- Last Updated: 4:46 PM, June 27, 2012
- Posted: 4:45 PM, June 27, 2012
Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, the overall No. 1, hands-down, no-doubt-about-it, anyone-else and-you’re-nuts first pick by New Orleans in tomorrow night’s NBA Draft is looking forward with unabashed emotion and enthusiasm to going up against the Kobes and the LeBrons and the KGs of the NBA world. No fear.
At least no fear of them.
But Davis admits there is one thing that scares him witless.
“Just failing. Nobody wants to fail. Just going in and not producing the way you thought you would. That’s my biggest fear,” said Davis who was the national Player of the Year, the guys whose all-around game led Kentucky to a national championship.
And so the 6-10 power forward/center with the insatiable shot-blocking skills figures to own the first name called, is expected to be the first guy to shake Commissioner David Stern’s hands tomorrow at the NBA Draft at Prudential Center in Newark. His Kentucky teammate, Doron Lamb, called him “a game-changer in every way.”
And while Davis admits that fear of failure is real, he doesn’t expect to be a LaRue Martin No. 1 overall bust.
“Nobody’s going to say they’re gonna play bad. Plus, I think I’m going to fit in," Davis said during today's media availability session for the top prospects in Midtown Manhattan. "That’s my plan. I don’t want to think I’m going to go to the NBA and not do nothing. I want to go in with the mentality of working hard and being one of the best who ever played the game."
Davis, who averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and a stunning 4.7 blocks a game, said he looks forward to “just playing against some of the guys I’ve looked up to. It’s going to be a great opportunity. It’s been my dream to be a pro, just to say, ‘I play in the NBA and I finally made it.’”
And so the stud who said his first paycheck move will be buying his mother a house, listed the guys he looks up to as “Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, just to name a few. Those are guys I looked up to and watched them play throughout the season throughout the years while you were in high school and college basketball.”
One of the guys on Davis’ list, Garnett, recently provided some quality and well-received advice to one of the draft’s biggest risers, Duke guard Austin Rivers, who has been around the game his entire life through his father, Celtic coach and former Knicks star Doc Rivers.
“I had like an hour conversation with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett about three weeks ago and you just see how they’re Hall of Famers," Austin Rivers said. "Just the way they talk and the passion they have for the game. Kevin and Ray just told me never get distracted how and this is also advice from my dad, just never settle. Because guys get in the league and get a lot of money and think they can do this and they can do that and they forget they're NBA players.
“You’ve got to have a routine, you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to understand what your goals are," Rivers added. "And you can’t let someone else’s goals distract yours. You just have to go in there and play hard and win and don’t ever let somebody get in the way of what you want to do with your life. Anybody can say it but when you hear it from guys like that you know it’s 100 percent real because they are two of the greatest players who ever played and it’s pretty fun.”Follow @NYPostsports