Basketball – NBA – Oklahoma City: Maledon ready to have more responsibilities for his second season

Posted September 29, 2021 at 4:55 p.m. – updated September 29, 2021 at 4:56 p.m.

Aurélie SACCHELLI

Author of a convincing first season with Oklahoma City, 20-year-old French point guard Théo Maledon, who has worked very hard all summer, hopes to continue his momentum.

Drafted in 34th position last year by Philadelphia, before being sent directly to Oklahoma City, Theo Maledon quickly recovered from his disappointment, he who was expected in the Top 15 a few months before. For his first NBA season, the leader born in 2001 was convincing, with 10, 1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 27 minutes, in 65 games with the Thunder including 49 as the holder. In a team that finished penultimate in the Western Conference (22 wins, 50 losses), the former ASVEL player was able to find his place, even scoring 33 points in April against the future vice-champion , Phoenix. On vacation since May 16, the 20-year-old Norman took advantage of the summer (and his refusal to compete in the Olympic Games) to work a lot. “I returned to France for two or three weeks just after the season, to see my family and reunite with my loved ones. I had a great time with them and came home after that to get back to work. I took things from day to day. I could have told myself that there were two months before the recovery and rest, or go more quiet some weeks. But I went to the gym every day as if it was the day before the resumption. That’s how I prepared, I continued my effort day after day, ”explained the French leader during Media Day, who gained a lot of muscles during the summer.

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Maledon: “It was good to be able to lead the guys”

Present during the Summer League in August, where he shot at 10 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds on average, Maledon was happy to have a big role within the team: “It was a good experience, something we were discussing with the team that was one of my goals for the offseason. It was a good opportunity for me to be one of the main players of the team and to have to lead the others well. It was nice to be able to lead the guys and learn to master this role a little more. “If he is mainly a leader, the native of Rouen says he is ready to change position if necessary:” I can play in multiple positions and it’s something I’ve been doing for a while. Growing up, I often played with full backs who could also ride the ball. In my professional career in France too, I often played with another fullback. It’s just a matter of being useful and knowing how to move without a ball. And when you get it back, make the right decisions. “A summer job to be confirmed in the preseason, which will begin next Monday for the Thunder (who recruited little but obtained many draft rounds during the offseason) against Charlotte.