I don’t like to cast aspersions on people, but Josh Selby certainly doesn’t appear very smart. He doesn’t look bright when he’s asked in the following interview if he thought about returning to Kansas and he answers that he will probably return to Lawrence at some point in his life. And he didn’t look very sharp when leaving after a suspension- and injury-plagued freshman season with the Jayhawks only to fall all the way through the middle of the second round in last week’s NBA Draft.
Once he realizes what the question actually meant, Selby says he never even considered going back to Kansas for a sophomore year.
He also doesn’t seem that surprised or upset that he fell so far, saying he knew what happened at KU had a lot of teams worried. Is there any common sense anywhere in this scenario? Josh Selby joined KCSP in Kansas City with Danny Parkins to discuss his reaction to being picked 49th by the Grizzlies, if he was surprised he fell that far, what happened during his freshman season at Kansas, if he ever considered returning for another year there, if he thinks he could’ve been drafted higher had he returned, the reported tension between his camp and the Jayhawks and what he would say to fans who are mad he left.
What was your reaction when you heard your name called with the 49th pick?:
“I was surprised because I didn’t work out for the Grizzlies, but after I came back to reality, I just broke down crying, saying that all the work I did paid off. It was a great feeling, a wonderful feeling.”
Did you expect to go sooner than that?:
“I didn’t know, really, what to expect because my range was so wide because of what happened at Kansas. Everybody knew I had the talent, but they were just wanting to know what was going on at Kansas and didn’t know if they wanted to take that chance on me. But my name got called. I’m happy; I’m very excited. I can’t wait to play for the Grizzlies.”
How would you classify what happened at Kansas?:
“It was an up-and-down season. It was very disappointing. I came out after my nine-game suspension and had a heckuva game. I had some other good games after that. I had an injury that kind of slowed me down. … If I didn’t have that injury, the season would’ve been different. But what happened at Kansas is over with. Now I have a bigger future to think about.”
Did you ever consider returning to Kansas?:
“I would love to go back to Kansas. I love the fans there, love the team there, love the coaching staff. You never know, I might pop back up in Lawrence.” But did you consider returning for your sophomore season?: “No, I kind of made my mind up earlier that I wasn’t going to go back … just because the NBA has always been my ultimate goal. This is my opportunity to make my dream a reality and I wanted to take it.”
But if you went back, don’t you think you might have been drafted higher?:
“You never know. I could’ve got hurt again. You never know.”
Are the reports true that came out that people in his camp weren’t happy that folks at Kansas weren’t helping his draft stock?:
“To be honest, that never came out of my mouth. I never heard that come out of anybody’s mouth in my circle. We never bad-mouthed Kansas and I hope they wouldn’t bad-mouth me. If they did bad-mouth me, I don’t hold any grudges.”
What would he like to say to fans who weren’t happy he went into the draft?:
“I don’t say anything to those fans. I just say thanks to my supporters out there, everyone who wished me luck and want me to good, I say thank you to them. I even say thank you to the people who don’t want me to do good because they’re the people who motivate me.”
Are you worried about how a potential lockout could affect you?:
“I’m not really concerned about it, but I wish it wouldn’t happen because that affects the summer league, that affects me talking to the coaching staff, working out in the facilities. But I’m just going to try to make the most out of that situation.”
What will you say to Bill Self when you talk to him?:
“I’m just going to say thank you for him letting me into Kansas and making me a better person, standing by my side when I was hurt. I’m just going to give him a thank you.”