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Gerald Henderson and Joel Berry Interviews 2-4-22

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2022 12:34 pm

Gerald Henderson and Joel Berry Interviews 2-4-22

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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February 8, 2022 12:34 pm

Former duke and UNC greats Gerald Henderson and Joel Berry join Josh to talk about this weekend's Battle of the Blues


I love butt stuff. I hate spiders. I stole a pin from the bank. I cried during a powder boy.

Oh, they are. The Drive with Josh Graham on WSJS Sports. Darren Thot is going to hang out in studio with us in a little bit. I'm sure we'll be talking about Duke North Carolina while he begs to get some ACC baseball talk in here.

We'll see how successful he is in that. But speaking of Duke in North Carolina, I'm going to try and do the impossible here. Gerald Henderson is now joining the show, former Charlotte Hornet, obviously a Duke basketball great. And Gerald, I haven't even prepared you for this, but I'm going to try and have a 10-15 minute conversation with you without asking you about Tyler Hansbrough's bloodied face. How do you feel about that? This would be a legendary Duke UNC conversation if that never came up.

Alright, we'll see if we're able to do it. Coach K, he said earlier this week that guys who play for him have to not only be comfortable playing in front of hostile crowds, but also enjoy it. So that all sounds good in theory, but you've been through it. So tell me, is it possible you can enjoy playing in a game like this more in Chapel Hill than playing at home? I don't know.

It depends on the guy. I think that the environment is captivating, man. It really is. As fun as Cameron is and as unique as it is, going into the Dean Dome and playing in front of 20,000 people who you know hate you for a fact. You can go to other stadiums. We may have our own fans there or you may have other fans. But you're going into the Dean Dome against people you know that for a long time have hated the blue on your jersey. It's a little different atmosphere. I know at least myself and a lot of the guys that I've played with, we embrace it. I love it.

That's the best kind of environment to play in. It got me going as a player just to kind of stick it in their face when you're playing well and you win. Did you have friendships with any of the Carolina guys when you were in school there? I did.

I did. My best friend Wayne Ellington, who I went to high school with, played at UNC at the same time. So I spent a lot of time over there. As much as we talk trash talk between each other and as big a rivalry as they are, I ended up spending a lot of time over at UNC just hanging out with Wayne or maybe some of the other guys on the team. Even Danny Green, obviously we played against each other in the NBA. Ed Davis, who I ended up playing with in Portland, and a couple of other guys. Even Tyler Hansbro, who we said we weren't going to talk about.

We ended up doing a podcast together a few years back. I got a lot of connections with Carolina guys. Also Marvin Williams, who I played with in Charlotte, has been one of my good friends and also one of the best teammates I've ever had.

So they got good guys over there despite our overall hatred for what they got going on. We can mention Tyler's name. Just not his name, your name, your elbow, and blood in the same sentence.

We just can't have all that together. Gerald Henderson is with us here on WSGS Sports. So if you were hanging out on campus with Wayne, were there ever pickup games? We ended up going over there after my freshman year at least one or two times after the season in the summertime. I was surprised that we didn't actually do it more. I know back in the day they did some more of that, but we kind of just kept it at our own places. We had a practice facility that we used to train and work out in and the guys still do. So we ended up just playing amongst ourselves. I wish we actually did it more because they're so close to each other and it's great competition obviously between the two schools.

Nowadays I just think that's probably out of the picture, out of the question. Because they only play limited pickup in the summertime now anyway. They don't want guys getting hurt and there's so much more to it now. When you're in the league and you have teammates who are Duke or Carolina guys and the Duke-Carolina games being played, and let's say you don't have a game that day, do you guys get together and watch it? You're asking as teammates? Do we watch Duke and Carolina? Yeah, you're watching Duke and Carolina play when you're in the NBA and you have Marvin Williams as a teammate and you have other Duke guys.

Yes, absolutely. I've played for eight years and had so many teammates along the way. But the first thing is if you're playing somebody on your team, if you're playing their team, it's an automatic $100 bet or it's an automatic dinner. That's without it even being discussed. So even if we forget about the game or we're playing on the same night and we're not watching, you're on the tab for that.

But then, absolutely, we watch games or go out and watch it at a sports bar or something like that. What do you remember about the river shot? The river shot you were in the league, what do you remember about that one?

