NEW YORK – I asked Andre Drummond today if he liked being a celebrity.
“I don’t consider myself a celebrity,” he said. “I don’t think like I am bigger than somebody else, I am just a human being like you or anybody else.”
Of course, Drummond, just 18, is already a celebrity and is about to become a much larger one, as an NBA team in a significant market will be drafting him Thursday night. His world is about to change.
He says he has a “tight circle.” … Nobody gets in, strangers are kept at arm’s length. His mother, able to retire now, and younger sister will be with him wherever he relocates. He has no wish list of things to go out and splurge on, but said he plans to save his money.
Drummond sounds rather grounded, considering he could make up to $3.8 million in his first year, $8 million in his first two years if the Bobcats draft him No. 2. Even if he falls all the way to the Pistons at No.9, the lowest projection out there, he’ll be guaranteed to make millions, plural, over the next two years.
“How many 18-year-olds are going to make millions of dollars?” he asked. “It’s a nerve-wracking responsibility.”
Drummond is far from a finished product on the court, and the teams that draft him may have to weight several years before he becomes the player they hope he will. He may never get there. But his personality can only be a plus. Drummond mixed so easily with the Harlem kids he visited and worked with on Wednesday. He is easy to like. Anyone at UConn, not just on his own team but the women’s team and other athletes, will tell you that.
There’s no way of knowing what will happen when a young man Andre Drummond’s age is thrust into the limelight and paid enough money to buy anything he wants. Many struggle to handle it. But from my time around him, I think the kid’s head is on straight and he will handle this part of his new world quite well.
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