PJ Washington is a man with many interests, and he made that clear during a Wednesday afternoon interview with sports broadcaster Jim Rome. The Wildcat turned Hornet discussed everything from Kenny Payne’s legendary workouts and the transition from college to the league, to his personal fashion sense and financial future.
In fact, he spent most of the interview discussing his time at Kentucky, which he says is full of “all good memories.”
“I feel like Coach Calipari put me in a great position to be where I am today,” Washington told Rome. “Without him I obviously wouldn’t be here, and I appreciate him. Pretty much everything I have done at Kentucky has made it easier for me to transition to the NBA.”
That transition – from college ball to the pros – is often a difficult one. The style of play gets faster, the competition gets tougher and the stakes get higher. But for Washington, he didn’t find it too challenging… Thanks to his time at Kentucky.
“I think the transition was easier for me coming from a program like Kentucky where they mold you into a pro from day one,” Washington said. “With Coach Cal and Coach Kenny Payne, they did a great job of that with me, and that made the transition a lot easier.”
It also helped that he was joining the league after already spending two years under Coach Payne and his rigorous workout routines. Specifically, Rome asked Washington about one “legendary” combination: a half-hour of alternating 45 second sprints on the treadmill and one minute defensive slides.
“He put me through hell,” Washington said of Coach KP. “Those were the good ole days. We used to do those workouts pretty much all the time. Some days we would do it before practice, and then we would work out during practice and after practice. It was a lot of working out and a lot of training I had to go through, but without that I wouldn’t be here.”
"I feel like Coach Calipari put me in a good position to be where I am today. Without him I wouldn't be here – pretty much everything I have done at Kentucky has made it easier for me to transition to the NBA."@PJWashington tells @jimrome about his time with @KentuckyMBB. pic.twitter.com/45cAj1WV3X
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 9, 2020
The same can likely be said for his former teammate, Tyler Herro, who is lighting up the league (especially the bubble) as a rookie with the Miami Heat. Washington isn’t surprised.
“I expect that from him. He’s a great worker and he works for it everyday in the gym. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen,” Washington said of The Bucket. “Everything I’ve seen him do before in workouts and definitely on the court at Kentucky. Tyler is a great player with a great future. I expect nothing less from him.”
One aspect where the two former Cats do differ? Their emphasis on fashion. While Washington says he is into fashion – although “not as much” as he used to be – he’s more concerned with his bank account than his grade on League Fits. Back in July, Washington told the magazine GQ he’s working with a financial advisor to make sure his wealth lasts. For him, that means putting 20 percent of his income into a spending account, while the other 80 percent goes directly to savings. Washington tells Rome that’s always been important to him.
“You see a lot of guys in the league making a lot of money, and then a couple of years later, they don’t have any money. I didn’t want to be one of those guys,” Washington said. “I wanted to find my way to create wealth through my contracts and live the way I’m living the rest of my life.”
Washington is also working to create that wealth off the basketball court, thanks to his new partnership with SportBLX. He explains the investment opportunities at length in the interview, saying the idea came to him before he got drafted. Washington is the first official player partner, and the partnership marks the first time ever that the general public can invest alongside a professional athlete in a non-traditional asset.
"SportBLX offers a new way for athletes like @PJWashington to invest in themselves and their own long-term future, while being able to directly engage with their fans on a deeper level."
— SportBLX (@sport_blx) September 9, 2020
You can hear their entire 11-minute conversation here: