This is the latest edition of “Give-and-Go,” a periodic Hornets.com feature with Hornets players. In this installment, New Orleans rookie forward Darius Miller directly answers Twitter questions sent to www.twitter.com/Jim_Eichenhofer. We caught up with the new member of the Hornets at the Alario Center, where he is joining teammates in preparing for participation at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. New Orleans will open its summer game schedule Sunday vs. the Portland Trail Blazers, at 9:30 p.m. Central on NBA TV.
Before we get into the series of fan questions, where were you on draft night and what was your reaction when you learned you had been drafted?
Miller: I was in Lexington with my family and some of my close friends. I was just excited, especially to know that I was going to get to play with Anthony (Davis) again. To be drafted was a great feeling and something I worked toward my whole life.
At what point in your career did you first think it was possible that you might be able to play in the NBA someday?
Miller: I didn’t really think about it until my junior year, when (Kentucky assistant coach Kenny) Payne talked about it. That’s when I started thinking about how it could happen.
OK, on to Twitter questions from fans. From @shelbywmccarty: How much do you think having a familiar face (Anthony Davis) will help making the tough transition to the NBA?
Miller: I think it will help out a lot, having somebody to go through it with, someone I’ve grown close to who’ll be experiencing things at the same time.
What’s one thing you can tell us about Anthony Davis off the court that we probably don’t know?
Miller: Probably how silly he is. He’s a very silly dude, a goofy guy. We have a lot of fun. And he’s a great person.
From @CREATEaWay: What did Coach Cal expect from you as a sixth man on such an elite group of talent while playing for Kentucky?
Miller: He just expected me to be a leader and to produce. I had to come in, make shots and get stops – whatever he needed me to do at that point in time.
From @phillipmartin26: What is the thing you look forward to the most about the NBA?
Miller: Playing against the best players in the world. I feel like it’s going to be great competition and a great experience. I’m trying to have fun with all of it.
From @oceanback: Will you be spending time in New Orleans working out prior to the start of training camp?
Miller: Definitely. I’m going to try to get with a few coaches and try to get down everything we do here, and everything that they do as an organization. I want to get familiar with all of it (before training camp begins).
From @Kimballer5: Do you think you fit into Coach Williams’ defensive, all-in, hard-working system?
Miller: Yes. From the past couple practices that we’ve had, I see that he really makes his team work. I feel like that’s going to make me better as a player. So I’m excited.
From @SmithJacob33: What role do you plan to bring to the team?
Miller: I’m not sure yet. We don’t even have our complete roster here. I’m just trying to get everything figured out, the terminology and the way that they play.
From @ljoseph242001 and @CP3nBrees: What will your pro jersey number be?
Miller: I’m wearing 1, like in college. In high school I actually wore 21, but when I got to Kentucky, (longtime Kentucky equipment manager Bill Keightley) asked me what number I wanted. Mr. Keightley said I should go with 1. He was known as “Mr. Wildcat,” a huge person in the program, so I stuck with it ever since. He passed away (in 2008), but he was the equipment manager there for 30-something years. He is a huge part of the UK program.
From @ryancaz: What are your thoughts on fellow rookies Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis?
Miller: Two very, very talented players. I’m happy to be here with them. I think I’m going to enjoy having them as teammates.
From @vince9022: What’s the most important part of your game you feel you need to work on?
Miller: I feel like it’s a long season, so I need to work on preparing for it as far as getting my body right, being in the greatest shape possible and staying healthy.