Adam Himmelsbach tells the story of how Russ Smith sold the New Orleans Pelicans on the notion that he was their guy.
He sat there and he shared his story. It was a story Louisville fans are familiar with, a story that made this city fall for him. He talked about how he had hardly been recruited out of high school in Brooklyn. He talked about how he had worked to prove himself, to prove his worth, his entire life. He talked about his maturation at U of L, arriving as a player who just wanted to fit in, leaving as a leader.
The Pelicans' executives were blown away.
"He kept his composure the whole time, and everything he said, we really believed," Demps said. "I remember when he walked out of the interview room, all of our guys looked at each other and said, 'We want this guy on our team.' "
So when the opportunity presented itself on draft night, Demps knew he could not pass it up.
And here's the accompanying video of Russ' post-practice media session.
In related news, I recently answered some questions for Pelicans website about Russ and the gift that the fans in New Orleans are about to receiver.
The Glow Go 5K is headed back to Louisville for another year, and if you're planning on participating, you can save some dough just by knowing how to spell the words "card" and "chronicle" without putting any space between the two.
Here are the full details from the folks behind the event:
Glow Go 5K Illuminated by Sun Tan City & Planet Fitness
Saturday July 26th @ Big 4 Bridge & Waterfront Park - 7:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sign Up Now for the 5K at www.GlowGo.com & use PROMO CODE "CARDCHRONICLE" to save $5 & then sign up a team of 4 or more & save another $5.
Don't want to run, walk, or dance in the 5K, you can also get Party ONLY Tickets to see One of the Hottest Group's in the Country CASH CASH, Official UofL Football DJ K-Dogg, & all of our other DJ's at www.GlowGo.com as well.
Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician ranks Louisville as having the sixth-best running back corps in the ACC.
ESPN's Dana O'Neill says that Rick Pitino's Cards have a chance to again be one of the best defensive teams in the country in 2014-15.
Louisville -- Montrezl Harrell's decision to return to college ranked as one of the bigger surprises in the pre-draft season and upped the expectation meter in Louisville more than a few notches.
It also makes the Cardinals, always a good defensive team, potentially a very good one. Harrell and Mangok Mathiang will be a rather imposing pair to handle for any team looking to score inside.
But they aren't the only weapons for Rick Pitino.
The coach counts heavily on his guards, especially on defense. He works his players like track athletes, allowing them to swarm, annoy and pester opponents like full-court gnats.
Point guard Chris Jones didn't prove as adept defensively last season at that, but you can bet Pitino will make sure Jones improves in that department. With Russ Smith gone, Jones will get the full laser focus of the coach's attention.
His backcourt mate, Terry Rozier, proved last season to be an adept defender already.
Even after losing so much experience, the Cards could be even better than the squad that gave up just 61.1 points last season and ranked fourth in defensive efficiency.
Will Gragg, the No. 9 tight end in the class of 2015 according to Rivals.com, has Louisville, Alabama, Texas, LSU, Arkansas and Ole Miss as his top six.
The verdict is still out on whether or not Anas is going to be physically ready to see the floor as a freshman this season, but regardless of that, you should expect to be wowed by the big man at least a couple of times during the Red/White scrimmages.
247 Sports names LoZo as one of the top five defensive ends in the ACC.
Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville
Mauldin is coming off a great season in 2013 that saw him record 9.5 sacks to go with 12 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. The Cardinals will be switching up their scheme, but he will still be counted upon to provide pressure off the edge for the Louisville defense. Mauldin totaled 40 total tackles including 29 solo stops, four pass break-ups and three quarterback hurries. In Todd Grantham's system, Mauldin will be called upon to carry out his aggressive, attacking style off the flanks.
Norv Turner talks about the Vikings' depth at quarterback and says that Teddy Bridgewater is "a lot further along than i thought he'd be" (video).
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a terrific story on Brian Brohm, who has allowed his rough professional career to teach him just how much he loves playing football.
Ricky O'Donnell looks at the 25 college hoops recruits you should know as we head into the July evaluation stretch.
ESPN says Louisville has the best group of wide receivers in the ACC.
Best of the best: Louisville
The move to the ACC figures to be one littered with transitional speed bumps, but coach Bobby Petrino does enter the league with an unmatched group of receivers. Senior DeVante Parker is arguably the conference's top receiver and could be a first-round pick in next year's NFL draft. He hauled in 55 passes in 2013, but with leading receiver Damian Copeland bypassing sixth year of eligibility, Parker's numbers figure to increase. He could break the 1,000-yard barrier in 2014. The Cardinals return four of their top five leading receivers from last season when factoring in tight end Gerald Christian. Eli Rogers was effective as the No. 3 receiver last season, and at 5-foot-10, he provides an ideal complement to the 6-3 Parker.
Super Bowl champion Greg Scruggs is spending this week in Colorado Springs where he's hosting a football camp, and he just so happened to run into Cards fan/Chronicloid Jeff Wahl while working out at a local gym.
Greg said to make sure to pass the word along that he was "getting his workout in at 10 p.m. at Lifetime Fitness in Colorado Springs," which one can only assume is code for something.
Data shows that if you're a top 10 prospect when you're 16, you're pretty much guaranteed to at least get a shot in the NBA.
Kevin Keatts and his new staff at UNCW are gearing up for their first July evaluation period.
And finally, a look at Bobby Petrino's willingness to take on SEC transfers.