Landry Shamet admit that he was naive. Even when rumors ran that he could be traded by the Philadelphia 76ers last year, he did not believe it. After all, they had just picked him in the first round of the NBA 2018 project and he was doing everything he was asked. He learned the hard way that the NBA is a ruthless business when Philadelphia entrusted it to the Clippers of the Tobias Harris Trade.
The change of scenery ended up being great for Shamet, averaging 10.9 points and 2.7 points at three points per game (with an incredible 45.0% over long distance) with the clips. The 22-year-old started in 29 of the 31 games in Los Angeles (including all games in the playoffs).
HoopsHype met with Shamet to discuss his rookie campaign, Los Angeles trade, outstanding Clippers acquisitions Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, his off-season training and more.
The last time we spoke, you were still with the Philadelphia 76ers. How was it to be traded as a rookie and to discover the commercial side of the NBA?
Landry Shamet: To be honest, I was a little naive about all this, about the commercial aspect of basketball. I was in Philadelphia and I played well. I felt good, thinking that this was where I needed to be in the foreseeable future. Throughout the discussion on the trade deadline, I remember that journalists came to me to ask me how I felt about it and if I was worried about the trade deadline. I've always said, "No, not really." I never really thought about it. Then you see how fast that can happen. It's just a part of the business. Where you play, live and call home can change as this. It was fine, though. I'm glad it happened as soon as it gave me, giving me a picture of my business.
How was it to adapt to Los Angeles – on and off the field?
LS: Off the field, I was in California for my preliminary training, so I was quite used to it. It's different in L.A. obviously. I feel that I can adapt quite easily to the environment in which I find myself and make the most of it. I like L.A. I love the area. J & # 39; appreciates. So off the field, it was not really a problem.
In the field, it was different. Obviously, the departure is a very different beast. [There are higher] expectations when you are a beginner. You are supposed to produce and you are not even really considered a rookie. It was good. I like situations like this, where I am challenged and pushed to the extreme, and I have to find a way to feel comfortable in these situations. It was good. I'm glad it happened. It was a good opportunity. Obviously, I'm grateful for the opportunities I had in Philadelphia with the Sixers, but I'm incredibly happy to have been traded. I could really be part of the group I am with now.
You played very well with the Sixers and you continued to succeed when you landed with the Clippers. Do you prosper with two different teams that helped you to trust yourself?
LS: For sure. I think that I am the kind of player who will make it work wherever I am, with whoever I am and whatever role I am called to play. Whether it's to the point, playing the ball or playing In my way of playing now, I feel really comfortable, no matter what role I play.
There are many great veterans at the Clippers. Who are the guys who helped you acclimatize once the trade is over?
LS: They all did. Everyone was great, from top to bottom. Pat Beverley Was the first person to come and tell what was happening to me. We were at the hotel in Boston and I was the first to have lunch and film that morning. I was sitting there, eating breakfast alone at the table while the coaches were sitting at another table meeting. Doc [Rivers] In a way, I intended to shout after me and say, "Come here and say what's going on!" So, I said what was waiting for them all, it was good. Then Pat did not even say what he was to his coaches, he came directly to me and spoke to me. Obviously, as a beginner, as a young man, I felt a little lost. Small things like that go a long way and it helps. I think everyone really played a role and helped me feel comfortable. Everyone has supported me to come, to be aggressive and to do what I do. That alone helped a lot.
You started all the games in the first round against the Golden State Warriors. How did you experience this experience in the playoffs, especially against such a talented Warrior team?
LS: It was also something for which I am very grateful. Obviously, they were the defending champions at that time and they have two guys that I grew up looking at and idolizing in some ways [in] Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Wanting to keep them and lock them into test reports, make adjustments and see them doing the same thing for you, it's kind of like an 'I'm here'. It's something I'll enjoy more in the playoffs this year. It is an experience that I will cherish. These experiences will be 10 times more useful here at the end of the upcoming season when we are in the playoffs and I am used to that and I understand the importance of everything you do at the time of the playoffs; every possession, every pass and every switch, everything you do, is extremely important. For me, it was a really valuable experience.
It was an incredible season for the Clippers, who landed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. How did you get this news and what was your reaction?
LS: When I was exchanged, it was 2:30 in the morning. I was about to fall asleep and I had received SMS from my agents, George [Langberg] and Happy [Walters]. They both sent me a text message simultaneously. I thought, "There's no way that's going to happen." I immediately realized that this had happened, that I had been exchanged. So, the other night, it was still 2:30 in the morning and I was already asleep. I was asleep and I heard my phone ringing as I slept – as if I knew it was going to sound, but I did not fully wake up. It exploded with SMS and phone calls. I had seven missed phone calls from George, my agent. I woke up, I turned around, I looked at my phone and I saw everything. I was like: "There is no way! I've still been traded ?! "(Laughs). It was my first thought, knowing that this was the last time. But once I called back my agent, he said, "You're not in agreement." And then he simply informed me of the situation. It was mostly just me trying to wake myself up. It was certainly exciting to hear that we had these two superstars. My life became much easier overnight. I know that they will attract a ton to pay attention and make games for themselves, for the rest, for the rest of us. It's going to be really exciting.
