Cleveland Cavaliers Star Collin Sexton Explains How Tony Parker Blew His Mind During His Rookie NBA Season

Published 04/03/2021, 3:17 PM EDT
Jan 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) starts to shoot a three-point basket in the second overtime against the Brooklyn Nets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


Collin Sexton, now in his third year as a professional, has been one of the breakout stars of the NBA this season. Despite the Cleveland Cavaliers’ disappointing position in the standings, he has continued to impress. It is because he learned a few valuable lessons during his rookie season and that from one of the masters of the guard position.

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The Cavaliers drafted Sexton eighth overall at the 2018 NBA draft. That was right after LeBron James departed to Los Angeles. So, a lot of the responsibility of the team fell on his shoulders.

Jan 4, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) passes at the last second from pressure under Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and guard Dwayne Bacon (8) and guard Michael Carter-Williams (7) as Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) looks on during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

He held himself well as he averaged 16.7 points per game at 40.2% three-point shooting. But there was one particular incident with Tony Parker when the Cavs were playing the Spurs. It was his ‘Welcome to the NBA moment’.

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“I think my rookie season, is when it all pretty much changed for me because I think I was playing against Tony Parker and I think he gave me like four fouls in the first quarter… I was like mind blown because I have never experienced that and he was like, ‘I got you rook.’ I could do nothing with it,” Sexton told JJ Reddick in his podcast.

What lessons did the Cleveland Cavaliers rookie learn from that?

While Parker was into the final season of his professional career, Sexton was in his first. Inadvertently, he taught a valuable experience to the young guard.

“I would probably say decision making and just trying to adjust to the different teams and the different players. Any given night certain players might be out of the game or might be resting,” said Sexton.

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“The guy that’s the seventh on the bench, he comes in and acts as a starter. So, you have to make sure you know what his tendencies are, make sure you are locked in.”

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker (9) walks on the floor during a timeout against the Golden State Warriors in overtime during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals at Oracle Arena on Sunday, May 12, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland defeats San Antonio in overtime 97-87. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

These days Sexton is playing at an All-Star level. He is running the show for the Cavs as once his former tormentor did with the Spurs.

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Bharat Aggarwal

673 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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