Dallas Mavericks: My Interview With Jameel Warney
I chatted with Dallas Mavericks Summer League standout, Jameel Warney, about his journey to the NBA, player comparisons and more.
In filling out their Las Vegas Summer League roster, the Dallas Mavericks reached an agreement with big man Jameel Warney out of Stony Brook to play for them over the summer. In the loss to Toronto on Monday, Warney finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds on 21 minutes of play (Mavs second round pick A.J. Hammons finished with 18 minutes).
With Dallas having a couple of roster spots up for grabs, Warney and some other players are competing for training camp invites in hopes of making the final roster.
Here is just a few snippets from my interview with Warney today.
What did leading Stony Brook to their first NCAA tournament game in school history and facing off against Kentucky in the first round mean to you?
“It just means all of my hard work paid off. It had been a process for my three years prior to that, been a lot of heartbreaks. It shaped me for that season, being a great leader, being more committed on defense and embracing pressure of being the first team to go to the tournament.”
You talked about being committed to defense, would you say that is your main speciality is defense?
“Yeah, I believe that translates wherever you play. You have to want to play defense first to be a good defender. I love playing defense, I love the enjoyment of stopping someone is a challenge. I feel like I’m a good defender and it can translate to the next level.”
So when people ask you ‘would you rather have a poster dunk or a big time block’ you would pick big time block?
“Big time block, big time block. It can change the game up tremendously. Teammates have more trust in you. Knowing they have a good defender behind you, builds trust on defense.”
Some people throw names like DeJuan Blair and Ben Wallace around to compare you to, are those accurate and who do you model your game after?
“I believe those are accurate…we are all in the same size and toughness. I watch a lot of smaller forwards, Draymond Green, DeJuan Blair, Kenneth Faried. I watch all of them people, their toughness even though they don’t have the physical skillets, some of them. They just have a will to win and a will to be great.”
I know you have seen it, I’ve read, you see the doubters that question your height and size, what do you say to those people?
“A lot of people are going to have haters. It is your job to go out everyday and play your hardest. Make people a believer of your skill set and your heart. You don’t have the physical tool set of being a seven footer or athletic, just having the will to not be bullied around by those type of players.”
I know other teams were interested, but what made you commit to playing with the Dallas Mavericks this summer?
“Talking with my agent. Felt like it was a good fit with this team. They only had one draft pick in A.J., they were going to have a lot of invites of people in the summer league team and just be a great fit to get some playing time. Learn some good knowledge and hopefully get a training camp invite.”
From before Stony Brook to the Summer League now, you have had the same end goal of the NBA. What would it mean to you to land a spot on an NBA roster?
“It would mean the world to me, just knowing that all of the people who believed in me when I wasn’t as good. Just stuck by myself, knowing that all of my hard work paid off and that I changed for the better”
You can listen to full interview here.
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Warney was a class act and fun guy to talk to. I wish him nothing but the best in the future whether it’s in Dallas or not.