The NBA is a microcosm of the world. The league has benefited from the flair, and personality of coaches and players from across the globe. The distinct style and flavor of the association is very diverse, and that is what makes it so unique to fans both near and far.
Each week we will speak with a different athlete to discuss a wide variety of topics ranging from their favorite players of all-time, to the most important things they do to prepare for games.
When did you realize you had the potential to go pro?
Towards the end of my senior year of high school—it was my instincts and my ability to read the game. I had an opportunity to play with the USA select team and I was doing really well against those guys. I also was playing defense really well, and once I was able to do that—I knew. I wasn’t done growing, I was only 17 at that time. I had a lot more to do, but I realized then, that I had a chance to become a pro.
What are the key elements to your preparation on gameday?
Rest. And the night before a game, I make sure to rest. Then there’s shootaround, and after shootaround, I take a nap. Once we head to the gym, its all about being prepared. You have to be prepared and get into a routine. That’s one thing I didn’t have my first three years in the League. This year, I’m trying to create a routine and trying to stick to it.
Which players did you look up to when you were growing up?
I didn’t have a specific player that I watched. I just played as much as I could and I just worked on my game. This year I had an opportunity to work with Chauncey Billups for a couple days and I learned from him, which helped me a lot.
Do you remember the first NBA game you ever attended?
I never attended an NBA game when I was younger. Ever. The first one was when I played. That was my first NBA game. It was insane, it was unreal to a certain extent. It felt like the Fourth of July. I tell people that all the time. It was just the feeling of excitement and everything like that, and it felt really good to be out there.
If you could pick the greatest Boston Celtics’ player of all-time, who would it be?
You’re putting me on the spot. I’m going to have to say that I can’t answer that question. It’s too many people, especially just off the top of my head. I would have to look at a list. There are so many all-time greats and those numbers are retired for a reason, so I can’t give you an answer right now.