Former Kentucky Wildcat power forward Josh Harrellson spoke to Wildcat Blue Nation on Sunday.
WBN: Josh, thanks for joining Wildcat Blue Nation today. How are things treating you out in Miami?
Josh Harrellson: So far so good. Just made the team so that’s a good sign so right now everything’s good.
WBN: At any point in the preseason, were you afraid of not making the final roster?
Josh Harrellson: I guess early before we started playing. We started playing and I showed them what I could do. I think they’re pretty confident in my skills so hopefully, I can get some minutes.
WBN: Playing for the Knicks last season, were there any players that helped you transition into the NBA and took you under their wing?
Josh Harrellson: Not really but I had a bunch of great veterans that kind of guided me altogether, and showed me the ropes and what to do. I’m a quick learner. I pick up stuff quick. I just kind of watched what they were doing and I listened to the coaches. It was an easy transition.
WBN: Have any of the Heat veterans so far like Lebron, Wade, or Bosh?
Josh Harrellson: It’s been a tremendous experience. All three of those guys are great players along with Mike Miller, Shane Battier. There all great veterans—Rashard Lewis. They’re all good guys. They help you out. They tell you what you need to do especially guys that have been around the system like Udonis (Haslem). He’s been a big help. He kind of helps me through things, tells me where I need to be on defense. He kind of motivates me to go out there and continue playing and just play hard. He plays hard every possession so it kind of motivates me to play like him.
WBN: What about the jean shorts? Has the trend started to pick up in Miami yet?
Josh Harrellson: I haven’t worn them down here but my nickname definitely has come along down here. A couple of my teammates call me Jorts, a couple of the big tall guys call me Big Jorts so my nickname is starting to come down here as well.
WBN: What thoughts do you have on what Coach Calipari has been able to do with Kentucky since he was hired in 2009?
Josh Harrellson: He’s turned the program around back to the days that people remember—the Adolph Rupp days—when they were unstoppable. He’s transformed the program and done a great job. This is his 4th year so in the four years that he’s been there, he’s done a tremendous job to go from the first year in the Elite Eight to the Final Four and winning a championship. I think everybody has big expectations for this year and he welcomes those expectations with open arms. He hopes to say to the guys to do the same thing.
WBN: Have you had a chance to watch All Access Kentucky on ESPN?
Josh Harrellson: I have not but a lot of my teammates have and they talk about it, say Coach Cal is crazy, stuff like that. It’s a great program. A lot of people have watched it and there’s been a lot of talk about it but I have not been able to watch it yet.
WBN: What do you think a show like that does for recruiting for Kentucky?
Josh Harrellson: It probably helps a little bit but Coach Cal doesn’t need any help. His track record speaks for itself. I think the fans recruit more than he does. We have the greatest fans in the nation and they definitely help out the recruiting by sending fan mail, Facebook requests, or Twitter. Whatever they do, they chant their name when they come, our fans help with it a lot but I’m sure that All Access helps but a lot of other programs have had the same thing done with their programs.
WBN: Since I know you are from the St. Louis area, I’m sure you are a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. A year ago today, they won the World Series. Do you remember the craziness that was Game 6 last season?
Josh Harrellson: I do remember. I remember watching it. Two outs, I was like ‘The Cardinals are done. It’s over.’ I think a lot of people were thinking the same thing I was—doubting them—and they proved a lot of people wrong, coming back and winning the game with two outs. A couple of times, they were down with two strikes, two outs, and the ended up getting a hit, a run, and they ended up winning the game. They did the same thing this year. A lot of people doubted them and they went pretty far. They gave a 3-1 lead away in the series (NLCS) and I had high hopes for them.
WBN: Were you able to catch Game 5 against Washington?
Josh Harrellson: I did. They were down 6-0 to start. They’re known to come back in games. I think they like to give teams a head start (Laughs) so they like to come back and compete.
WBN: Thanks again for joining us. Any final words for Big Blue Nation?
Josh Harrellson: I miss them. I miss all my fans. I know they still send me love. I wish I was still playing in the blue uniform but I moved on to Miami. I just want to thank them for continuing to support me.