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Hornets Select Anthony Davis With First Overall Pick
“With the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Hornets select Anthony Davis” — NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Two years ago Anthony Davis was playing basketball for his High School in Chicago, Illinois. His only prospects of playing Division-I college basketball was at Cleveland State.
Then a growth spurt.
Now we are here with Anthony Davis now a New Orleans Hornet. It’s a celebratory occasion for us all because now we have a player that can change our franchise for the better. It’s rare that in an NBA draft there is an all-consensus number one overall pick. It doesn’t matter if you’re using statistics or the eye-test, everyone agrees that Davis is the best player in the draft.
The future for New Orleans now seems bright. Over the past 6 months the organisation and the city’s view of the team transformed considerably. Uncertainty surrounded and people didn’t want the team anywhere near New Orleans. Monty Williams meanwhile endured a tough time without Chris Paul and David West, adjusting to developing young players. The city put together a lease, rumors swirled as to who the owner would be.
Tom Benson stepped up, bought the team and then a miracle happened. The New Orleans Hornets won the NBA lottery with numbers 4-9-6-7. Now things are looking a lot brighter.
Anthony Davis’ skillset is dynamic and fearsome. His greatest attribute, blocking shots, will be a great asset to head coach Monty Williams. There were many that wondered what Williams could have done with more talent on the roster, especially better defenders. Now he has a player to mould for at least the next five years.
But all this expectation and added pressure could serve to hinder his progression to the next level. While Davis possesses all the tools necessary to emulate Kevin Garnett’s game there’s still a long way to go. “We don’t want to put that pressure on him [being an elite talent], he’s 19 years old,” said General Manager Dell Demps. “Sometimes it takes a bit of time, the most important thing is to get him acclimated.”
But even for the most cautious of us have to be excited with where Davis is even now as an exiting Freshman. Outside of his obvious shot-blocking and rebounding ability, it’s the other skills that get everyone excited.
There’s sound footwork, surprising dribbling ability and exemplary shooting mechanics. These are the skills that have everyone excited. It is these that can be a foundation for an excellent offensive game which is what he’ll need if he’s to reach the level he’s capable of.
At Kentucky, Davis was the leading point’s scorer on a National Championship team. He did that despite attempting the 4th most shots on his team. Rarely was he put in the post, most of the sets were run through others, namely Terrence Jones. But when he was put in the post he seemed to have the potential. “I remember a couple of games where I didn’t want the ball in the post,” said Davis in an interview with ESPN. “After a while I started getting comfortable and I told Coach Cal [John Calipari] to run that play, give me the ball in the post. I want the ball in the post.”
There is a desire and a hunger that tends to get overlooked with all the hype being thrown around with Davis. It’s his confidence, even in the post as aforementioned, that make us want the start of the season to come even quicker.
There are times in the development that we may be frustrated, as will he. But we should all heed Dell Demps’ advice to wait, be patient and let the kid do his thing.
This is going to be a great ride. For all the blocks, for all the dunks, ally-oops and rebounds we’re in for some fun. Rather than bit my finger nails and worry about where Davis will be in 3 or 4 years, I’m going to strap my seat-belt and see where this journey goes.
Because this organisation is in for one hell of a growth spurt.
Update: Quotes from the Hornets organization–
“We’re thrilled to welcome Anthony to the Hornets family,” said General Manager Dell Demps. “Anthony is an incredible person and very talented basketball player. We look forward to him being a part of the sustained success of our franchise on and off the court going forward.”
“I’m excited about having the chance to work with Anthony,” said Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams. “We have added an incredibly talented, athletic big man with great length who is also a proven winner. In getting to know him, he’s also a high-character kid and someone I look forward to helping develop further.”
“The first thing I said after the Lottery was ‘it would be great to win another championship in New Orleans.’ It’s a great city,’ said Davis. “Monty is a great coach who has played in the league and will tell you how it is. He has given me some great advice and I can’t wait to get out on the court with him.”
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