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June 19, 2006Saying goodbye to Jordan Farmar won't be easy, but the pain of loss will ease somewhat with Darren Collison waiting in the wings. Farmar was asked how UCLA will fair with Collison at the point. As always Farmar was as poised as ever throughout the presser.
How do you think that UCLA will play with Darren (Collison) at the point instead of you?
Farmar: "I think they will be just fine. Darren is getting nothing but better everyday. He's working hard everyday. Every time I come in to get shots up, he's doing the same thing. He will do just fine and step right in and be ready to go. They will have Josh Shipp coming back and all the guys who were part of the team last year. They will be just fine with Coach Howland running the show emphasizing defense and as long as they do that they will be just fine."
How much different is Collison than you? In terms of a playmaker.
Farmar: "I'm not sure. We will have to wait and see. He's very aggressive and scores a lot. He's very quick and athletic and he can make things happen. It may be a different look but like I said what is really important is how you handle the ball and has long as they do that they will be okay."
Are you prepared if on draft day you are picked on the second round is that in your head that's okay and that's an okay outcome if that happens?
Farmar: "It is okay. It's not what I want to do but I'm mentally prepared if that's what happens, that's what happens. Whatever situation I end up in, I'll make the best of it and it may just be that much harder."
What is the hardest thing about leaving UCLA?
Farmar: "The relationships I have here all in good standing. It will be all business now. I'm not going to be able to just joke around and have fun. It's about a career decision now and it's about doing what's best for you."
With Arron's decision to stay is there almost in one way, envy, because Arron Afflalo is coming back?
Farmar: "Not at all. I respect Arron's decision and I'm glad he's doing what is best for him. My decision was based on when I sat down with my family, and trusting in my heart and not what anybody else might do."
Could you tell us what finally made your decision one way another?
Do you plan to go ahead and get your degree afterward?
Farmar: "I just talked to my academic coordinator today and he's telling me all the things I need to do like taking classes on the road, on the internet or something like that. That has definitely been a big part of this process and it has probably been the hardest part but my coordinator has been great throughout the whole process."
How long do you think it will take to get your degree now?
Farmar: "I'm not sure. It depends on the classes I'm going to need and when they're offered and it's going to be convenient for me. I will be active in that process in trying to get that done as soon as possible."
What was the best part of your time at UCLA? Was it helping getting UCLA back on track and getting them back to the championship game? Do you feel you helped turn this program around?
Farmar: "I definitely do. I think we had great things done here and there could have been a lot more if we were to win that National Championship but it didn't work out that way. I had a pretty good career and a good time. That's what it is important. I enjoyed myself while I was here and now I feel it is time to move on."
Do you have an agent yet?
Farmar: "I don't have an agent yet. I will in the next couple of days."
Who was most influential in helping you with your decision?
Farmar: "My family all the way around just being supportive. They are going to love you regardless if I never dribble a basketball another day in my life they will still love me in whatever I did so. They were the biggest."
You say just decided last night. Did you just kind of wake up this morning and decided to just to get ahead with it?
How did UCLA is second most in sending players to the NBA compared to schools across the country. How do you feel you were prepared for this next step?
Farmar: "I wasn't promised anything from UCLA. I was promised a lot of things from a lot of other coaches but Coach Howland just told me to come in and compete and get better. That's what I did, knowing that he stressed defense and the importance of that really stuck with me and I know how important it is now. It seems that the next level really take that into consideration and care about that. I definitely think this is the right choice for me."
Coach Howland how do you see the backcourt now, do you see Arron playing some point or with Russell Westbrookmoving in?
Howland: "You know what? Right now Darren (Collison) will be slotted our starting point guard and after that it remains to be seen. I really haven't given it a lot of thought. I just wasn't going to spend a lot of time worried about it until we knew exactly what Jordan was going to do."
"I just want to say Jordan handled this very well. He went through the whole process of putting his name in and trying out for teams, and going to Orlando. We wish him nothing but the very best."
"I'm very confident that he's going to have a very successful career in the NBA. You know he's only 19 years old. He can be the youngest guy drafted this year. He has an unbelievably bright future ahead of him. I'm just excited for his opportunities and his dreams."
What will you miss the most about Jordan?
Howland: "Just the fact that he comes and competes everyday. He's a winner. Everywhere he's been he's won and I'm sure that will continue. Wherever he goes, he's going to help that team win. That's what it's about."
On behalf of BruinBlitz.com we would like to, as Bob Hope crooned all those years ago, say thanks to the memories to Jordan and his family. They are a class act and were very kind to this site when we first started out.
We at BruinBlitz.com wish Jordan nothing but best and are certain that he will climb to the top of his profession.
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