Napier Just Looking Forward to Draft
By Ryan Wilson
Monday, Jun 30, 2014 • Updated 10:48 AM EDT
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 07: Shabazz Napier #13 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates on the court after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at AT&T Stadium on April 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
When the NBA Draft gets underway in a few short hours, it won't matter, but for now Shabazz Napier's professional fate remains unknown. And he's OK with that because, whether he wants to admit it or not, he appears to be a first-round pick. (Why else would he accept an invitation to attend the draft in person?)
So where does Napier think he might go?
"I’m not really worried about that," he said on Wednesday during a pre-draft press conference. "The only thing I can worry about is playing basketball. I don’t get into media, I don’t get into it. I actually just got on Twitter this morning. I don’t do a lot of internet stuff to look at where I am at.”
Based on the myriad pre-draft predictions, the Heat seem like a popular choice. And now there are rumors that Miami wants to trade up to grab him.
“Oh I don’t know," Napier conceded. "I just kind of heard about it today. It’s definitely cool to hear the talk, it’s definitely (a) blessing, but I’m just out here to enjoy myself. Thursday when it comes we’ll find out.”
And while the NBA Draft is the culmination of a lot of work, Napier reminds us that his is the beginning, not the end of the journey.
"I worked my tail off to accomplish this since I was a freshman," he said. "I always believed in myself to be able to be in this position, so to be here now is just a special feeling with my family.
“When we play basketball we all have aspirations to play in the NBA. And especially being in the green room, being in the green room and shaking the commissioner’s hand. It’s something that I always looked forward to, but it took a lot of hard work. You have to dream big but you have to work harder.”