Exclusive: Celtics’ Aaron Nesmith talks rookie year, Dwyane Wade, NBA Draft, and more
The NBA draft is when dreams come true–when players realize that all their hard work has finally paid off. Athletes can take care of the family members who’ve helped them along the way, and it’s the beginning of a long journey that will create memories that will last a lifetime. In an exclusive interview with ClutchPoints, Boston Celtics guard Aaron Nesmith shared a few memories from his first year in the NBA, on Dwyane Wade and many other topics.
“It’s a surreal moment. A dream come true. A lot of nerves. You don’t know when you’re getting picked till it happens. So being able to enjoy that moment with my family was something that I’ll remember forever,” Aaron Nesmith told ClutchPoints when asked about his draft night.
The Celtics selected Nesmith with the No. 14 pick in the 2020 draft. After playing two seasons at Vanderbilt, Nesmith decided to declare for the draft. In his final college season, he averaged 23 points on 51% shooting from the field and 52% from the 3-point line.
That year Aaron Nesmith played 14 games, and his season was cut short due to a stress fracture in his right foot. Knowing the injury could potentially hurt his draft stock, he still decided to enter the rookie selection.
“I did not expect the Celtics to pick me right there,” Nesmith explained. “I thought I was going somewhere else but, everything happens for a reason. I’m glad to be here. I think it was the right decision for the Celtics, so I’m very happy.”
Aaron Nesmith Talks Dwyane Wade, Khris Middleton, Jimmy Butler
Making it to the NBA also means the players a young pro once idolized would now become peers. Going to battle with the world’s very best is a nightly occurrence. The challenge of defeating your favorite players is now a reality.
“My favorite player growing up was Dwyane Wade, but he retired before I got here. Then my next favorite player was Khris Middleton just because he went to my high school. So, I can’t say that it changed,” Nesmith added.
Middleton is like a big brother to Nesmith. He’s somebody he turns to for advice on and off the court. They have a tight bond that goes deeper than basketball, but rookies don’t always know their favorite players personally.
Players are usually just fans, and they have to find the balance between admiration and respect. All rookies face this crossroad in their careers, and they all deal with it differently. Aaron Nesmith is finding his own way.
“Another person I liked was Jimmy Butler growing up. He solidified that when we played him. The way that he plays. The way he talks to his teammates. The way he’s always engaged. He seems like a very good player and someone that you could watch and learn a lot from,” Nesmith said.
Nesmith Gets Real On Summer League
Players have to decide what type of player they want to become in the NBA. It usually starts during Las Vegas NBA Summer League before the regular season begins. Unfortunately, COVID-19 stripped the 2020 draft class of this much-needed time.
There was no adjustment period for the incoming group. There was very little time to build trust on and off the court during the season. Aaron Nesmith and other rookies had to learn on the fly. Except for the rookies with a ton of opportunities, it was a difficult transition.
Now that the world is starting to become semi-normal, summer league returned. Many players, including Nesmith, decided to participate in the event they missed out on as rookies. It’s a decision the Celtics youngster feels was worth it.
“I was able to kind of showcase what I’ve been working on this summer and some things that I know I’m capable of doing, being able to put the ball on the floor more and becoming a better all-around basketball player,” Nesmith explained. “So from that standpoint of being comfortable playing with better pace and more confidence. Hopefully, I can translate that into training camp and then from training camp to the regular season, and have a great season.”
Aaron Nesmith hopes to raise his production this 2021-22 season, and having a mentor, summer league, and training camp could be a considerable aid. He’s approaching this season with a ton of confidence and comfort that could also propel him into a great year.