That one? I had a friend who I was hanging out with at the time and we were watching it at my house and he went to UNC. We had a bunch of money on that game, probably shouldn't even be discussing it. But he won on that last shot and I just went crazy. It was during the lockout year too. I was just chilling at home, nothing to do, and he hit that shot.

It was unbelievable. So you won a lot of money. Did you ever let Austin Rivers know about it then when you're playing in the league? I think I did. Austin's a good cat, man. I think I did let him know that.

I didn't give him any commission on that or anything though. Gerald Henderson's with us here on WSGS Sports. How strange do you imagine it's going to be to see your former teammate running the team next year and not seeing Coach K on that bench? It'll be a little different. It's something at Duke that guys have always wondered for a long time and I'm sure the basketball world as well.

It's been talked about even before I went to school there. It'll be different. These things happen but it's such a big deal because it's Coach K. I couldn't be more excited to see John in that position and taking on a pretty big task, a pretty big job, but I think he's up for it. He's up for the challenge. There's nobody to me better for the position with his love of the game. He's emerged in an incredible amount as an assistant coach and as a recruiter so he's only going to take that into that position.

He has a great staff underneath him with Emile Jefferson who came on this year, Nolan Smith and Chris Carowell. They're going to do great. They're going to do great. They've got energy, man. I think more than anything they're in touch with this younger group of kids coming in and they're going to start this year with the number one recruiting class.

That always helps as you want to start a new job. I'm looking forward to it and everybody at Duke is too. Do you imagine if you were in this game tomorrow, Gerald, would it be in Coach K's last time at the Smith Center, you would have the thought of trying to win this game for Coach or is that not something you're thinking about?

Yeah, I think it has some specialty to it. I think that in that locker room they're not making it about Coach K, but I'm sure the assistants may pull the kids aside and tell them, hey, let's win this one for Coach or whatever, but certainly not in the locker room. We're not talking about that. It's all like, let's win this game because we're trying to win the ACC. Let's win this game because we're trying to be better even with UNC. This is how much we don't care about the other team.

We're just worried about us. I don't even know what UNC's record is this year at all. I know who the coach is.

I could name one player on their team, but I think they're just focused on what they're doing. It should be a good game tomorrow. I know their coaches, but regardless of who they have playing on their team, it's going to be a good game tomorrow. I plan to be there and I'm really looking forward to watching. Well, I hope to see you at the Smith Center tomorrow. Have you started to look into some way somehow you're going to get into the game at Cameron on March the 5th? God willing, I will be there. I plan to be there. I don't think I could miss that game. I probably should be texting or calling our ticket woman, Ms. Jerry, already because I'm sure that's a hot ticket. I don't know how they're going to get every former player in there, which will be tough for anybody on our guest list. Maybe I can get away with all-time points or something. I only play three years, so I have to check where I'm at on that list.

You are beloved. UCF's not playing that night. I was talking to Dawkins and he says he's not being comped. If Johnny Dawkins isn't being comped, I don't know. How much would you be willing to spend to get into that game?

That's what I want to know. How much is too much? I can't put a number on that, but everybody's got a number.

I got a really nice HD television, 90-inch in my family room. I hope to be there, man. It's going to be a special night. We got the Duke perspective of the Duke-Carolina rivalry with Gerald Henderson joining us earlier, and now we get the Carolina end of it. Our guy Joel Berry's with us now.

Greensboro Swarm legend Joel Berry joining us back on in the triad. Joel, it's been a while, man. How have you been enjoying doing stuff in the media now, joining the dark side?

Right, right. I'm on the other side now, so yeah, it's been great. I've been enjoying it quite a bit. ACC Network, you can watch Joel from time to time. When's the next time we're going to see you on our televisions? I was hoping I would be able to be in Chapel Hill, but I will be on ACC Network on Saturday from 3 to 7, and then a 10 o'clock show, nothing but net. That's exciting stuff, and that means you get to break things down from an objective perspective.

So let me ask you this. How should North Carolina approach defending Apollo? What do you think they're going to do? I've played against quite a few players where we had to keep two men in front, and I believe that's what they will have to do. He's great going towards the rim, and if he has a full head of steam, it's hard to stop him. He's 6'10", 250.

