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Watch FIBA World Championship 2010 Finals USA vs Turkey Live online. The host country Turkey impress the world with their came from behind victory over the formidable Serbian national team to set a showdown for the FIBA World championship Finals versus the powerhouse team USA tonight.
September 12, 2010 at 11:24 AM
Devin Ebanks Setting The Bar High
By: Alex Kennedy Last Updated: 9/12/10 5:58 AM ET | 1680 times read
Adjust font size:Devin Ebanks wasn't supposed to be a second round pick. Three years ago, he was one of the top high school players in the nation and looked like a future lottery pick. He was putting up impressive numbers, dominating national tournaments and camps, and being recruited by the top college programs in the country.
So how did the Los Angeles Lakers land Ebanks with the forty-third pick in this year's draft? After two solid seasons at West Virginia, the twenty-year old forward was overlooked in a class that was loaded with wing players. Despite being one of the better athletes in the group and possessing the kind of potential not usually found in a second round selection, Ebanks sat in front of his television and watched as other players came off of the board in front of him.
That's when the defending champions finally grabbed him.
"It was really just a dream come true to see my name flash across the screen saying that I've been drafted by the Lakers," Ebanks told HOOPSWORLD. "Now I have the chance to further my career, provide for my family, and do great things."
He's happy to be in the league, but he's not ready to forget what happened on draft night. Going into the Las Vegas Summer League, Ebanks – along with fellow Lakers rookie Derrick Caracter – felt this was the perfect environment to show teams what they missed out on. Both were, at one time, projected to be top picks and had slipped into the second round.
"We both had chips on our shoulders because we felt like we should have went higher and our chemistry is great," Ebanks said. "I actually played with D.C. when I was younger, back in high school, so we knew each other's styles a little bit. It turned out to help us a lot in Vegas."
Throughout the week and a half, Ebanks and Caracter put on a clinic, averaging a combined 30.4 points and emerging as two of the best rookies in Vegas. That wasn't a surprise to Ebanks.
"We kind of knew that already. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves so we had already put ourselves in that category as being some of the best rookies in the Summer League," he said. "But we just went out there and showed everyone what we could do and it worked out well for us."
The next step is showing what they can do during the regular season. While Ebanks won't know how the Lakers will use him until training camp, he's ready to contribute in every way possible.
"I really have no idea what the Lakers want my role to be or how much I'm going to play and that's something that Coach Jackson will have to decide. But when I get there, I'm just going to play as hard as I can and do whatever I can to get on the floor," said Ebanks.
Even if he doesn't play big minutes during his rookie campaign, the young forward knows that he'll have plenty of opportunities to develop and learn from the veterans ahead of him on the depth chart.
"I spoke to Lamar when I first got to Los Angeles to practice for the Summer League. When I signed my contract, I spoke to Ron Artest when he was out there. Both of them were excited for me to get out there and hopefully I can just learn behind them because they have great NBA experience," he said.
View Alex Kennedy Archive Odom and Artest will definitely take Ebanks, a fellow Queens native, under their wings next season. But even with the "say Queensbridge" connection, Ebanks has already started to give fans in Los Angeles flashbacks to a different forward that used to wear purple and gold.
After finishing the Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, the Trevor Ariza comparisons started. The two had almost the exact same measurements in almost every category. Height, weight, vertical leap, standing reach, lane agility drills, and the ¾ court sprint; you name it and the two forwards had eerily similar numbers. With his perimeter defense and athleticism, Ebanks says that Lakers fans have made him well aware of the similarities.
"I've heard that a lot," said Ebanks. "We definitely do have a lot of similarities in our games, but we're two different players and I'm just going to try to play the way I usually play."
Heading into the season, his expectations for himself and the team are very high.
"It's really just whenever I get a chance to be on the floor, I'm going to play as hard as I can and do what I can to stay on the floor so that Coach Jackson trusts me to be out there," said Ebanks. "We're definitely trying to win that third championship and complete the three-peat. I'm trying to get my first ring."
One person that will try to stop that from happening is his former West Virginia teammate, Da'Sean Butler. Now with the Miami Heat, Butler will be trying to win a ring of his own once he returns midseason from his severe knee injury. The two remain close and there has already been some friendly trash talking between the two former Mountaineers.
"We spoke a little bit," Ebanks said with a laugh. "I actually saw him last weekend because he was out here in West Virginia. It was good seeing him."
Though his journey to the NBA didn't go as expected, he finds himself in a great situation and he's ready to start competing now. He expects success, has set the bar high for himself, and the Lakers see him as a second round steal that can develop into a contributor down the road.
Will he be able to make teams around the league regret passing on him and emerge as one of the top rookies from this class? With a chip on his shoulder and a large supply of confidence, Devin Ebanks already knows the answer. It's just time to show everyone else.
