By RENALDO DORSETT
NBA training camps get underway this week and fans had their first opportunity to see rookie guard Buddy Hield and this season’s New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans hosted media day last weekend and the development of Hield in his rookie campaign was one of the major talking points for members of the organisation.
Hield talked about his interaction with the veterans and what he expects to learn in training camp.
“You have to pick their brains,” he said. “If you don’t ask questions, you’re not going to learn much. And if you don’t ask them questions, you think you know it all. You don’t know it all. I ask guys, ‘What did you do in this situation?’ I’m talking to coaches, learning and watching film. I haven’t established myself yet in this league to where I can do everything I want.”
In his brief practice experiences thus far, Hield has already established a reputation as a hard worker that he became known for during his career at Oklahoma. It was reported that Hield routinely arrives at 7:45am for 10am practices.
“I’m an early-morning person. I have to be one of the first guys in the gym. I can’t just come to practice and hope I have a good shooting day. How my mind works, I’ve got to be early,” he said. “I’m a scorer, man. You want to look for the ball. I’m just learning how spacing is very important in this league. I have to wait for my opportunity. I’m too anxious, but I’m a rookie. It’s good.”
On draft night, Hield immediately foreshadowed his anticipation of life in New Orleans. He said he was now ready to embrace the culture of a new home.
“The big thing is the transition from being in college to playing all man-to-man and the speed of the game and fighting over screens and things like that, which will all come with experience. You can’t do anything about it except put him out there and give him some experience in those areas,” he said. “Everybody’s great in the NBA, so you’re not going to win every battle. That’s the reality, because everybody is good. You are going to lose some battles, but you just have to try to contain them as much as you can and make them hit tough shots or make tough plays.”
The last time Hield played in Louisiana, it was as a member of the Sooners when they defeated LSU 77-75 in Baton Rouge. Hield had 32 points and made 7-8 three pointers in the contest.
In July, Hield competed play in the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las, Vegas Nevada.
He averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds through five games but struggled shooting at just 34 per cent from the field and 24 per cent from three-point range.