Justise Winslow of Duke has been selected by the Miami Heat as the No. 10 pick on Thursday. Before the event happened, he talked about his prospects in the NBA Draft on Wednesday.
In a video exclusively obtained by the Gospel Herald, Winslow speculated on where he might end up at the start of his NBA career. He first talked about playing for Duke and its coach, Mike Krzyzewski.
"Coach K tries to put the best basketball team he can on the court," Winslow said. "At the end of the day, that's what he's going to do. He's going to recruit guys that he likes who thinks can fit into his system. He's going to help them grow."
Winslow then explained the concept of the "one-and-done" rule, which is an NBA requirement that draftees must meet before entering the draft. Candidates have to be at least 19 years old or complete a year of college first.
"The one-and-done thing is more about the player than the coach," Winslow said. "Ultimately, you're the one making the decision to go to the league."
A reporter pointed out that the triangle offense was "an overly complicated system" that all new NBA players would have to learn. He asked Winslow on how he has adapted his gaming style to work with that strategy.
"It will take time, but for me the system is a system where you need versatile guys," Winslow said. "You need guys that complement each other very well and have chemistry. You got to realize that you have to play in it for a little while before you really get good at it."
Winslow observed that successful, championship-winning teams often had chemistry and teamwork with the triangle offense system.
"Knowing what guys are going to do before they start doing it, that's the way to be really successful," Winslow said.
The reporter then asked Winslow if he compared his skills to any players in the NBA.
"A little bit, but they have so many talented guys that come through," Winslow said with a slightly playful tone. "In all seriousness, I would love to compare myself to Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, but I'm not really there yet. I don't want to knock the championships that they have, but those guards, those guys in the wing, score in many different ways and are good passers and rebounders."
The reporter then asked him how his experience playing for Duke contributed to his basketball skills.
"I think hard work and understanding how to approach the game are how I've made myself the best player on the court," Winslow said. "I take care of my body, watch films, and do other stuff like that."
Winlsow then turned the focus on what his father told him before the NBA Draft. His father is Rickie Winslow, who is himself a retired basketball player.
"My father just told me to enjoy the process," Winslow said. "Understand the moment and live in the moment, whether it's just doing media stuff or hanging in the hotel with my friends; he's lived through it all. You only get one life, so just enjoy every moment of it."
Winslow found a way to segue to his Christian faith.
"As for my faith, I would say that just praying, working hard, but leaving it all in God's hands has gotten me here," Winslow said.
Another reporter asked Winslow on how he prepared for the NBA Draft.
"Honestly, I feel like my workouts are more geared to getting me ready for the NBA season than the Combine or even the NBA workouts," Winslow said. "You want to do well in the workouts, and I feel like I did. But for me, it's about being ready to go when Oct. 31 rolls around."
Winslow added that he trained in New York City.
A reporter asked off-camera what he thought another basketball player from the Knicks. The name of the player was unintelligible in the video.
"I've had the opportunity to talk to him for a little bit," Winslow said. "Our relationship has been at this point helping me out with the transition from college to the league. I also know what kind of player he is, being able to score and facilitate in so many different ways."
Winslow added that "it would be a great thing" if he ended up playing for the Knicks. The reporter then asked him what kind of reception he would get if he made it to Madison Square Garden.
"Hopefully it's a lot of clapping and no boos from the crowd," Winslow said of New York. "It's a great basketball city. They live and die with the Knicks, and right now it's not the best of times. The fans are really behind the team, so I think it's a fan base that I could really grow and flourish with."