October 19, 2013
You already read from John Wall and Anthony Davis themselves. (Didn't you?)
Now hear from those who coach and play with and against the two former No. 1 picks out of Kentucky.
New Orleans coach Monty Williams:
"He's worked on his game so much this summer. His ability to allow himself to be coached and also keep his edge and that hunger that he has to be a great player. If he keeps that, he's going to be as good as he wants to be. But I have no issues with Anthony at all. I pray to God I can coach him for as long as he can play.
"The thing that has changed for him from last year to now is his confidence and his ability to take chances and explore because he's put the work in. I don't think he worked as hard as we've pushed him since we've had him. And I think that builds a lot of confidence. It's just cool to see him out there on the floor believing in his ability and believing that he can go after guys, and block shots and play with energy and have an effect on the game that only 10 people in the league can have. And he can do it at 20 years old."
Washington coach Randy Wittman:
On Wall: "He's evolving. He's a young kid that's made some great strides since he's played for me. John's got to be an extension of me on the floor. He's really grasped that in the last year and a half. It's still a work in progress. I think he needs to continue, and I think he's taken a step that we've seen already in a leadership role. He's been around the block a few times now. So it's time for him to help and mentor other players from that standpoint."
On Davis: "The rookie year's always a learning experience. I think he evolved as he went through the grinder of an NBA season. I would think that he's probably a totally different player today than he was a year ago at this time. He's a player that can do multiple things. Very versatile player. Very high basketball IQ. That's what makes him good."
Former Florida guard Bradley Beal, who was in the same high school as Davis and called him "my guy."
"He's grown a lot. He's gotten a lot stronger than he was in high school and college. He's very versatile. He can shoot the ball, drive to the basket, and definitely block shots. He has a lot of things in his arsenal that he's able to do. He creates a lot of problems for bigs. He's acting the way he's supposed to. He's a hot commodity. People knows who he is. He acts the right way. He shies away from things he shouldn't be doing. He's a cool dude. Cool role model to people. Respects all his fans and respects other people as well."
New Orleans guard Brian Roberts, also in his second NBA season
On Davis: "(His first year) was kind of rough on him, having injuries, kind of being up and down. And also being the No. 1 pick and having all eyes on him. It was kind of tough on him."
On how good Davis can be: "There's no telling. There's really no limit to what he can do. He has all the skills. He's one of those players that comes around every so often. He has the talent and drive to become a player that's going to be remembered for a long time."
Jeff Withey, a Pelicans rookie and former Kansas center who lost to Davis in the title game:
On recalling that game: "I just remember Anthony having a big impact on the floor defensively. I remember it was hard for our guards to get layups. That was such a long time ago. I honestly don't remember that much about it. I try to blank that out of my mind."
On how much better Davis is now: "He's gotten so much better in the last couple years. In practice, he's so much better than what he was. And he was already a good player in the championship game. He just keeps on getting better. Just offensively. He has a killer mindset now. His footwork's a lot better. He's stronger."