That's a lot, having to stop to go to the basket. So I think the one thing that they will have to do is keep two bodies in him, make him pass the ball out. Honestly, just force him into shooting shots. I think if they can keep him to shooting jump shots on some of the possessions, not all possessions, but some of the possessions, I think that can play right into the hands of Carolina. How do you think Hubert uses Leaky Black tomorrow afternoon?

It's hard. Offensively, I think he's been playing better, and I think that has helped the team. So you don't want him to get in foul trouble. I would want to see him start on AJ Griffin, because he has just been playing really good for Duke. If you follow Ben Carroll, you need somebody with some size on him, and being able to stop him going to the basket.

So maybe Leaky will start on AJ Griffin, but Leaky, you can use him in so many ways. It's Joel Berry with us here on WSGS Sports. As you know, there are different ways to skin the cat in terms of how to coach, so everybody's going to add their own flavor to the things. As you watch North Carolina, what are some of the different approaches you've noticed about a Hubert-led Tar Heel team versus what you experienced firsthand with Coach Williams? I just see different dynamics in how they're using the defense, how they're using offense. Really, our emphasis was getting the ball down low. Don't get me wrong, Coach Davis still does that, but ours always started with wanting to get the ball down low and wanting to establish that and play from inside to out. Now, with the team that they have, it's totally different with the guys stepping out. We really didn't have any four men that could shoot from the outside, and they allowed Baycott to step out as well, so that was very different. Also, too, just the offensive rebounding.

It's not as prominent with this team just because of the spread offense that they do have, but there's still similarities there in wanting to push the ball, play fast, and get up and down the court. You still see some of Coach Williams, but you see a lot of Coach Davis and what he has changed. Joel Berry with us here on WSJS Sports. There was some sad news today in the Tar Heel basketball family where Linda Woods passed away, known to be the mother of Carolina basketball and the Carolina family. I think she worked for North Carolina dating back to Phil Ford playing point guard in 1977, and what was cool is I was down on the floor level last Saturday. I didn't know she was this poorly off right now from a health perspective, and she was at the NC State game. She wanted to be there with the 82 team being honored and all of that. That just speaks to how much she loved Carolina basketball. She finished up working in the basketball office right as you were arriving, but what can you tell us about Linda Woods, how important she is in that building?

I really don't know the history behind it, so I don't want to speak on it. I didn't get a chance to meet her and really interact with her. That was before my time. I understand. I just wanted to pass that along to anyone listening who understands what that might mean. Joel Berry is with us here. I wanted to also link that to last Saturday. How cool was it for you when you were in the studio at ACCN watching Roy Williams get recognized and a banner gets hung? It was kind of awkward last year when he retires and you can't really be next to him.

It was on April Fool's Day. His last home game, it was 25% capacity against Duke. Last Saturday kind of felt like a real farewell for Coach Williams in front of everybody. What was the highlight of it for you? Starting off with the history of Carolina, the legacy, that 82 team, Michael Jordan, James Worthy, the guys on there, that was just them being recognized.

That's recognizing the history of Carolina. As we walk in the gym and as I walk in the gym, or I did walk in the gym every day, it was hard to miss the banners up there. That was special. Coach Williams is a special place in my heart. God gave me a chance to play at a school that I always dreamed of. The relationship that I built with him when I was there, it just went beyond basketball.

Still, some of the things that I do today and just how I conduct myself, being on time, making sure that I'm showing up each and every day, being the best that I can be, those are the things that he instilled in us being at Carolina. For him to be recognized, it's amazing. The way that he went out, I know it surprised a lot of people. It surprised me, but the one thing that I can say is that he retired on my birthday. I will always remember that. An amazing coach has done so much, not only for the ACC, but for college basketball as a whole.

It was great to be able to see just that history that was standing on the court. Hold up. Joel Berry with us here. Your birthday is April 1st. Walk me through your birthday that day. You wake up, we got the news at 10 a.m. When did you get the news and how would you describe that day?

I was actually in Turkey in my season. I think seven hours ahead, I want to say. I get a call from Sean May. He's like, I just wanted to let you know, coach is retiring today. I was like, what? I know it's April Fools.

Everybody loves to play jokes on April Fools. Next thing you know, the news came out. I was just shocked. I couldn't believe it. I can believe it because he was getting to a point where it was just a lot.

