The Defender spoke with new edition first-round Houston Rockets rookies Jabari Smith Jr. (#3), Tari Eason (#17) and TyTy Washington Jr. (#29) to discuss their keys to becoming NBA players and mentalities going into the NBA.

Tari Eason

“Hard work is really all it is.  That is what got us all to this point.  Hard work, dedication, and being true to ourselves.  I think that is going to be the thing that helps us find success in this league.”

Jabari Smith Jr.

“Trust the work and what got you here.  You have to just amp it up another level because with the dudes out here it’s a whole different ball game.  So, just keep the same mindset of getting better and trust the work.”

TyTy Washington Jr.

“I think it’s all about staying consistent.  Hard work got us here staying dedicated to it and staying in the gym.  Now it is a new level and we have to step up our level of work ethic and stuff like that.  And pretty much build a schedule and stay consistent with it.”