For the fourth year in a row, Panini Trading Cards catered to a batch of NBA Rookies for a photoshoot in New York. Many notable names were in the building, including the #1 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett.
Ballerstatus was on hand to talk to Bennett about this upcoming season, expectations for his rookie year, and of course, predictions for his ratings in NBA 2K14.
Has it sunk in yet that you’re the #1 pick in the draft?
Not really. I’m just really trying to enjoy the whole experience. Every time I’m home, I’m with the family — the media stuff has been crazy. You know, that’s the only part that’s really gotten to me. That’s just something I gotta just get used to.
Since you came out of the draft, everybody has been giving you the Larry Johnson comparison, considering you were both fresh out of UNLV. Do you feel that’s an accurate comparison? If not, who would you compare yourself to and why?
I feel like it’s accurate. You know, he was a hybrid four man just like me. He can shoot. He can post up. He’s athletic. He can basically do the same thing that I can. So, I think that’s a good comparison.
You have the luxury of playing with a Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and potentially a healthy Andrew Bynum. How far do you think this team can go especially with you coming into the mix?
I feel like we can go real far. Hopefully we can make the playoffs. But you know, it all starts in the gym. We all just gotta work hard during the year.
What do you feel is the most underrated part of your game?
Ummm I don’t know. (Laughs) Everybody says I can’t play defense. Yeah, I think I was like fifth in shot blocks and seventh in steals for conference. So, I think I was doing something well.
I think that was pretty good. (Laughs)
With NBA 2K14 coming out, what are you hoping for your rating to be?
At least an 80. (Smiles) You know nothing too high, nothing too low. Just the right amount you know. (Laughs)
Do you have any turn up music you listen to before the game? What’s on Anthony Bennett’s iPod?
Oh, now it’s gonna be Drake “All Me”.
That’s that turn up?! (Laughs)
That’s that turn up?! Turn up all the way. (Laughs)
With you being the #1 pick in the draft, do you feel pressure in terms of trying to replace LeBron or are you not too concerned about that?
Nah not really. What I’m really focused on is trying to get in touch with my teammates, not try to do anything outrageous, and not try to steal the show. I’m just gonna try to fill in on my part and just play basketball.