He had done a lot for the game. But then I started getting text messages from other people and on social media asking me, hey, is this a joke today? And I'm like, no, this is real.

Yeah, he's retiring. So it was a pretty crazy day because a lot of people just thought it was fake. Yeah, there's no doubt because we get the press release at 10 a.m. and immediately I text Kirsch and I'm like, Kirsch, what's the deal? And Kirsch told me after the fact that he got over a hundred of these same text messages. Is this a joke?

And he always responded to each one saying, no, this is not a joke. It should have been in the press release, like at the bottom of the press release, it should have said, by the way, this is not an April Fools joke. Joel Berry. Right. There's no doubt.

I wish they would have done that. So I can't help but ask, though. So you see Roy Williams, his banner goes up last Saturday. You've got a banner up there in the Smith Center.

I was there when that happened. Where does that rank now that your basketball career has now turned into a media career in terms of your on floor achievements, having that banner go up? Where does that rank in terms of things that's happened to you? Yeah, I mean, that's that's that's tough. I mean, it doesn't, you know, national championship by far was one of my accomplishments that I wanted to have. And so it's it's part of the reason why my jersey is up there is because of the national championship.

So, but, you know, it just means so much. And it all started honestly, when, when we played in Maui. Well, when I first got there, I wanted my jersey to be up there. I told myself I'm gonna have my jersey up there. And I wanted a national championship.

But it was also two in Hawaii, two players that I looked up with, looked up to when I was playing or when I was watching with Todd Lawson and Raymond Felton, and they had their names on the MVP list in the gym. And I was like, you know, I want those are the guys that I look up to those are the guys that that that, you know, I pay homage to and just what I was what I was doing and what I all my preparing. So to have my jersey up there in the be with those types of point guards and to be with the type of people that are up there in the rafters.

I mean, it doesn't get any better than that. And the one moment that I can't wait for is for my little daughter and for me and my wife to take our daughter and to see her name, see my name and let her see my jersey hanging in the rafters. That will be the moment that'll be special for me.

And it's going to be well earned. So I look forward to when that happens as well, Joel, before we let you go, though. So Coach K, he's it's his final visit to the Smith Center. It's crazy to think like once upon a time before even Coach Lebo, Jeff Lebo arrived on campus, like Coach K was coaching games against Michael Jordan at Carmichael going back to 1980. Like when you think of this rivalry, like you before you even became a Tar Heel, it was North Carolina versus Duke. And you knew Duke was going to be really good because of Coach K. And you knew that Carolina was going to be really good because with the exception of a few years, it was because of Dean Smith or Roy Williams. So what what should North Carolina do?

We get it. You don't like that that other shade of blue. But I think there's some respect there that there might it might be warranted to do something or at least acknowledge what Coach K has meant to the rivalry.

What do you think? Yeah. You know, one thing Coach Williams always told us was, you know, respect your competition. You don't have to like them. You don't have to, you know, be friends with them.

But you do respect them. And I think that's the type of mentality that we all should have as Coach K is finishing out his last year. We might all have our differences with, you know, being on the Carolina side of being on the Duke side. But the one thing about greatness is you never you never let that go without acknowledging it. And he has done so much for just like Coach Williams has done so much for the ACC has done so much for college basketball.

And it's crazy to think like when you really think about how long Coach K has been at Duke is is is mind blowing. So I think that, you know, I believe if it was me, you know, with the mentality of just paying respect to what he has done and what he has brought to the rivalry as a coach. They're all part of it. And he's part of it.

And so I, you know, there's no telling what will happen. But, you know, if it was me, I love respecting, you know, having respect for greatness, regardless of the competition. And I just believe that should be the approach on Saturday. I'm with you on that.

You and I agree. I don't know if you give a gift or something. I know Hubert has a sense of humor, maybe show up with some just for men or show up with like an icy hot for his back or something. I don't know. I don't know. Yeah, I don't I don't know. I know Coach Davis when it comes down to that type of stuff, he really puts a lot of thought into it. I wouldn't I wouldn't be surprised if it was something pretty special. But we look forward to it tomorrow. And if people are watching at home, as I know so many are going to make sure you keep an eye on Joel Berry to his coverage pre and post and of course, with nothing but net attention.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-12 06:36:14 / 2023-02-12 06:45:40 / 9

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