Kevin Huerter details ‘welcome to the NBA’ moment vs. Lakers, Warriors on Hawks’ early road trip
Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Kevin Huerter experienced his rude awakening at the professional level with back-to-back matchups against premier franchises in the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.
The 21-year-old was selected in last year’s draft class with the 19th overall pick by the Hawks, and he impressed NBA observers with great perimeter shooting ability. Nevertheless, despite playing in the NCAA’s Division I with the Maryland Terrapins, Huerter still experienced a shock-and-awe moment coming to the NBA.
[Huerter]: Yeah, we had a road trip early in the year where we played the Lakers and the Warriors on the road back-to-back. That was one of our early road trips and it was my first time playing against LeBron James in Staples Center and playing against Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the rest of the Warriors in Oracle Arena. I think getting to play against those two teams and getting a chance to see the level that those guys are at was kind of my “welcome to the NBA” moment. You go from watching these guys on TV and looking up to them and to competing against them and trying to beat them. Both of those games were big for me, especially having them back-to-back like that.
The Hawks finished with a 29-53 record during the 2018-19 season, but the team is expected to take a nice jump during the upcoming season, with players and pieces set for Atlanta to make big wavelengths in years to come with a core made up of Huerter, last season’s Rookie of the Year runner-up Trae Young, big man John Collins, and this year’s first-round selections in Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Duke’s Cam Reddish.