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Updated: June 24th, 2010 9:14pm
Q&A with top pick Wesley Johnson

Q&A with top pick Wesley Johnson

by Tom Pelissero
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Shortly after the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted him with the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday's draft, Wesley Johnson">Wesley Johnson spoke by phone with Twin Cities media members.

Here are excerpts in Q&A format:

When got on plane after workout, what did you think were the odds you'd end up here?
"I knew that it was a possibility, but as (the draft) got closer and closer, I was like, man, I don't even know what's going to happen. When I got on that plane, I think I had a good workout, and I was hoping and praying that I would end up there."

Was this your best workout?
"You could say that. I think I had great workouts everywhere I went, but when I went there, they threw a lot of stuff at me and wanted to see me do different sets, different scenarios, and I think I did well there. I think I impressed them. Even then, I think I left a lasting impression on them and really put something on their minds."

What's the deal with the pants you were wearing?
"It was my brother's idea, the polo look and everything. ... He said, 'Man, it's your dream. Do you want to go out on a limb and do something?' I was like, 'Yeah, might as well.' So, I went with it."

Have you talked to (college teammate) Jonny Flynn yet?
"Talked to Jonny after I did my last interview. Walked across the stage and my phone was vibrating and then I called him back and talked to him a little bit."

Was Flynn excited?
"He was very excited. Kept texting me, 'Teammate! Teammate!' It was fun to see his reaction to it, how happy he was he could come out there and really just having a friend out there. Really reaching out to me to tell me congratulations and enjoy it, and then right after, it's time to business now. So, really had that mind-set that we can go out there and do work."

What can you two do together?
"I think we can bring a lot of excitement. The exciting player that he is and the player that I am, I feel the chemistry's already there, so it's going to grow even more when I get there."

Do you anticipate having trouble going from playing zone defense at Syracuse to man-to-man in the NBA?
"No, I don't think so. I learned a different defense, on a rotation on the help side. So, I think I just learned a different defense. I always would play man growing up. ... I'm excited to go back to man. So, what I've done is really work on a lot of stuff, especially on the man. So, I think it's going to be fun for me."

What's the short version of you going to three high schools and two colleges?
"I graduated high school and I went to prep school. One closed down. ... I really just didn't want to leave -- I just had to leave, I was just forced to leave. So, really didn't want to, just a good opportunity presented itself and I had to leave. But was just bouncing around and then finally found my home. It was a sigh of relief."

Are you hoping it'll be awhile until you have to move again?
"Yeah, I hope I don't have to move at all no more. I think that, with the Timberwolves, I hope that's my home until I retire."

How do you feel about joining a team that's rebuilding?
"It's going to be fun to go and grow with everybody together. I know they're in the rebuilding phase, so I'm taking a positive mindset coming in there, growing with the guys, learning from the coaching staff, what they have me do, so I soak everything up and just go out there with a positive mindset and really try to go out there and improve the team and do what I do best -- go out there and be a great teammate."

Has Flynn told you anything about playing in Minnesota?
"He's just said it's fun. He said the fans are die-hard, and I got that feeling when I was there, seeing how close all the professional arenas are close to each other. So, I could tell they were very serious about the sport, and I like that, because I'm very serious about basketball. So, other than that, it was fun. ... (Flynn) said, 'I love it.'"

How much do you know about the triangle offense?
"Watching the Lakers a lot, kind of watching and seeing what they did, how they run it, and then when I came there (to Minnesota), they put me through different sets that they do, and Jonny kept telling me that that's where I'm in my sweet spot, that's where I like to get the ball. So, when I was doing it, I was excited. It was right up my alley of what I like doing. I'm ready to get out there and learn more about it."

At age 22, do you feel much older than other rookies, and is there still room for improvement in your game?
"Yeah, a lot. I think there's room for improvement for everybody in the draft. People are still learning stuff in the league now. I don't get (concerned) about my age at all. ... I'm still young. I don't get caught up in my age at all."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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