Brandon Rush was in town for a physical and Jeff Rabjohns caught up with the Pacers' top pick. The day after the draft, Rush told the Kansas City Star that he wanted to "try to be the next Reggie Miller." Rabjohns wondered what the rook meant by that comment.
“Just coming in and helping the team win, that’s what I was thinking about,” said Rush, who was in town Wednesday for his physical examination. “And with him being a sharpshooter — I want to be that kind of player.”
Actually, I'd love to see Rush become a Next Gen Reg, adding a defensive dimension to the deadly sharp-shooting skill set. Regardless, the only way to compare to Reg is with the game winner in your hands and the clock winding down. If Rush can step up and knock down the clutch jumpers when needed then we'll all be happy to grant him the comparison.
Rush went on the compare himself to Paul Pierce which makes more sense. Rush appears an awful lot like Pierce did when he left Kansas. We can only hope Rush's development takes a similar path.
Rush stayed in school longer than he planned to coming out of high school. Sometimes things happen for a reason and in Rush's case those extra years in school are what made him a Pacer. Larry Bird values maturity and a NBA-ready game to go along with it. This comment alone is no doubt, music to Bird's ears.
His scoring averages at Kansas were never eye-popping — 13.5, 13.8 and 13.3 — but he said three years in college had a bigger benefit.
“It made me a better teammate,” Rush said. “Coming into college, I was known as a go-to guy who could dominate the ball the whole time. Learning to be a better teammate helped me to be a better player.”
Now we only have one week left until Bird can actually tell us himself, why he likes Rush. Thanks, NBA.