Pre-draft Interview: Day 3 - Anthony Bennett

Pre-draft Interview: Day 3 - Anthony Bennett
June 22, 2013

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2013 NBA Draft Prospect Anthony Bennett was in Charlotte and sat down with the media on June 22, 2013. Bennett, a 6-8 forward out of UNLV averaged 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his freshman season. Bennett led the team in scoring and 3-point shooting percentage (37.5 percent) while racking up 12 double-doubles throughout the season. Bennett was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and was a finalist for both the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Wayman Tisdale Award. In high school he played in the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American games, as well as the Nike Hoop Summit game for the World Select team. He has not been able to work out for teams due to a shoulder injury he suffered near the end of the season but is expected to be back for training camp.

(On how his shoulder is feeling)
The shoulder feels fine. I’m doing rehab out on Long Island and at home too. I’m just trying to get back to 110 percent before training camp.

(On how hard it is not to be able to go through individual workouts right now)
It’s real hard, especially for me. I want to get out on the court and show everybody what I can do. I just need to get this out of the way so I can be prepared for the next level.

(On what parts of his game will translate best to the NBA)
I’m versatile. I can play inside and out. With my jump shot – once I get that consistent, I feel like that is going to be a huge advantage for me. I can play the stretch four and use the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop. I feel like I’ll be a great fit wherever I go.

(On if he sees himself as a four or a three in the league)
I feel like my best position right now is the stretch four, but if I have to play the three, I’ll play it. I’m just a basketball player going out there and trying to get wins.

(On if people make too much out of his height for a big man)
I don’t really pay attention to all of that. There are some people saying I’m a tweener – not tall enough for a power forward and not fast enough for a three. But I feel like if I go out there and play hard it will eliminate all that.

(On how he hurt his shoulder)
Everyone is saying it happened in a basketball game, probably when I went up for a block or a dunk. It’s something I didn’t really catch in the moment but started to ache and hurt afterwards.

(On how his rehab is going)
It’s going fine. They say I can do light shooting now and will be back 100 percent in the first week of August. I can’t wait for that.

(On if he feels he’ll definitely be ready for training camp)
For sure. I just need to get back in shape after taking a month-plus off not being able to do anything. Once I get back, I know I’m going to be pushing myself and will get back in shape.

(On what he knows about the Bobcats and how he thinks he would fit in the mix)
It’s a young team coming up that likes to play at a fast pace and get up and down. That’s my game, basically. I can run up and down, shoot threes or go inside. I can also get involved by setting screens and rebounding.

(Summing up what he can provide to an NBA team)
Versatility, rebounding and being a great teammate. I think that’s important too. You have to play unselfish.

(On his being compared to Larry Johnson)
Yeah. Everybody started to compare me to him last summer. I talked to (UNLV assistant) coach Stacey Augmon about it, and he said, “It could be true, but he was a hard worker, so you have to live up to the hype.” I went on YouTube and saw the video of when he played Duke in the finals and he was doing his thing. I think I have it. We do some similar things. His motor was just crazy, so I’m going to try and get that.

(On what other teams he has visited)
I’ve been to the top five and this is my last one, so Orlando, Phoenix, Washington and Cleveland. I’m done after this until the draft.

(On if he’s ready for everything to be over come draft night)
It’s been crazy. Nobody has an idea where anyone is going. I’m just anxious and ready to see what’s going on.