Author's Note: While a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, I had the pleasure to work for the men's basketball team. Cam Tatum became a good friend of mine, and I was able to sit down with him and ask him some questions about his summer league experience with the Grizzlies amongst other Grizzlies-related things. Hope you enjoy.
Q: First, why don't you talk a little about what you're up to? Where are you playing, and where all have you been since the end of last year's summer league?
A: Well, I just finished my rookie season in the NBA Development league for the Bakersfield Jam. And that's where I've been since last year's summer league.
Q: What was the toughest thing about summer league for you personally? Just being in Vegas and having to focus on basketball, the competition, or what?
A: The toughest thing about the summer league for me was having to sit and watch and not get the playing that I wanted. Going from playing 20+ minutes in college to 7-8 minutes in the summer league was a tough pill to swallow. But, I took it all in stride and was just appreciative of the opportunity I was given to participate in the summer league.
Q: What was the workout process like when you worked out for the Grizzlies leading up to the draft?
A: The workout process with the Grizzlies was great, high energy and intensity along with some great prospects to workout against.
Q: Did you ever meet Lionel Hollins? If so, what was your impression of him? What was his biggest strength as a coach?
A: I met Lionel Hollins during my first workout with the Grizzlies. He was a very intense coach, he wanted to get best out of his players at every practice and he made sure he pushed for that.
Q: What about General Manager Chris Wallace?
A: I didn't have much interaction with Chris Wallace.
Q: One more front office personnel based question: What did you think of Tony Barone Sr.?
A: Mr.Barone was very encouraging during the process with me. That's one thing that really stuck out, and he was that way through out the whole summer league.
Q: Were you impressed by Tony Wroten, and what do you think of his game overall?
A: I was impressed with his game. He has good size, he's strong and very crafty with the ball. He's a consistent jump shot away from being a real problem on the court.
Q: On another Wroten note, what do you think about his lack of playing time so far in the NBA? Did Hollins underutilize him?
A: Well he was a rookie on a relatively veteran ball club. So I really wasn't expecting him to get much playing time his rookie season.
Q: What was your take on Grizzlies Head Coaching Candidate David Joerger?
A: I don't know much about him.
Q: I know you know him personally. Why do you think Josh Selby is not currently on an NBA team? For someone that talented, do you think it is effort, attitude, or what?
A: Sometimes in this business it's all about the perfect fit. I feel once he gets on the team that fits him, he'll be fine.
Q: Do you stay in touch with any of the guys you played summer league with? If so, who?
A: Terrence Henry, Adrian Banks, Josh Selby, Dion Thompson. I keep up with those through twitter on the occasion.
Q: Who is the toughest current NBA player you've ever played against?
A: Probably Kevin Durant back in high school. It's hard to guard a guy who is 6'9" that can dribble and shoot the way he does. He could play inside and out.
Q: What are you working on this summer to refine your game?
A: EVERYTHING. Shooting consistency, ball handling, defense, as well as my mental approach to the game.
Q: What are your basketball plans for the future?
A: Headed overseas for next season
Q: Do you know where?
A: Not yet.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: YUP.... GBO!! #VFL
Best of luck to you, Cam. Thanks for the interview. Go Griz!