, play together, share the ball, we look unstoppable.

Dime: Individually, what part of your game do you need to work on?
PS: For me it’s continuing to play with confidence. Going down to the Mad Ants I really wanted to work on my shooting and my decision making. I think I did a good job of shooting, I was around 50 percent from the three-point line. I really worked on my shot, so just maintaining that and playing how I’ve been playing; just keep improving.

Dime: Are you looking to get back into the rotation here soon?
PS: My ankle is feeling better, I’m trying to get back into the rotation and do whatever I can to help the team out.

Dime: Did you ever watch the movie “Like Mike” growing up as a kid?
PS: Yeah [laughs].

Dime: There’s a part in the movie, where Morris Chestnut asks Bow Wow what his favorite part of playing in the NBA is, and he says, “the room service.” So what’s your favorite part of the NBA? Is it the room service?
PS: Definitely not the room service! The room service is very expensive, so that’s not for me [laughs]. The best part so far would be the traveling. We travel on a private airplane, where they feed us and take care of us. It’s been a great experience for me.

Dime: How much free time do you guys usually get to sightsee or go out?
PS: We get there the day before a game and get a lot of time to just go out and see the city. In college you never got to do that. I remember my first experience was: first city we flew to, I asked if I could go grab some food because in college you’re not allowed to leave the hotel without asking coach and the guy looked at me and said, “You can do whatever you want.”

Dime: What’s your favorite city that you’ve traveled to so far?
PS: I really liked San Francisco. Golden State had nice weather, it was a nice town. The west coast is nice. I got to see my family.

Keep reading to hear about Siva’s favorite football team, the Seahawks, and his NBA Mount Rushmore…

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