Desmond Bane opens up about LeBron James’ quarrel and how being picked so low in the draft motivates him | NBA news

Desmond Bane’s face is a picture of restraint as he stands in a dark hallway hidden inside San Antonio’s AT&T Center.

If you’ve spent some time watching Bane and the brave youngsters, the Memphis Grizzlies, you know that said restraint will not last.

“I did not know how good we would become,” Bane explains. “I knew we were a young team, had some promising young talents and I thought it would be a great opportunity to grow with the guys where everyone was the same age as me.

“I love the culture. You could just see it. It looked like they were having fun playing, playing together and [in] a small market that I would like to have, just so I could stick to my craft and my game. “

The classic emotions flowed easily at first, but just the mention of Memphis’ relentless style filled with confidence on the verge of cocky eventually elicited a smile.

Bane nods laughingly appreciatively at the claim that his team are ‘dogs’ in terms of their levels of combat and panache.

“We know how to interfere and keep it professional, but when we step in between those lines, it’s another animal out there.”

Memphis demonstrated just as much through its first 54 games, climbing to near the top of the food chain in the ultra-competitive Western Conference (36-18), after beating some of the NBA’s heavy hitters along the way in the Warriors (twice), Jazz (twice), Heat, 76ers, Suns and Bulls before continuing their good form run against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.

Along with Ja Morant’s sharp rise and Jaren Jackson Jr.’s constant improvement, sophomore swingman Bane deserves plenty of credit for Memphis’ current success.

The Sophomore guard returned from a three-game absence (Health and Safety Protocols) on Jan. 26 to help the Grizzlies win a three-game winning streak before falling Monday in overtime to the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers.

Bane participated in the outing as one of two players (Kevin Durant is the other) over the last 25 seasons with an average of 20 plus points on 50-50-80 shooting games away (minimum 10 games) during a season. He delivered career-high 34 points, hitting 5-of-9 from deep to go with seven rebounds and three steals in the defeat when Morant got a game-high of 37 points and five assists.

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Take a detailed look at the Philadelphia 76ers’ overtime victory in their thriller against the Memphis Grizzlies. Yes Morant and Tyrese Maxey had a fascinating duel where Maxey scored the battle-winning basket just before the OT buzz

“There’s great chemistry, they have a lot of trust in each other,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said of Morant and Bane. “Jas ability to find Des in many different situations, whether it’s play calls, his drive-and-kick games, pick-and-roll games, he just has a great awareness for him. The guys play well against each other. “

The 30th pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, Bane achieved second-team All-Rookie recognition last season after leading all rookies in 3-point percentage (.432), which registered as the third-best 3-point percentage since 2009-10 behind . Stephen Curry (.437) and Jayson Tatum (.434 in 2017-18).

Lane only increased production in year 2 and made the biggest jump in points per. match (from 9.2 points to 18.1) among 308 players over the last two seasons to play at least 25 competitions. His point pr. 36 minutes rose from 14.8 to 21.6 among 265 players over each of the last two seasons to play at least 500 minutes, with only Morant counting a major increase in points per game. 36 minutes from last season.

That’s part of the improvement for an unaffected and overlooked prospect who was initially unsure how he could fit into the NBA.

“Training camp [as a rookie] It was actually awful for me, “said Bane.” It was not good. But then I got into our first game of the preseason and I think I had 10 or 12 points and then I backed it up with another double-digit performance like a day or two later. I thought, ‘Okay, I can find a role in this league. I can play in this league. ‘

“So when I found out I could play in this league, it’s like, ‘Okay, how am I going to take my game to the next level and be a guy who can really make a difference?’

All the while, Bane kept a close eye on each of his peers from the 2020 draft class – including Cole Anthony (drafted as No. 15 by Orlando), whom he meets Saturday night.

“If there’s an opponent on the pitch who’s been drafted before me, it’s definitely a little motivation,” he said. “And many times they are not even on the field. They go through those dog days and try to find their way into the rotation, or whatever the case may be.”

In his return from minutes, Bane pointed out that “every single one” of the Grizzlies’ upcoming opponents hit a player in front of him. San Antonio selected Devin Vassell as No. 11. Utah took Udoka Azubuike three places ahead of Bane at 27, Knicks took Obi Toppin eighth, Washington took Deni Avdija ninth, and Philadelphia selected Tyrese Maxey as No. 21.

Interestingly, Maxey pumped 33 points into Monday’s victory over Memphis, including a drive to the racket with 26.4 seconds left to secure the victory. But it is no coincidence that Bane managed to arrange a career night in this clash with his 2020 draft counterpart.

“I definitely take it personally.”

But so far, Bane is enjoying the recent past and what is likely to come in the near future.

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Highlights from the Memphis Grizzlies against the Los Angeles Lakers in Week 12 of the NBA

In the second quarter of Memphis’ victory over Los Angeles on January 9, Bane and Lakers star LeBron James became involved in a minor altercation that went viral.

“These footsteps do not scare anyone,” Bane said of the NBA legend, noting that he was slow to come back to defend him in the transition.

Even the Grammy-winning singer Halsey – who was sitting by the farm – came up with harsh words about Bane.

“(Laughs) It’s not [normal], but to me it’s just basketball, “he said.” LeBron is another basketball player, another competitor trying to win games. We got into it, we got into the pitch, and that’s of course LA, the Lakers, and LeBron. It will bring a completely different type of attention.

“So, it was a little crazy. My DMs, my girl getting text messages, my people and everyone called me and asked, ‘Hey, what did he say? What did you say?’ At the end of the day, we’re just two competitors getting started. “

Lane continues to run briskly against the game’s stars later this month in Cleveland after being named the All-Star Clorox Rising Stars game in 2022.

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The NBA’s best players gather to participate in the All-Star Game, watch live on Sky Sports on February 20th

“I was a guy who was going to go to a Division II school after high school. So telling me I wanted to attend the All-Star weekend would be a dream come true.”

After recently locking in his first All-Star nod inside, partner-in-crime Morant has openly fought for Bane to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.

Morant comes from his seventh move with 30 points tonight, while Bane has averaged 22.5 points in the four games since returning from the league’s health and safety records.

“Des can tell you. I always say, ‘Yes, bro, you’re the item,'” Morant said back in December. “It’s just him. He’s a professional goal scorer, can shoot the ball with the best of them, can get downhill, can play for others.

“In this league, having a guy [in his] second year doing it is big time. He always asks questions, always watches movies, always in the gym, and it shows. “

Lane, 23, insists he would not take any other route to reach the current stop.

Lane, who was readily considered to be graduating from Seton Catholic High School (Indiana), received only one Division I offer for college. Then, after finishing his senior season at Texas Christian University as the only player to rank in the top 10 in the big 12 in points (16.6), rebounds (6.4) and assists (3.9), Bane helpless to how the teams selected 29 players ahead of him in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Still, Bane quickly answers “no” when asked if he would like to review this journey differently.

“It starts with our coaching team, our GM, just finding guys who are about the right things both on and off the field, and guys who are passionate about winning,” Bane said.

“I think a lot of these guys in the locker room are underdogs or have been through something to get to this point, and it’s really showing up on the basketball court. It’s just me. I mean, my whole career has not been things. turned out. how to necessarily want them to take off. But you get the best out of every situation you are in. I feel like I’m making the best of this situation and I would not change it for something.”

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