“I was just having fun,” said Bennett.
When asked when was the last time he had fun on the court.
“I don’t remember,” Bennett replied. “Today?”
#1 pick Anthony Bennett has been an easy target so far this season. He’s the first #1 pick since Kwame Brown to not make the rookie game and everytime he scores over 10 points people act like he put up a Wilt stat line.
Who ever made this is wrong for this. The kid is gonna be alright. It takes time. Esp the pressure of being #1. pic.twitter.com/A9c7BmUzHv
— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) February 2, 2014
Earlier this month, All-Star Roy Hibbert, who also had a slow start to his career, defended Bennett when this Wilt image started circulating the web. He said “The kid is going to be alright. It takes time.”
A few days before that day we celebrate the best rookies and 2nd year players is as good of a time as any for AB to start showing signs of life. Last night, Bennett registered his first double-double with career highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes of action in a win for the Cavs.
“He played a heck of a game tonight,” Kyrie Irving said. “It was awesome. I was a fan.”
19 & 10 isn’t going to make any fantasy owners excited or shock anybody but considering just a few weeks ago Bennett was getting blasted by Gary Payton and considering playing in the D-League, a near 20 & 10 game is a huge step in the right direction for his confidence.
“You’re starting to see a little bit of what we see in practice and the reason why we drafted him,” the coach said. “He’s a talented young man, and he’s starting to come to life a little bit here. He’s even better than what you saw tonight. You’ll see in time.
“He can play. It was unfortunate that he was hurt. It was unfortunate that he didn’t play in summer league. It’s part of being a young, young rookie and experiencing some things. He got himself right. He’s just now starting to be who you’re going to see a lot of in the future. It’s not anything that happened overnight, nor is it one or two things. He’s a good basketball player. He can pass it. He can shoot it short range, he can shoot it long range, he can run the floor, he can finish in traffic, he can rebound. Height-wise he might not be 6-10 or 6-11 but he’s long and he’s strong. For a young guy, he’s got a good feel. He’s only going to get better.”
Like Hibbert said, it takes time but the kid is going to be alright.