The “Process,” as adapted by many Philly fans, have yielded many young players through the draft, but many of them invariably spend their first year not playing. One of the few exceptions has been Landry Shamet, the 26th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. Shamet became the most recent Wichita State Shocker to go in the first round. It had been 33 years to be exact, since the Seattle SuperSonics drafted Xavier McDaniel with the fourth overall pick in 1985.
Shamet has found a place in Brown’s rotation and he has made the most of his opportunities as a key reserve and reliable shooter on a 27-14 team that sits fourth in the East.
We caught up with Shamet after he notched his career high 29 points to lead the 76ers over the visiting Wizards. We spoke about his role on the team, his ability to play multiple positions, and much more.
What were your initial thoughts when you arrived in Philadelphia?
I was excited to be here. Coming from Wichita State—it’s blue collar—so I understand working hard. I understand the fanbase here in Philly. I’m just excited about that and I feel like I fit here.
You have been working out with JJ Redick way before the season began. What has that been like?
I learn something everyday from him, whether it’s defending him and seeing what he does to me, talking to him after practice when we work, he’s always giving me advice here and there. He’s always talking to me about my feet, little nuances, how to get open…there’s something new I’m learning everyday from him.
You notched a career-high 29 points last night. Was there anything that stood out against the Wizards that allowed you to get hot?
I would say no. It just felt like any other game. I came out and was shooting the ball and these guys just keep telling me to keep shooting and just let the game come to me. It just turned into what it turned into.
You were 8 of 14 from deep. Did you feel like you were in—as they say—”in the zone?”
It’s just everything is coming to you, not forcing anything or trying to get looks off it. It just happens. That might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it’s just simple and it just comes in the flow of everything.
You have been able to establish yourself in the Sixers’ rotation early and contribute to this team as a rookie. Can you talk about getting to that place?
I knew that coming in this was a team looking to take that next step. And I just—from the beginning, I’ve said it—I just wanted to find my role as quickly as possible and buy into it, whatever it may be, and just try to be solid and knock down open looks. As a rookie, they’re hard on me. From the coaches to my teammates, everyone expects something of me and I love having that sense of responsibility to try to be better, be my best every night. I landed in a great situation, I couldn’t have been in a better spot. So, I guess that’s all good.
Can you talk about your exact role on the team, has it been defined?
I haven’t had any sit down meeting with the coaches, telling me this is your role, but as a basketball player and throughout, you know the flow of the game, and games put together, you kinda get a feel for how things are going to go and where you fit in and that’s among your teammates. That’s kinda what’s really just happened. They [teammates] encourage me to be a threat and shoot the ball and be solid on defense, and that’s how I look at it from my perspective. That’s my job: be solid on defense and be a threat offensively, knock down open threes and you know, build from there. I don’t want force anything, but just be solid on both ends, that’s how I look at it.
You definitely can knock down the open shot, can you explain some of the other elements of your game?
I played point guard in college, so I kind of naturally have a feel for playing the point. But I’m playing a ton off the ball right now, which is fine. I get to read screens and stuff. That’s kind of something I really like to do. Versatile, I guess, that’s a way to put it, but I’m just trying to do my job…be a threat and be solid.
Would you say that versatility gives you an advantage over the defense?
Oh for sure. If you’re one dimensional, it’s a lot easier to guard, than a guy who can put it on the floor, shoot, and do all the versatile things. If you think of all the versatile guys in the NBA, those are the one who are the hardest to guard. Guys who can shoot it and get to the rim. I’m still growing there, I know I’m not even close to that level, so I thinking versatility is really, really good.
Who did you pattern your game after?
You take bits and pieces from guys that do what they do really well. That’s kind of how I’ve always kind of looked at it. Pick things from people..I watched a ton of guys in the NBA throughout college and high school and stuff, and just tried to pick out things that this guy does and I want to add that to my game. Just take pieces and I think that’s the best way to do it. You don’t want to try to be a certain player, you want to be you, your own version of that, and do things well that other people do well.