Drummond Shrugs Off Criticism

There might have been the possibility of an awkward moment when former Connecticut basketball standouts Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb greeted each other in New York prior to the 2012 NBA Draft. But Drummond said Tuesday there are no hard feelings surrounding comments made by Lamb on Monday.

Lamb, the former UConn guard expected to be one of the first 15 picks in Thursday night's draft, worked out for the Portland Trail Blazers Monday. A transcript of Lamb's media session appeared on the website blazersedge.com and one of the questions dealt with his assessment of Drummond, who is entering the NBA after one slightly unspectacular season with the Huskies.

"It depends on if he wants to work," Lamb responded. "He's a great athlete. He can jump. He can block shots. He can rebound. I always say, it's funny, we will have an early practice at like 8 a.m., and everyone is trying to get warmed up and stuff. He'll just come out and do a windmill to warm up. His bounce is amazing. I believe he's going to work hard, develop post moves, I think he can be a great pro."

The first sentence, regarding Drummond's work ethic, garnered the most attention, of course. Lamb was accused of throwing Drummond under the bus. And the quote got quite a bit of attention on the Internet, where there seems to b constant speculation focusing on Drummond's future in the NBA.

The constant question about Drummond seems to center on his status as a potential legend – or a legendary draft bust. When the dialogue turns extremely negative, comparisons are made to Kwame Brown – considered the worst overall No. 1 pick in draft history by most NBA followers.

Drummond would be battling those observations regardless of Lamb's comments, but the words of a former teammate grabbed headlines. During an appearance Tuesday afternoon on SportsCenter at the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., Drummond smiled and shrugged off Lamb's remark.

"You know, everybody is going to take that out of proportion," Drummond said. "But Jeremy Lamb would never talk bad about me. I guess they kinda changed his words and what he meant. I've actually talked to him already and he was like, ‘Yeah, I never said that.'

"Jeremy Lamb is going to be a great player. We're both here doing the same thing. We're playing the game we love and we're both going to work as hard as we can, knowing we're from the same college and we're going to push each other – no matter what team we're on."

Lamb and Drummond will be reunited in New York Wednesday when the NBA holds the annual pre-draft media availability session with 14 invited players. Typically, those are players that have the potential to be lottery picks and they will be sitting in the "green room" waiting to hear their names called early during the draft Thursday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

As the draft approaches, there is always speculation – good or bad - regarding players. In recent days there have been mock draft reports indicating the stock of both former UConn players is dropping. Even so, it's hard to believe Drummond would drop any lower than No. 7 to Golden State and it's possible he could go to teams in one the three spots ahead of the Warriors.

Drummond worked out with Portland, Sacramento, Cleveland and Charlotte.

And even though Lamb turned his ankle during a workout in Toronto, there are strong signals from the Raptors that they might take him with the No. 8 pick. A lot may depend on Charlotte. The Bobcats may swap the No. 2 pick to Cleveland. The Cavaliers reportedly want Florida guard Bradley Beal enough to make that deal and put Michael Jordan's Bobcats in the No. 4 spot.

Drummond, from Middletown, Conn., told ESPN that his mother and younger sister will move with him – regardless of which team drafts him. He said it was a difficult decision leaving UConn after one year. Drummond said he loves the UConn fans, coach Jim Calhoun and his UConn teammates.

Asked which player he is most looking forward to playing in the NBA, Drummond said Dwight Howard.

"I definitely want to play against him," Drummond said. "He's huge. It would be fun playing against him. He'd definitely bring the best out of me."

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