Pacers lottery pick Bennedict Mathurin enjoys first practice, carries the right attitude into summer league
In a short time, Mathurin has impressed his new teammates with his competitive edge and team-first mentality. Summer League starts on July 8.
After months of preparing for the NBA Draft, going through many workouts for NBA teams, participating in a pro day and answering hundreds of questions from the media, Bennedict Mathurin finally got back to playing.
On Friday, the Pacers held their first of six practices prior to summer league, which begins late next week in Las Vegas. Sixteen players are on the initial roster, which will be trimmed down by the time they fly across the country.
“It feels great,” Mathurin said. “Really fun. “It’s my first practice as an NBA player. There’s a lot of things that I need to improve on and it’s been great going to practice and stuff. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and practicing again.”
Then on Sunday, it got even more real for Mathurin when he sat down and signed his first NBA contract. That’s another significant moment for newcomers to the league. And for first-round picks, they’re slotted into a salary so there’s not much negotiating.
And because point guard Tyrese Haliburton wears No. 0, his preferred number, Mathurin will be 00. So you better get used to 0 and 00 in the Pacers’ backcourt. Those two are the present of the franchise.
“It does feel real,” Mathurin said. “I got my jersey on and my number. So it’s just a blessing to be here. Basketball is also my job so I’m here to compete, I’m here to stay.”