HoopsHype.com Interviews

Anderson Varejao: "I think I will pull my name out of the draft"
by Jorge Sierra / June 10, 2003

How's been your first full season out of Brazil?

Anderson Varejao: Well, it was good because we won the Euroleague, which is the competition Barcelona has always been looking forward to winning and the only one I was playing. It's a shame that I couldn't play more, that I couldn't participate more... But overall it's been a very productive season. I've worked a lot and practiced hard here.

You look much stronger physically than you were one year ago. Do you think that's where you've improved the most?

AV: Yeah, I'm much better physically. I've lifted weights all year. And I've also worked a lot on my individual skills and on my jump shot. I've worked hard all year.

The final of the Euroleague was your last official game of the season. You have not played a game for more than a month. How are you handling that?

AV: I'm a little bit bored because the only thing I can do is practice and I can't play. Just practice... The past season was pretty much the same, though, so I knew this was going to happen and I get used to it. So it's fine.

The lack of playing time in the Euroleague Final Four - you played more less 25 minutes in two games - is said to have hurt your draft stock. What can you say about that?

AV: They can say whatever they want. I'm OK here, playing with Barcelona. Maybe [the lack of playing time] has hurt my draft stock, but I feel great here and looking forward to playing more next season.

Do you use the Internet to look for information about the draft and where you are supposed to be taken?

AV: Very little. My father looks for information a little bit more. In Brazil, it's all about the NBA, NBA, NBA... So he looks for information in the Internet sometimes and then tells me. Sometimes I do it too. But not much, because I didn't want to lose my focus on the Euroleague. I was much more focused on that -- because it was a competition we really wanted to win and the club had never won -- than in the draft.

Has your agent talked with you about your draft status?

AV: No. Not much so far. The basketball season is yet to finish here... We are still playing the semifinals, so it is too early to say and we still don't know...

Is there any chance that you take part in workouts with NBA teams if Barcelona is eliminated in this round or you sweep the other team in the Finals?

AV: No. They haven't called me yet, anyway.

But you declared for the draft. What's going to happen from now on?

AV: I put my name in the draft, but I'm not sure what's going to happen. We have enough time to think if I'm going to pull my name out of the draft or not. I have to see what my agent, father and friends tell me.

In the end is going to be your own personal decision, so...

AV: Yes, yes. It's going to be my decision.

So you are leaning toward staying in the draft or withdrawing your name from consideration?

AV: I'm leaning toward withdrawing my name from consideration. I think I will pull my name out of the draft. But I'm not sure where I would be taken should I stay, so...

Word is you may slip to the 20th pick (more less).

AV: [Pause] Yeah, I think I will pull my name out. But first I want to know for sure how high could I go and which teams are interested in me, so we'll see...

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com.

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