HoopsHype.com Interviews

Andre Barrett: "I had to learn a lot last year"
by Gerald Narciso / July 17, 2005

Describe life back when you were a superstar guard at Rice High School in New York City.

Andre Barrett: It was a lot of winning. I think that’s what hurt me a little bit in my career. When I got to college, I lost three out of my four years. It wasn’t bad seasons. My junior season was pretty good, my senior season was good. But my two years after high school was losing. I think that was the main thing, it's you miss winning.

How disappointed were you that you weren’t selected in the 2004 NBA Draft?

AB: I was very upset. But I had a feeling, the reason why was cause my school career, and what your team did. It wasn’t mainly based on what I did. As a point guard, you got to lead your team to wins. And I think I failed my first two years, and I got the point my junior and senior year. But, you know, you learn and you get through it.

Do you think the losing was mainly because of Eddie Griffin left Seton Hall for the NBA after your freshman season?

AB: Naw, I think it was the chemistry overall. People just wanted to do their own thing, and not do what the team wanted to do. And it is kind of hard as a point guard, trying to lead guys in one way, and some guys want to do their own thing.

Being with three NBA teams last season, what has this past year been like for you?

AB: It’s been a tough year. I think I had to learn a lot. When I went to New York I learned the system, I learned the NBA business. When I went to Houston, I was able to stay on for most of the year. And at the end, I was sent to Orlando. And I think Orlando is where I kinda got an opportunity to showcase what I can do. And you know that just came throughout the whole process of being nervous at first with New York, then in Houston just trying to fit in, getting the opportunity to play here and there. But you know, you just have to build your confidence up.

How do you deal with being cut two times and switching teams so much?

AB: I mean, you just got to come up with the attitude that it ain’t gonna happen again. When I came to New York, I didn’t know what was going to happen. In the Houston situation, it wasn’t that I wasn’t good enough or anything like that. It just came down to people getting hurt, and the person who made the less amount of money. And I fell into that situation, but I think if that weren’t the case I definitely wouldn’t have gotten cut.

Does it bother you having uncertainty in your future?

AB: Yeah, it bothers me a lot. Because you know you have to come out here and always impress somebody. I think a lot of people have an idea on how I can play and if I can play on this level. So you have to keep showing and proving. And I don’t mind keep playing the game of basketball, I like to play. So if I have to keep coming out and showing people I can play, then it works in my favor.

So you’re saying basketball is still fun. You try not to look at it as a business?

AB: It definitely is a business, naw, don’t get it wrong. But you got to take the business part out of it when you step on the court. Off the court, you have to realize it’s a business. But when you step on the court, you got to try to have as much fun as possible, and just come out and play. I mean, you can’t worry about what people think about you. If one person likes you, that’s good enough.

What are your goals in this league?

AB: I just want to be a consistent player in the NBA. Someone that you know that, when he steps on the floor, is a dangerous player and he’s gonna be able to contribute on any team.

Do you think you’ll find a home in the NBA soon?

AB: Hopefully. I’m out here working and I’m getting better every game and every day. I think my improvement from last year to this year is a big improvement. I am a lot more aggressive, and I’m looking for my shot and I’m looking for things within the offense. I know I have a lot more experience out there.

Gerald Narciso is the Opinion Editor at Salt Lake Community College's Globe Newspaper. He currently does work for Utah Sports Magazine and the Salt Lake Tribune

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