Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay was at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Sheperds Bush, West London for the NBA Europe 3X tournament and TalkBasket’s John Hobbs was on hand as he asked Rudy about London, football [soccer], London 2012, Anthony Davis and the Grizzlie’s hopes for the season.
TB: What do you make of London so far?
RG: It’s been great. I’ve been trying to get used to the time difference and it’s going to be harder when I’m flying back, but other than that I like the culture and I got to eat at some English places and I’m going to a football match today, I’ve learned not to say soccer so right now I’m living the London experience and I love it here.
TB: What game are you going to see later?
RG: Arsenal and Southampton, I’m not a fan of those teams admittedly, but I just wanted to go and see a match. My girlfriend is a bigger fan and I’m a fan, but I don’t know the teams that much. [Rudy Gay announced in an open interview session that he was a Manchester United fan. Arsenal beat Southampton 6-1].
TB: London 2012 has just finished, we saw Team USA sweep the board in basketball. Much like the 2010 world championship winning sides. How do you compare the two, if you can?
RG: I don’t think you can compare the two really. Both teams were dominant, much like the women as well. We all pretty much went through the competition, and at the end of the day they’re both great teams, like I said they were both dominant overall but you can’t compare them as they were both great sides that played great basketball.
TB: You were of course part of the 2010 team that won the world championships in Turkey that gave USA the spot in London. Did it hurt not being at the Olympics as you took them technically to the Games?
RG: It hurt, of course it did, I loved playing in Turkey for Team USA but at the end of the day it’s not my choice. It is what it is, you have to roll with the punches and think about what happens next, and of course for me, that was the NBA season with Memphis.
TB: What are your thoughts going into the season with the Grizzlies?
RG: Just preparing for it, really. Obviously last year I was injured going into the season and it was different with the shortage of games but this year I’m healthy, I’m ready and it gives me and the team to go in with a clean slate.
TB: You went out in seven to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round last season? You are touted as one of the more promising sides in the league, so your sights are much higher than the first round, right?
RG: For this year, definitely. We were down after game seven especially as we were in the higher part of the seeding, but that’s basketball and we have to dust ourselves down and get ready for this year and we will do better this time. I keep the faith.
TB: You, yourself were a first-round draft pick. This year we see a highly anticipated number one pick in Anthony Davis, who already has an Olympic gold medal to his name. Will that give him confidence going into this season and how will he cope in the NBA?
RG: It’ll be different for him. I don’t think you saw too much of him during the Olympics but obviously the Olympics is different from the NBA. The NBA is different from college and all that. Probably the one thing that Anthony [Davis] will take some getting used to is the 82-game season he’ll be playing, plus more if you get to the Playoffs. We’ll see how he does, but I think he’ll be fine.
TB: Finally, you’re having fun with the kids here in London while playing the game you love. What have you made of the NBA 3X?
RG: Awesome. I love it. The kids are really enjoying themselves and they’re some great players on display here. I know basketball in this country doesn’t get the respect it deserves but with things like this going on and with the Great Britain team and the Olympics just gone, hopefully some noise has been made.