It means a lot. It's a dream come true, no question. I've been looking forward to this moment for a long time, and now it's here I don't know what to say.
On reflecting back to college time at UNC -
It's just like it happened yesterday. That feeling is never going to leave. It will always be in my heart.
On arriving at UNC during a difficult period -
I knew it was going to be a process. Anything that ends in success is going to first start with a struggle. That's with anything in life no matter what it is. You're going to struggle in the beginning. It just takes time. The success was we won a national championship, and then a couple of us getting drafted and getting a chance to play in the NBA, which is a long-time dream for everybody. So it's worth it. It's just a dream come true for us.
On achieving with the this group of three -
It feels good. It just shows that we came in together, we won it together and we were drafted together. We do everything together no matter what it is. Rashad is in Minnesota and Sean and I are in Charlotte. Marvin [Williams] is off in Atlanta. Jawad [Williams] and Jackie [Manuel] are off in different places. But at the same time, we still have that bond.
On this year's UNC team -
There is no question they have a tremendous amount of talent…throughout their whole, entire bench. There going to be fine. They're still going through a learning process, but I think they're going to be OK. They've got a great coach who will make sure they get it done.
Could they beat your team?
Right now? I don't think they could beat us right now. We would beat them pretty bad.
What advice can you give them?
Just stay together – that's the main thing. That's what we had to do. It took us two years to really come together and realize we needed each other to accomplish what we wanted to. We needed everybody. And they're going to have to do it themselves. They're doing a good job of being unselfish out there. They just have to come together as a team and come together as one.
Do you see any similarities between yourself and Ty Lawson?
Tywon is definitely going to grow into one of the best point guards that have ever been here. He's quick, he's strong, he can change speeds, and he can pass the ball. That's what it takes to run this offense. He's going to be OK. I'm not even worried about him. It's just going to be a situation of him learning.
Do you see any similarities from the '05 team and this year's squad?
I think that a lot of people get in the habit of comparing people. There's really no comparison. They're a different group of guys. You really can't say they compare to us, although we know what we persevered through. We had late nights here when we had all six of us piled up in one car just playing one-on-one. I think they're a great group of guys. They're a great talented group. They're very young. I think at first they need to know what it's like to lose and to be on the bottom to rise and get to the top.
How do you keep in touch with your teammates?
We're pretty tight. Everybody is pretty busy, but we keep in touch when we can. We get together when we can, and I think that's a big part about our family.
On his mother's condition (at one time she was diagnosed with breast cancer)?
My mother is fine. She's fine. She's definitely fine.
On missing Senior Game -
I was kind of mad about that. I didn't get to play my last game in the Dean Smith Center.
What does it mean to be honored in the rafters?
Winning the national championship has been by far the best moment in my basketball career, but this is right behind it. Looking up there with all those special guys like Antawn [Jamison], Michael [Jordan], Coach [Phil] Ford, and there just so many guys, Rasheed Wallace, to be up there it just means so much. And it's an individual honor, but you come here and you try not to put emphasis on it. But every player dreams about being in the rafters. And no matter what happens to me, if I live another day, I can always say that one of my goals and dreams was fulfilled.
On reaching the NBA at the same time as Felton and McCants -
It's great. We all came in together and we all left together. Coach, I think did a great job of framing it to where we play the Timberwolves that way we all with Rashad and that way we all have this moment in our lives together. It's something I will never forget. Along with the national championship, those are memories that can never be taken away from you. And we were talking about how we came in as freshmen and we had all this hype around us, and after that first year no one though we could do what we did thus far. And to have our names put up in the rafters, it's just incredible. It's an amazing feeling.
On your feelings today walking onto the court -
It was tough not to look at my parents and shed a tear. Raymond and I were talking about that; just keep smiling and try not to focus on one person. It was beautiful. Dick Baddour did a great job. It's what Carolina is all about. Coach, when we went out there, said he was going to try and say a few nice words and then the crowd just took over. And that's what we love about Carolina. Everybody has treated us unbelievably. And I told you guys that when I first came here, it was tough to leave in the end. I can honestly say that Carolina is my home. I love it here and the ceremony was beautiful.