I didn't really feel any nerves going into the McDonald's Game. Right before I left for New York, I injured my knee in a pickup game and I wasn't even sure I'd be able to play in the Slam Dunk contest or the game. But after the Slam Dunk, I felt 100 percent.
Before the game, everyone had their pre-game stuff. I just sat back and looked at everyone else. I get my energy from everyone else and I could tell everyone was focused.
The game was exciting. It started off good – I came off the bench pretty quickly and I had seven points in the first couple minutes. I guess I had a good first half, but I can't really say I played good. I didn't get the ball much, but I got my points off rebounding, following the ball and defense.
To be honest, I wasn't really surprised at how well we did as a team. I knew we had talent – we were loaded. The West bragged a lot and I got it all on film. The main guys were Dee Brown, Evan Burns, Hassan Adams and Bracey Wright. They talked a lot before the game but we showed them.
After the McDonald's Game, I went to D.C. for the Capital Classic. The first person I saw was Amare and we reminisced about everything that happened at McDonald's. How we hoped it wasn't going to be like McDonald's, where we were pretty much under lockdown the whole time.
We stayed at a hotel on the Maryland campus and everyone was there when we got there. We got our gear – a lot of Jordan stuff – a lot of great stuff. From there we walked around the campus for an hour – me, Amare, Dee Brown, Andre Iguodala and Aaron Spears. There was a little more freedom, but they still had us like clockwork.
The practices for us were a lot harder because we didn't have as many people. We only had about eight guys and we were just more determined to win. The other team was loaded, but they were a bunch of individuals who wanted to get theirs. I just wanted to make sure we won the game.
The day before the game we met MICHAEL JORDAN – I had never even seen him before and I was totally shocked. As soon as he walked in, I was like that's THE MAN. He presented an award to everybody, we got to shake his hand and get a picture with him.
We went to the Philly-Wizards game that night and we had a dunk contest at halftime of the game. I got eliminated in the first round. The crowd booed all the Duke and Carolina guys.
The game was the next day and shootaround was at 2 p.m. We watched the first game, the regional game, and everyone was signing autographs.
I was a little surprised at the way we blew them out in the first half. It was like 80-37. Even the coaches were saying they'd never seen an all-star team play defense like that. Even though Carmelo had 27 points, it wasn't 27 like you'd expect. I ended up with 23 on 10-of-13 shooting. Sean did great and picked up co-MVP honors.
The highlight of the game was when John Gilchrest dribbled with his knees. I've seen that before, just not in the middle of a game. He was leading the fastbreak with his knees and finished with an assist. Everybody went crazy. The other crazy play was when Jarrett Jack was leading the break and (Greg) Brunner tried to steal it from him and Jarrett threw it between his legs. I had a better game at the Jordan Game. I got to showcase my skills a little more.
I am back at New Hampton now. School ends on May 26 and I just want to get it over with. I'm trying to get all my work caught up and much sure I don't have any cracks.
I recently got invited to try out for the USA Junior National Team that will play in Japan and Germany. We would try out in Colorado Springs, but I'm not going. Coach Doherty wanted us to go to summer school. Me, Raymond and Sean all got invited to try out.
Summer school starts on June 22, so I may try and go out to California or New York and hang out with my boys in the month between.