Ask any player participating in a draft and they will probably say they want to be the No. 1 overall pick and then be named top rookie. Markelle Fultz, however, isn’t just any player.
The Washington guard said being drafted as the top pick would be a dream come true but the 18-year-old has his sights set on something bigger.
“No. 1 is big for me because I’ve been dreaming about it all my life. I want to come in and kill it,” he said via Sports Illustrated. “I want to be rookie of the year … honestly, me? I want to be MVP next year.”
On guarding some of the NBA’s biggest stars, Fultz added: “It just puts a bigger challenge up for me. I’m ready to go out and achieve.
“I’m glad there’s a lot of point guards now, I wouldn’t want it to be any less. I want to compete every night. Kyrie [Irving], Damian Lillard, all these guys. Seeing them on TV, knowing I’m going to play against them… It’s cool.”
As for Ball, Fultz said he was amused by the former’s claims that he was a better team leader, and expects their rivalry to continue when they are in the NBA.
Fultz and Ball could be the two top picks in this year’s draft, and since they are both point guards, they will be linked to one another for much of their careers.
As freshmen, Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists, while Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists for UCLA.
“I have a lot of respect for him, and he’s supposed to say that. Anyone that’s your competitor is going to think that they’re better,” Fultz said.
To me, it was just funny, he just motivated me to work harder and be sure I put myself further and further in front.”