Former Razorback Daniel Gafford is currently in his first season with the Chicago Bulls, a franchise that’s getting a lot of attention right now with ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ documentary.
So how does it feel to play for a team with such a storied history?
Gafford says, “There’s been a lot of guys that come in that was, you know, from the team that were a part of ‘The Last Dance’ documentary from that team, like Horace Grant. He’s around a lot and he talks to us a lot. Other than that the experience is great and I love it a lot. The atmosphere around the gym you know it’s nothing but work, work and work. It’s you know, walking in the practice facility every day and seeing, you know, the banners like Championships and the retired jerseys. It’s just a lot of motivation. You’ve got staff that was with the team that was, you know, that won all those championships that are still here. That is just a lot of motivation. Like I said, I’m getting a lot of, you know, knowledge, get a lot of good information about the game and about Chicago.”
After 43 games with the Bulls, Gafford has started to establish himself in the league.
“I’m just that guy that’s a rookie, that’s not going to take no BS from nobody,” says Gafford. “Everybody has seen the examples from when we played the Pistons and me and Andre Drummond had an outing. But you know I’m that guy that’s not going to take anything from nobody and let you just push me around like I’m just a little kid. I’m always going to come back with some type of fire no matter what. Whether I block your shot or I score on you so believe that.”
Gafford is still a big supporter of his alma mater and says he’s a big fan of what Eric Musselman is doing with the Arkansas basketball program.
“He’s bringing the NBA aspect to college basketball. And very first time I came back down to Fayetteville when I first got started in Chicago, I sat in and watched one of his practices and stuff. The way he holds his practices shows, you know, how he wanted the team to be and how he wanted to shape the team. So I like him a lot. I just like the way he coaches. He coaches with a lot of energy and you know I’m an energy guy so I’m going to like that a lot.”
As for his former teammate, Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe, Gafford has some advice for the two as they prepare for the NBA Draft.
“Always be aware of situations and make sure, you know, you got the right people around you, because if you don’t, then you not being aware of their situation can set you back a long way. Other than that, just keep working. And, you know, whatever happens, happens. No matter where you get paid, if you get paid, just keep working because it doesn’t matter about the numbers. It matters about how hard you work.”
For more on Gafford, watch the full interview above.