Q+A: Rudy Gay, Thad Young
The ballers discussed the NBA while at an event to endorse Polk Audio.
by Kyle Stack / @KyleStack / Gallery photos courtesy of Polk Audio
Believe it or not, there are NBA players this off-season who aren’t participating in a summer league or exhibition game. Two of them were in New York City’s East Village neighborhood yesterday for promotional work.
Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay and 76ers forward Thaddeus Young represented Polk Audio at the Cooper Square Hotel for Polk’s unveiling of its UltraFit sports headphones. Gay, who is recovering from surgery on March 25 for a partially dislocated left shoulder, is still in rehabilitation for the injury. Young is a restricted free agent, which means he’s hesitant to risk a possible injury by engaging in a full-scale game.
Both players spoke with SLAMonline about their respective team last season and what they’ve been up to during the off-season.
Rudy Gay: Rehabbing, just rehabbing, trying to get back to 100 percent and be ready to play. I want to come back and be better than last year.
SLAM: Are you going to play the same role on the team or will that change?
RG: I don’t think so. I just got to come back and help us get over that hump. We played well without me, but we’re also a good team with me. If we don’t do better, I guess that’s on us.
SLAM: What was that like to see Memphis get so excited about that Playoff run?
RG: It felt good. I’ve been there for most of the downs. To us do well, it felt good.
SLAM: You talk trash to any of your teammates about UCONN winning the national title?
RG: [Smiles] I just came from campus, actually. Whenever I get a chance to wear my UCONN stuff…everybody hate on them. Before, we had two of us—me and Hasheem Thabeet. Now, I’m by myself. But it’s still UCONN all the way.
SLAM: What do you think of Kemba [Walker] in the NBA?
RG: He’s gonna be great. Kemba’s gonna be as good as he wants to be. He’s a great talent. He can still get better.
SLAM: These summer leagues that guys are playing in. Is this typical every summer?
RG: Not really. With the lockout, I think people are getting bored and stagnant. They want to stay in shape, so they play in these leagues and just have fun.
SLAM: Have you watched any of the summer league games at Rucker, Goodman or elsewhere?
RG: I didn’t get to. I really can’t watch basketball. It’s tough for me. I want to play so bad.
SLAM: Where are you at right now in your rehab?
RG: I mean, I say I’m about 80 percent [recovered]. I’m feeling good, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the doctors.
SLAM: Regarding the lockout, what’s the feeling among the players from the conversations you’ve had?
RG: We’re just anxious to get out there. We still want a great deal, and we’re willing to wait for that. It goes both ways. Of course we want to play but then again we don’t want to be taken advantage of.
Hit page two for a Q+A with Sixers forward Thad Young.