Many people say that you are the best team on paper and that there are expectations in terms of championship.
LS: There should be championship expectations. There is no reason to think of anything else. I have somehow felt the expectations right now, let's go right away. This is what we do. Knowing that I'm starting, assuming that's always the case, I take it very seriously. Starting from the best team on paper? I take it seriously. I felt the weight very quickly, that's for sure. I'm just excited to get to grips with this group, to move forward and try to do everything we can.
Have you ever had the opportunity to talk to Kawhi or PG?
LS: I do not have it yet.
Everyone is talking about how incredible this team can be in defense. How can this help you and what do you expect from this side?
LS: [It helps] your confidence, defensive. Knowing that you not only have other players who protect their matches, but you know that they are intoxicating and have a good IQ. If you make a mistake, you have behind you guys who make up for these mistakes. I think this will allow Pat to be more aggressive than he is already. You will probably see some guys playing a little bit more, knowing the group of defenders behind us. We can play several games against a guy. If he's coping with Pat, okay, here's Paul. If he's doing well with Paul, okay, well here's Kawhi. Going down, we can really exhaust the guys. The idea of being able to launch these different confrontations against these big scorers [is great]. Whoever is watching them will not use it. We are going to have different options here. It's exciting to be able to exchange all types.
It looks like this team is very close and we talked a lot about the excellent culture of Clippers. I know you've only been there for half a season, but what about the backstage of culture?
LS: From top to bottom, everyone has accepted. Everyone is on the same page. Your front office is on the same page as your coaches, and your coaches are on the same page as the players and all other staff members are on the same page. When this happens, it usually results in good results. I think that by adding these two types – Kawhi and PG – which are known to be good types of lockers, they will be able to integrate well, get used to our culture and become valuable pieces and assets in this culture. . It's a group of really altruistic people who will do everything in their power to win and be as successful as possible collectively. It was great to be part of that this year.
What are your projects in the low season? What aspects of your game do you work on to develop?
LS: Just everything. I was a leader in college; people forget that. Being able to rework this in my game [would be good]. I play a lot outside the ball, but I want to be a threat to the rebound and my catch, to shots on goal, to dribbles where I can go down and create bulletproof screens, while being more aggressive in transition . Things like that, offensively. Obviously, I will work on my body and continue to become stronger. Overall, I continue to be a complete player, which I have always boasted; do everything well. I am not that a shooter. I'm not just a shooting guard. I play both positions. I can do everything a coach needs. That's what I'm proud of, so I worked to complete the rest of my game that may not have been so much presented this year because I was in a different role.
Kawhi and PG both come from extraordinary seasons. What did you see from these two guys last season as an opponent?
LS: I know Paul, he beat a winner in Philly after scoring 31 points. I saw him cooking a few times. He did it again in L.A. We beat thunder in LA when we played them, but he was also very good at the time. I saw these two guys go firsthand. What makes them difficult to defend is that they shoot shots considered "bad shots" in the NBA – long contested teams. You see that Kawhi takes a lot late at night. When he makes them, he is impossible to keep because he can do anything – shoot all three, go to the edge. When you play a good defense against him, he is content with this long fight, he is fighting two and you can not do anything. He does that. The same thing with Paul. I think he is underestimated by his ability to move well without the ball and out of the screens, as the "shooters" do. He's a scorer, but I think he's moving very well and playing without the ball. It's the way we play. We are playing in a good way and I think these two will make us much better.
You seem really mature for your age. You always seem calm and collected. Have you always been mature for your age?
LS: I have always been mature for my age. I'm just trying to run my business the right way and do the right things. I had a single mother and I was an only child. In third grade, I remember coming home from school with a key around my neck, entering my home, locking the door, not burning the house, getting ready for school. having dinner. I've been a bit forced to be [mature] at an early age. I think it was just taken with me. My mother was amazing in the way she raised me. A lot of things she did, when I was younger in high school, when you were wondering who was, a lot of things she did, I did not understand them at the time. But in hindsight, all that makes sense now; I know why. She did an amazing job. My grandparents also took care of me. My aunts and uncles acted like big brothers and sisters. All my life, I had good masculine influences at critical times when I needed a man to learn to be a man. I think that overall, I was very lucky with the people around me and I think it's largely who I am and how I behave. I've always been a bit like this.
You have recently been invited to participate with the chosen Team of the American Team. Do you expect this and how much can you learn from this experience?
LS: I am absolutely looking forward to it. I think being invited to represent your country in any way is special. You represent your country and it's a lot of people. Being chosen to do that is incredible. It's an honor. It shows how much I came and what I overcame. It's exciting. Just to be in camp for five days with the best players in the world, I will be against, I am super excited to learn from different coaches and to have new perspectives, etc. . That's a lot. I think it will be a great learning opportunity, a great experience. It's pretty crazy to get this invitation, though.
It was a few weeks ago. I think I just woke up, got out of bed and got a phone call. It seems like a trend (laughs). They invited me and I had the itinerary, the dates and all that. Then I saw Woj tweet about it. It was cool!