Flyer: Talk to me about the draft workout process when you were coming into the league and compare it with todays era of the NBA?
Roth: I think the biggest difference now is just everything is more scientific and more detail-minded as the years have progressed. With the Internet, and cable television there are no undiscovered players nowadays. Everybody knows everybody. When I was coming up, teams would just focus on two or three guys maybe and try to work them out. When I was coming out there were seven rounds. Now we have two. So the homework is much more involved in picking these guys in the first two rounds.
Flyer: A week before the draft how tough is it for clubs to scout guys and finally get that last look at them before the selections are made?
Roth: As coaches we dont have a great opportunity to really meet them and see them so we have to rely on our scouts, Toni Barone, Grizzlies Director of Player Personnel and then Jerry West, President of Basketball Operations expertise to go in there and make the right choice for us. So for us its just a chance to familiarize ourselves with the players.
Flyer: Are you impressed with some of the guys youve seen work out?
Roth: For me its just seeing their personalities on the floor and how they react with the coaches. And how they react with people on the court. You see certain players during the course of the year on television but you dont get a feel for them because you dont have a chance to meet them so this is our chance to do that.
Flyer: Take me back to when you were drafted -- what that feeling was like and the workouts you went through.
Roth: It was an exciting day for me. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. I knew I was probably going to go to Europe and then try and get back into the NBA. And thats exactly what happened for me. Back then I was a 4th round pick (San Antonio Spurs). I was able to go through the whole procedure, go to Europe, the CBA, and get back in the NBA so I had a lot of fortitude to stay with it and make a team.
Flyer: Tell me about some of the superstars and some of the guys you played with and some of the clubs you were on?
Roth: I was with the Utah Jazz, My first game was actually in the Forum. I guarded Magic Johnson that year. That was my first NBA game ever. Playing with John Stockton and Karl Malone and now to be coaching and see them still playing is just a tremendous credit to them as great players. Going in the expansion draft playing in Minnesota with Sidney (Lowe) where we had the best expansion record in NBA history. In San Antonio being coached by Larry Brown was a great experience. I had a short career but it was good, I learned quit a bit. I was very fortunate to be around good coaches.
Flyer: What kind of players and NBA season do you see in Memphis for 2002-2003?
Roth: We're going to get a good player at number 4. I think there has already been a change since Jerry West has been here throughout the organization. I think its going to be nothing but a positive situation from this point on.
Flyer: What about selections number 32 and 46 in the second round of this years NBA draft?
Roth: The 32nd pick is gonna be a very important pick for us, I think there's going to be a player there that can make our roster and feel a need for us. At 46 I think we're also going to find another good player there that we will probably bring to summer league with us and then see how he does.