24 Seconds presented by Ibotta: Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker
The No. 17 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, second-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has made improvements across the board in 2020-21, but the Toronto area native has been sidelined for a month due to a high ankle sprain. Alexander-Walker, who has games of 37 and 31 points this season against the Clippers and Orlando, respectively, joined Pelicans.com in our weekly Q&A series:
Pelicans.com: You’re one of six players on this roster who aren’t from the United States. And that's not an oddity in the NBA – there are international players all over. Is that kind of a badge of honor though, to know that you’ve made it on the biggest stage?
Alexander-Walker: For sure, especially where I’m from. My story, who I was, being here kind of seemed like a fantasy more than a dream and day by day, I just kept working and it allowed it to be a (reality).
Pelicans.com: You are paid to play basketball, but is it a passion? Is it something that you have always loved to do?
Alexander-Walker: For sure. As a kid, it was the only thing I wanted to do. There was no plan B for me personally, it was just basketball somehow. Somehow, some way and God’s allowed it to be a thing for me. It’s definitely a passion and it’s definitely a way of life.
Pelicans.com: Who was the driving force for you?
Alexander-Walker: My uncle and my mom. My mom was going to put me in basketball regardless. She knew that’s what she wanted for me. My uncle at the same time was someone who taught the game to me, broke it down. It went from just fun, to understanding the game, understanding how to play, instead of just going out there and running around.
Pelicans.com: I will ask you this question, but there’s been an overwhelming answer. Which player on this team has the most drip?
Alexander-Walker: I have to say, humbly, myself.
Pelicans.com: You are the overwhelming answer. Is there a process you go through? Do you have somebody helping you out with this stuff, or is this just coming from you?
Alexander-Walker: As far as putting fits together, it’s always been something I loved doing since high school. I remember being a kid and arguing with my mom, at like 6 years old, 7 years old, because she would want to pick out my outfits. I was just always into clothes, always into shoes. And so, that’s just kind of who I am. As far as putting it all together, I would say that’s on me.
Pelicans.com: When Frank Jackson was here, he created the Red Roses brand, which you see other players wearing such as Jaxson Hayes. Were you part of that?
Alexander-Walker: I was not. I’m a big fan of Red Roses, but I was not a part of their creative processes.
Pelicans.com: Will you be coming up with your own brand? Maybe not this year, maybe down the road?
Alexander-Walker: That’s a lot of work. I just like to dress; I don’t know if I like to dress others. I would definitely look into something, but I don’t know how far I’d get.