Accustomed to detractors, Buddy Boeheim believes in his chances in the NBA

Accustomed to detractors, Buddy Boeheim believes in his chances in the NBA

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Undrafted last June, after a full college course at Syracuse (14.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists in four seasons), Buddy Boeheim had signed a “two-way contract” with the Pistons, just hours after the Draft, and will therefore play well in the NBA (and G-League) next season.

A small personal victory for the 22-year-old winger, constantly challenged during his NCAA career at Syracuse, due to the presence of his father Jim Boeheim on the bench.

I would say that has always been a big motivation for me [de prouver à ses détracteurs qu’ils avaient tort] confides Buddy Boeheim. ” People have always doubted my abilities, I have often been simply cataloged as the ‘son of the coach’, or ‘the son of Jim’. It always motivated me, but on the other hand I always worked hard, I always loved watching my progress. »

And progress, there has been in four years: simple “role player” during his “freshman” season (6.8 points in 17 minutes), he gradually rose through the ranks in his father’s rotation, until becoming the leading scorer in the ACC conference last year, for his “senior” season, with 19.2 points per game.

When he was a freshman, he had missed a few matches, as can happen to any freshman. But in his case, we immediately heard that he couldn’t play at this level, that he didn’t deserve to be there, that it was nepotism. I laughed about it in my corner, because I knew that he was going to show them recalls Jimmy, Buddy’s older brother.

Know your role to exist in the NBA

Leading striker in the NCAA, Buddy Boeheim will change dimension in the NBA, with the Pistons. The ball will rarely be in his hands, and his margin of error will no longer be as important as on the university circuit.

So, to get playing time and stay on the field, “Buddy Buckets” will have to do what he knows how to do best: plant outside shots. Alongside ball carriers drawn to the circle, like Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey, his outside catch-and-shoot skill is an interesting addition to Detroit’s offense.

But Troy Weaver, the GM of the Pistons, also made it clear to him that his salvation will also, and above all, pass on the other side of the field.

This is the most important, in fact. If I plant shots, I could stay in the field. But in the end, it comes down to defence, you have to be able to make ‘stops’. It’s not just about exchanging baskets nonstop he added, on the importance of being a reliable player defensively.

In the end, Buddy Boeheim does not put pressure on himself. After four seasons of struggling to emerge from his father’s shadow, the winger prefers to take a step back, focusing on those who believed in him now that he is in the NBA.

There are people who believed in me, and these people are very important to me. So I want to show them that they were right, much more than I want to prove to others that they were wrong. I make sure to give them something to be proud of he concluded.

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