No matter how well a rookie plays in his first season, there invariably comes a moment where he gets somewhat humbled on the court by an NBA veteran. Here at All Ball, we’ll do our best all season to keep track of these moments, which we’re calling “Welcome to the NBA” …
By Jeff Case
At 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, Macedonian-born rookie Pero Antic of the Atlanta Hawks is literally one of the biggest rookies in the league this year. In a preseason interview with Hawks.com, Antic told the website how he hoped to model his game after that of his All-Star frontcourt teammate, Al Horford. He may need to huddle up with Horford, though, after he got his official NBA welcome the other night in Denver.
Antic was out at the 3-point line hoisting up a deep 3-point jumper with about 5 minutes left in the first quarter. Keep in mind that Horford has attempted just seven 3-pointers in his career. Antic is never going to be an exact replica of Horford … he’s his own man and player and will carve out whatever role he can in the NBA. But the 31-year-old rookie will probably think twice about a slow-release 3-pointer the next time Denver is in town.
Back to Antic’s moment … that 3-pointer gets swatted by the Nuggets’ J.J. Hickson, who then takes it the length of the court for a breakaway two-handed jam.