Agent speaks on status of former men's basketball player Isaac Fontaine.
June 25, 1997
PULLMAN, Wash. - The following is a list of quotes from the Wednesday evening teleconference with Kyle Rote, Jr. - Chief Executive Officer of Athletic Resource Management, Inc. (Memphis, Tenn.). Rote, Jr. represents former Washington State basketball star Isaac Fontaine. Fontaine was not selected in the 1997 National Basketball Association Draft.
What options does Isaac have at this point?
"We've had two teams call before the draft started. If he were not drafted they would like to talk about him coming in and that happened to be the (Los Angeles) Lakers and Milwaukee (Bucks). So between later tonight and tomorrow (we'll) have a chance to analyze their rosters and see who else they are interested in bringing in and what draft trades have occurred.. Then we'll try to make a very informed decision to try and give Isaac an environment that will give him the best chance to make the squad. Likely, he'll end up going to a pre-camp at either LA (July 12-19) or Milwaukee (July 9-11). Sometimes it's better not to be drafted in the second round, particularly late in the second round, because then you have a chance to choose the environment in which you are going to try and make the league in. Very few second round contracts are guaranteed."
What have the last few days been like for Isaac?
"Isaac was aware there was a probability he would not be drafted. He was hoping certainly that Sacramento, his hometown team, would take him. We've had a lot of conversations with Sacramento. They had indicated a lot of possibilities that that might happen They also told us very clearly there were two or three players they had rated a little bit higher and if they happened to be there when they had their pick, then they would take that direction. That's apparently what did occur. I think he was certainly disappointed as Michael Jordan was when he got cut from his high school basketball team. This is not a fatal event by any means in his career. But it certainly is frustrating to him because he knows he's a good player. And as all of you (members of the media) have seen over the years Isaac is just a fabulous person and a hard worker. A very responsible guy. Plus he can shoot the lights out from the perimeter. All of those things are strengths that all of us would appreciate and that over time the NBA will learn to appreciate as well."
What concerns did the NBA teams have with Isaac?
"The limitations that the NBA people have consistently indicated are that they wish he were a little bit taller. Not a lot, but a little bit taller. They wish he was a little bit more athletic and quicker. There were a few teams that weren't sure if he can create his own shots. They know he can shoot behind a screen. They know he can shoot in spot-up situations. The question is, in one-on-one, which you have to face a lot of in the NBA because you can't play zone defenses, how creative can he be. His vertical jump was good but not great. He's obviously an overachiever in the sense of a guy who has worked terribly hard. He's kind of at that mid-range. A tweener in a sense. But that in no way undermines what you have seen over the years. He'll take this in the right way and not be emotionally destroyed by it. He'll be energized and respond to the challenge and make a good account of himself."