By LARRY VAUGHT
Hamidou Diallo says his rehab is going well for the arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow he needed about two weeks — which was his first surgery ever.
The former Kentucky player played in 51 games during his rookie season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He averaged 10.3 minutes, 3.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field — but only 16. percent from 3-point range as he struggled from outside just like he did at UK.
However, there’s little doubt about his athleticism as he won the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.
“It was a fun experience. I mean … I really don’t even think about it that much no more. But it was fun while it lasted,” Diallo said.
He also knows he has to make improvements before next season.
“Just going out there defending the best player every night and showing that I’m capable to do that at a high level, and just showing what I’ve been working on for the summer, and that’s — if it’s ball handling, shooting, I’m going to work on everything in the summer, so just display a full evaluation of where I’m at I would say after all of the work that I put in in the summer,” Diallo, who plans to play in the summer league, said.
Diallo, a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, said he didn’t have any major adjustments to make during his rookie season.
“I would say it was a lot of things that I learned, but no real adjustment. I feel like I adjusted well, and it was a smooth transition for me,” Diallo said. “I’m a competitor, so of course I wanted to compete.
“But in this league you’ve got to be ready for anything at any given time, and sometimes you face adversity, but you still have to learn how to fight through and learn how to push through, and that’s what I did for most of the year, and I was fine, pretty much, for most of the year.”