September 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM
Bye all...enjoyed watching the game and chattin with ya...
September 12, 2010 at 01:38 PM
wes - thanks for the article...great read...
I really like his attitude...he is saying all the right things...if he is sincere...he should have no problem...if he works hard...he will get Kobe's affection...
I found it amusing, a rookie saying " I'm trying to get my first ring"...
What other rookies can say that in the rest of the league...
September 12, 2010 at 01:44 PM
Congratulations to Team USA for bringing home the gold!!
Congrats to Kevin Durant for game MVP!!
Congrats to co-captains Lamar Odom & Chauncey Billups for leading this team to victory!!!
Congrats Coach K and to Mr. Colangello for making this program so great!!!
September 12, 2010 at 01:53 PM
wes - thanks for posting that article. I certainly hope Ebanks will walk the walk. It sounds like he knows what he's doing, though....
September 12, 2010 at 01:55 PM
When Kobe can no longer hold on to the title of greatest player in the NBA, it should be Durant. He's a damn good player and a humble one, not like a narcissistic jerk like Lebron James. Besides Wade is better than LBJ anyways even before LBJ became Wade's sidekick.
Would love for Durant to come to LA but don't see it happening. The 6 year extension plus Durant seems very loyal to his franchise makes it very unlikely.
LO played a HUGE role in returning the gold back to the USA. Take that Staples 17.
LO was also huge in playing post defense. Pfeh and some say he can't.
And I still point my eyes towards the people who DIDN'T want to re-sign LO in the 2009 offseason. (Hobbit/Laker Tom). Usually I don't do this and I won't but to those whom I battled in the 09 off-season with either "I hope Josh Powell is working on his game or "The team is better without LO because Bynum will step up etc."
(True both you guys wanted LO to sign but would have NO problem letting LO go to Miami. LO is needed for the Lakers...that's why Jackson also lobbied Buss to go deep into his wallet even though Buss was furious at LO and his agent for not taking the initial offer).
I promise I won't call out people anymore except for Jon K. and his love for the Clippers when it's Lakers-Clippers games and for people who care more for laughing at a players' misfortune (the Derek Fisher trolls) than really about the game.
September 12, 2010 at 02:14 PM
LEW- ignore Old Hippy. You totally own the blog.
September 12, 2010 at 02:15 PM
Sorry I missed the game chat.
Congratulations to Team USA for the Medal and to Lamar Odom for getting the Gold to add to the two Rings.
September 12, 2010 at 02:17 PM
Congrats to Lamar, he proved he can play the same role on an international champion. Glad to hear the announcers sing his praises - the kinds of things Lamar does are often overlooked.
And congrats to Durant - that dude is the real deal.
Tom Daniels |
September 12, 2010 at 03:05 PM
Spot on, Blitz. LO with 15 points (all in the second half when Turkey tightened up its D on Durant) and 11 boards. Really, really proud of the way he played and looking forward to seeing the looks on the faces of the other NBA teams when they tangle with the Lakers' huge second team.
September 12, 2010 at 03:32 PM
Oh, and LO now has bragging rights over Kobe -- an NBA Championship and a World Championship in the same year. ;)
September 12, 2010 at 03:33 PM
I think Sue Bird would work Rajon Rondo...
September 12, 2010 at 04:23 PM
Congrats to Team USA for bringing home the gold! I'm so proud of LO with the way he played. He was a huge part of that win - double-doubles in the Lithuania and Turkey game. Lamar's championship savvy carried over to that young USA team. Way to go, LO!
September 12, 2010 at 07:24 PM
15-10 is a great stat line for LO in a gold medal game. You laker fans who hate on LO make me sick. Your not real fans. LO is not Kobe ok. He's not a scoring machine. He's a guy who can alter shots with his long arms. He's a good rebounder, a great rebounder even when he wants to be. He can drive to the basket and handle the rock like most big men only dream of doing. He's a great passing big man. Ok 1)defense - check 2)rebounding - check 3)can score - check 4)can get assists and good ball-handler - check and check.
I mean what more do you want? Consistency? Well would you rather have Nene, he's consistent. Or how about Kendrick Perkins, he's a starter on a championship squad. Are these guys in the FIBA games? Were they invited? What about Rashard Lewis, what'd he make like 20 mil last year? I guess what I'm saying is compare LO to what else is out there. He's a 6 man remember? He's unselfish remember. He's not Kobe, or Durant, or any other beast on the court looking to punish you with 20 shots a night. He's a silent monster. A quiet contributor and effective team momemtum changer. His putbacks are timely. His personality in the locker room is needed. LO is like one of your kids where your always complaining that they could do more. But really the problem is you the parent. Stop trippin and embrace the love that is Lamar Odom.
Peace my brother.
September 12, 2010 at 10:34 PM
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