HoopsHype.com Interviews

James Lang: "I know what it takes to make it back"
by Jorge Sierra / February 24, 2004

- Attended the Central Park Christian HS in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Named to the USA Today All-USA 2nd Team in 2003.
- Played McDonald's High School All-American Game and the EA Sports Roundball Classic in 2003.
- Selected by the New Orleans Hornets as 48th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
- Signed with the Hornets in September 2003. Waived in December.
- Signed with the Asheville Altitude of the NBDL in February 2004.

How much has your life changed on and off the court over the last year?

James Lang: It changed a lot. The NBA is on another level, the highest level, and it was a great learning process for me.

What was the biggest factor for you in order to decide to go pro? Was money a big issue in your case?

JL: No, money was never the factor. The NBA has always been my dream and I had an opportunity to go and had the support of my family, which was very important to me. So I took it.

Did it surprise you that you were not selected in the first round of the draft?

JL: No, I was happy that I was drafted.

What was your reaction when you knew you were the 48th pick? Was that disappointing?

JL: No, my selection was out of my control. I was satisfied that I was drafted.

Have you ever had second thoughts about your decision of not going to college?

JL: No, not at all.

What do you think went wrong with the Hornets?

JL: It was a motivating experience for me. It’s a business and I have to do what I have to do to get an opportunity to make it back to the NBA.

Are you bitter towards the Hornets for not giving you a chance to play or just stay with the team?

JL: No, it’s a business and I can’t hold a grudge. I just have to take it as a motivating tool to keep me focused so that I can make it back.

Hornets GM Bob Bass said that you didn't show "the potential to be put on the active roster." Do you think that was a fair assessment?

JL: No, not at all. I tried my best. But I learned a lot and I know what it takes to make it back.

What was the biggest positive of your time in the NBA?

JL: My teammates. Those guys took me under their wings and taught me a lot. I will never forget that.

What will you have to work on the most to get another chance in the league? Conditioning, maybe?

JL: Keeping a mind set of wanting to be the best, staying focused and work harder.

If the NBA doesn't happen, is the NBDL going to be your second option next season or would you explore other possibilities?

JL: I have a vision of one day playing the NBA. I will explore possibilities -- the NBDL, overseas... But I am focused on one day making it to the NBA.

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com. Patricia Harvey, Asheville Altitude's media relations manager, helped conduct the interview

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