University of Kansas

Dedric Lawson gets questions about barbecue and basketball during NBA interviews

Dedric Lawson on the NBA Draft Combine

Former Kansas forward Dedric Lawson talks about the NBA Draft Combine and all that’s come with it.
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Former Kansas forward Dedric Lawson talks about the NBA Draft Combine and all that’s come with it.

Former Kansas forward and Memphis native Dedric Lawson was asked to choose between his hometown and second college stop when interviewing with an NBA team at this week’s draft combine.

When meeting with a team, Lawson was posed a question he didn’t see coming about his preference in cuisine.

Which city has the better barbecue? Kansas City or Memphis?

“It’s Memphis hands down,” Lawson told The Star of his response. “I like Memphis barbecue a lot better.”

Lawson, who averaged 19.4 points and 10.3 rebounds this past season at Kansas, said he couldn’t betray his hometown when talking to teams. The 6-foot-9 forward didn’t specify which team asked him the question, but the Memphis Grizzlies remain a prime suspect.

Throughout the week, Lawson has tried to do a little bit of everything for teams, who mainly project him as a power forward in the NBA. In scrimmages, Lawson has been aggressive on the boards while trying to show off his passing ability. He’s tried to show good shot selection on offense.

‘I’m just trying to go out there and just have fun,” Lawson told The Star. “Rebound, make plays for others and score when I need to. I’m trying to do everything I did at Kansas at the next level.”

Lawson said his defense has been a pleasant surprise, given that he’s been tasked with guarding a smaller guy multiple times, causing for a mismatch.

He’s played alongside former KU teammates Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes at times, which has made it easier for him to adjust to the drills. Lawson plans to remains in the draft while Grimes and Dotson remain undecided.

“I haven’t talked to them about their decision but I’ve been hanging out with them,” he said. “It’s good to have teammates around and have someone you can be comfortable with.”

Lawson, who has been projected as a late first to early second round pick, said he has workouts scheduled next week with the Chicago Bulls on Monday, Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday and New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. He said teams have compared him to NBA All-Star Paul Millsap in interviews.

Lawson played just one year at Kansas after transferring with his brother K.J. from Memphis. While Lawson’s KU career was brief, he feels like he left Lawrence as an underacheiver after the Jayhawks lost to Auburn in the second round of March’s NCAA Tournament.

“We still could’ve accomplished winning the Big 12 with the team we had,” he said. “We just fell short.”

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.

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