Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton isn’t trying to follow in anybody’s footsteps.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers selected rookie point guard Collin Sexton with the eight pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, they weren’t trying choose a player that would be a mirror image of Kyrie Irving or fill the void left by LeBron James.
Such approaches are often foolish, especially when talking about two players from the most sensational era of Cavs basketball.
Sexton is a different breed of point guard than they’ve possibly ever had.
It’s true that he possesses the cold-blooded confidence of a player like Kyrie Irving and plays with the intensity reminiscent of a young Brevin Knight. His scoring output could be on par with a player like Mo Williams.
But his Roadrunner pace and direct attacking style at the point guard position is brand new to the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise.
In fact, according to Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue, Sexton’s speed and intensity haven’t been seen in Cleveland in some time.
Lue says Sexton brings “speed and intensity” that #Cavs haven’t had in some time.
— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) September 25, 2018
On Media Day, Sexton would be asked about his selection of the jersey that Irving wore and his response reflected his intensity and individuality.
Collin Sexton: “I’m not following in nobody’s footsteps.”
— Quenton S. Albertie (400) (@quentonalbertie) September 24, 2018
Let that be remembered by Cavs fans when they inevitably compare, contrast and nitpick Sexton’s game to compare it with a player like Irving.
Ironically, one of the first obstacles Irving ran into in his NBA career was the expectation for him to dominate at a level that could bring the Cavs a semblance of the success that they had with James.
Sexton will be key to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new, uptempo attack next season and teammates like Larry Nance Jr. are already excited about the opportunities that they’ll have in transition.
Once he shows that he’s aware of when and where to change his speeds and take advantage of defenders in poor position, he’ll be one of the better slashing point guards at his position.
Sexton still has his detractors in those that are critical of his lack of efficiency as a jump shooter and his need to grow as a facilitator. Though Sexton has said that he wants to improve in both of those areas, early on it doesn’t seem as if he wants to be defined by his shooting prowess but by his ability to balance facilitating and attacking the rim.
Sexton’s an extremely intense player who has the ability to be the face of the franchise and it’ll be fun to watch his career pan out. It’ll be a lot more enjoyable without believing he’s trying to be anything other than himself.