Jameel Warney’s rookie season was filled with a ton of adversity. First he was in training camp with the Dallas Mavericks, but ultimately got cut, after an ankle injury sidelined him. From there, Warney went down to the D-League and was one of the better players on the Legends and seemed destined for an NBA call-up. While a call-up never came, Warney finished the year strong as he averaged 17.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1 block on 58% from the field in only 29 minutes per game. It truly was a very good rookie season for Warney, who definitely received some rookie of the year consideration.
Following that great season, Warney was nice enough to take time out of his day to talk to us about various topics pertaining to his time in the D-League and future in pro basketball.
Cole Shelton: How much did being in training camp with the Mavericks help you this year in the D-League?
Jameel Warney: Oh, it was great, I learned a lot, it was a great organization. Unfortunately, I got hurt a few weeks prior to training camp, but I still learned a lot being there. When I played, I was learning the right spots to make myself useful. As well, it was a major confidence booster knowing I could play with them.
CS: Coming off of that, how do you think your first season with the Legends went?
JW: It was kind of up and down, but I think I stayed level headed. Where things weren’t going my way, as I was playing well but ultimately got hurt and missed a few games. But, I just stayed with the process and I finished the season on a high note and put myself in a good position for next year.
CS: What is something in your game you think you need to improve on to get to the NBA?
JW: Just my jump shot, as I need to make it more consistent. I need to find a way to do things some people just won’t do, and like my intangibles. As well as just polish my game all around and be a complete player.
CS: On the flip side of that, what is your biggest asset to your game do you think?
JW: I think, rebounding but more importantly crashing the glass. I feel like I am one of the hardest guys to box out with my strength and abilities. I think my around the basket game is pretty good too since I work on that consistently everyday and I have a lot of different moves. I pride myself on those two things, and I’m a good defender too, so those are my top three things.
CS: Your college Stony Brook retired your number, what did that mean to you?
JW: It was great, as I hold a lot of memories at Stony Brook. We finally went to the tournament my senior year and I’m happy they deemed me worthy to retire my number. As, there is only one other person in school history to have their number retired and that is Joe Nathan, an MLB All-Star. I mean, it is an honour to be one of the two student athletes to have their numbers retired.
CS: After your first season in the D-League, what do you think the D-League needs to do, to keep and attract talent?
JW: I mean, obviously the first one is the salary as they need to pay more. As it is hard to keep talent when overseas is giving a lot of money, and virtually there isn’t much money around here in the D-League. Other than that, they are improving every year, and I have heard some things that it was poor, but it they keep on improving year in and year out. But ultimately if you raise the salary it will increase the talent and keep the talent.
CS: Did you receive much NBA interest during your time with Texas?
JW: I mean, you truly never know. You think you have an idea when a team is thinking about calling you up. I did have the Hornets at one time thinking about calling me up but ultimately decided to go a different route. I can’t control that, so I control what I can control and that is playing my hardest every game.
CS: Are you going to get a Summer League Invitation? And what are your thoughts on the new 2 way deals
JW: I have a few mini camp opportunities, but definitely I’ll be in Summer League again. As for the 2 way deals, they are golden. No one truly wants to go overseas so if it’s close to overseas offers you will see a lot of players stay.
CS: Finally, NBA playoffs, who do you have winning?
JW: I got the Warriors, they are too good. And they are pretty much playing without Kevin Durant right now, and they are making Mike Brown look good. The Warriors are just so spaced out and make the game so simpler and fun, and with Durant they are unstoppable. But, you never hold any doubt with King James, so it will be a classic series between the Cavs and the Warriors.