Chatting With P.J. Washington, Who Went From Getting Traded During Brunch to Playing in the NBA Finals

A few months ago, P.J. Washington was on a team that lost 11 straight games. But after a fateful deadline-day trade from the Charlotte Hornets to the Dallas Mavericks, Washington finds himself on the precipice of basketball immortality. After being dealt from a floundering Hornets’ squad, Washington helped energize a Mavs team that was hanging out around .500 for a large chunk of the season. And not only did Washington go from a lottery team to the playoffs, he also returned to his home state of Texas. The Frisco kid is now representing Dallas in the Finals, wearing the same uniform as his childhood idols.

Before locking in for the biggest games of his life, Washington gave GQ a call to discuss everything from the trade to the presidentially tatted Dallas cult hero DeShawn Stevenson. He’s also got an eye for fashion, and while basketball is the first, second, and third priority right now, expect him to come correct in the tunnel.

Instagram content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

I’m not gonna go too hard. But it is the Finals. You gotta get right a little bit. I definitely got some fits coming.

All business.

I just feel like when you look good, you play good. I’m not trying to do too much. Just casual, a little bit beneath the suits. Nothing too flashy. I got some jewelry coming, but like I said, not trying to do too much. Come in, look good, be myself.

Does hearing “NBA Finals” still feel a little surreal?

Ever since we won the Western Conference Finals, I’ve just been hearing everybody congratulating me, but it hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m excited to go out there and actually get a taste of it.

Have you found yourself doing a lot of reflecting? Thinking back to your high school basketball coaches, or the trainers you had at Kentucky?

Oh yeah, definitely! I’ve been reflecting on my whole journey as a basketball player, going back to when I was a kid. This is everybody’s dream, so being here, I feel super grateful. I can’t wait to seize the moment.

Are people coming out of the woodwork to hit you up now?

Everyone wants to know what they can do to get a ticket and all types of stuff. [laughing] I have people that handle that. I’m locked in.

Let’s go back to the day you got traded to Dallas. Did you expect to get traded?

I had seen some of my teammates get traded before the deadline. I didn’t think I would get traded, but I knew it was a possibility. On the day of [the deadline], Gordon Hayward got traded. Once I saw that, I felt like I was next. I was excited for the opportunity, and obviously coming back home to play for Dallas has been a dream come true for me.

But when it happened, I ran out of the restaurant in excitement. I was calling everybody. I couldn’t believe it.

You were at dinner when you found out?

I was at brunch with my wife.

Well…yeah. I had to fly to Dallas that night. So, I immediately had to go home, pack all my stuff up, and say my goodbyes. I think I had to play the next day, or maybe the day after that.

For me, it took like two or three weeks [to click]. Learning everybody’s games, getting my whole family moved, finding a place, it was a lot at first. It was also my first time being traded. So, a bunch of things went into it, but once I found my rhythm and got comfortable, I was okay.

When you were playing for Charlotte and you realize that the team is not going to make the playoffs, does that cause your focus to shift a little bit? What’s the mindset when you’re on a bad team?

I think the mindset is always still winning. Nobody likes to lose each and every night. But sometimes it doesn’t go your way. Obviously in Charlotte, it didn’t go our way a bunch of nights. But we were locked in, just trying our best to scrape out wins any way we could. Sometimes it just didn’t happen. No disrespect to any of them! I loved all my moments there and appreciate the city for everything. I had a bunch of fun.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top