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Paolo Banchero On His Goals And Idols

Winning first..and maybe ROY too.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 14: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic dunks the ball during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Amway Center on October 14, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. 
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Two Paolo Banchero stories worth passing on. First, Orlando’s #1 pick out of Duke tells Marc Stein that winning the NBA Rookie of the Year is an individual (as opposed to a team) ambition: “Besides the team success and us having a great year, that’s definitely my main goal.”

As Stein points out, it’s actually fairly rare for #1 picks to win it. To an extent, the draft is always a crap shoot and there are always surprises,both good and bad.

He tells USA Today that while his idols as a kid were Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, now he’s more intrigued with Anthony Davis and fellow Brotherhood member Jayson Tatum: “And then as I got older I started to know about Anthony Davis and Jayson Tatum — dynamic forwards who are able to play inside or outside.I also want to have my own style of play with my own flair. I’m just trying to be myself.”

Which is smart - what else can you ever be?

You have to wonder about Davis’s longevity though. He hasn’t really played that many games in the last few seasons and certainly the Los Angeles Lakers have not gotten what they expected when he arrived in a major trade with New Orleans.