NBA draft: Anthony Davis enters basketball, business spotlight
June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Anthony Davis said he told himself not to get nervous when his moment in the spotlight at the National Basketball Association draft arrived.
“You just sit there at night, waiting on the day to come,” he said after becoming the top overall pick by the New Orleans Hornets last night. “When I was at that table and David Stern said ‘New Orleans is on the clock -- five minutes,’ I started shaking. It just hit me right then and there.”
Stern, the league’s commissioner, soon greeted the 19-year- old Davis at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, signaling the start of a career that includes a guaranteed minimum salary of $4.3 million next season, potential for millions more in endorsements and the pressure of lifting a team that had a Western Conference-low 21 wins in 2011-12.
Davis, one of a record six University of Kentucky players drafted last night, found the spotlight quickly as a college freshman in leading his team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship as a freshman in April. He was chosen the Associated Press Player of the Year, averaging 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game.
Davis was a shooting guard as a high school freshman before a growth spurt turned him into a forward. He enters the NBA at 6-foot-10 and said last night that he was taking his time in signing endorsement deals and a contract with a shoe company.
Those companies will now face the pressure of judging whether Davis has the ability to handle all of his responsibilities as the top pick, according to Matt Delzell, group account director in the celebrity endorsement practice at the Marketing Arm, which measures celebrity status in the U.S.
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