Lhe new generation of players recently selected in the draft aims high. Well, for them, most high. Days after the ceremony in which the teams chose the rookies, the youngsters have appeared before the media and, in some cases, their first statements could not be more than enough. With a mixture of youth, unconsciousness and ego, some of them are already considered among the best ever or, at least, better than some of the current stars.
There’s, for example, Chet Holmgren, the Thunder’s second overall pick. This unicorn of 2.13 meters, 2.31 wingspan and only 86 kilos was asked who he was the best player in the NBA. After thinking about it for a few moments, he replied: “Myself in two months.” The 20-year-old power forward has dazzled at Gonzaga University with a game in which he combines 3-pointers with blocks and the game of a shooting guard with that of a pvot. It’s all self-confidence.
Bennedict Mathurin is a 20-year-old, 1.98-meter Canadian forward who played at the University of Arizona and has been selected by the Pacers in sixth place. He was asked about his first matchup against the Lakers and LeBron James. His response amazed everyone: “A lot of people say he’s great, I want to see how great he is. I don’t think there’s anyone better than me. LeBron is going to have to prove to me that he’s better than me.”
And Shaedon Sharpe, chosen in seventh place by the Blazers, is also not far behind when it comes to analyzing his game: “I see myself as one of the best players who has ever played basketball.” The 19-year-old Canadian forward and 1.98 meters committed to the University of Kentucky but finally did not play and has been presented directly to the draft.
Those have been the presentations of some of the best projects of the last draft, who do not seem to know humility. In fact, with such bravado, number 1 Paolo Banchero’s “my ceiling is as high as I want it to be” message seems even modest. “I have set many goals for myself. I want it all: to be the rookie of the year, to be an All Star, to reach the playoffs…” said the 2.08-meter, 19-year-old power forward, chosen by the Magic after get out of Duke University.
The new generation comes with an elevated ego. We will have to check if these young people manage to keep it or someone lowers it when they enter the NBA.