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Everything Dalton Knecht Said After Being Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers

Dalton Knecht
VFL Dalton Knecht. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

Despite a slide during the NBA draft compared to mock projections leading up to the event, Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht landed at a tremendous spot on Wednesday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Knecht with the 17th overall pick to link up with superstars Lebron James and Anthony Davis alongside newly appointed head coach JJ Redick. With James in the latter years of his career, the Lakers are in win-now mode. Los Angeles doesn’t need an 18-year-old project piece and can have much more use out of an older rookie who plays more like a young veteran with his maturity.

That’s exactly what the Lakers got with Knecht sliding down.

Knecht marks the fourth straight year that Tennessee and Rick Barnes have sent a player to the NBA through the draft.

More from RTI: Dalton Knecht Reps Tennessee With Suit, Shouts Out Vol Baseball At NBA Draft

Here’s a look at everything that VFL Dalton Knecht said after being selected by the Lakers on Wednesday night:

Dalton Knecht

Q. First of all, congratulations. I just wanted to ask, what drives you really to get better every day, to put in the work that you’ve done to get here, kind of your why, in a sense?

DALTON KNECHT: I’d say my why is I feel like I’ve been underrated my whole entire life ever since I was coming out of high school. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder, and to this day I’ll always have that chip on my shoulder to go out there and prove people wrong.

Q. I know there’s so many kids out there that don’t have a scholarship offer coming out of high school. What can you say to them?

DALTON KNECHT: Yeah, I would say to all the kids out there that don’t have offers, you don’t have to be the highest-rated kid in your class or whatever. You could always go junior college or whatever type of route and be different. You can make your own path and find your way.

Q. How does it feel that you’ll be playing with LeBron?

DALTON KNECHT: It feels great, to play with one of the greats to ever touch a basketball. It’s going to be exciting to go put on a show for L.A.

Q. One of the things that JJ Redick talked about was two-way play. Obviously get a lot of credit for what you do on the offensive end. How do you think you can fit in defensively, especially with Anthony Davis behind you?

DALTON KNECHT: Yeah, like you said, AD is there. I get to learn from one of the greatest in LeBron and AD to help me each step of the way on both sides of the floor. I’m excited just to go out there and compete.

Q. How have you been preparing for the transition from college basketball to the NBA?

DALTON KNECHT: Learning how to take care of my body constantly. I would say that’s the biggest thing I was focusing on, and just kind of being around those type of NBA guys that have been there and done that. So just kind of learning from them.

Q. As you went through the process, did you think about where you would land, and did you allow your mind to work that way or did you pull back from the process and just say, whatever happens, happens?

DALTON KNECHT: I would say it’s a mixture. I was just trying to be the best version of myself, and try to always push myself to be better and be better than yesterday.

Q. As you’ll see with the Lakers, a lot of things go viral. There’s a clip that’s gone viral of LeBron talking about when he watched Purdue and Tennessee playing, he mentioned your game. Did you see that clip and what was your thoughts about that during your time when you were playing in college?

DALTON KNECHT: Yeah, I remember that clip. I woke up and rolled out of bed and I thought it was fake because tons of people were texting me. I was just like, there’s no way.

When I watched that video, it just brought a smile to my face, and also my parents. They called me right away and told me about it. It’s going to be special and it’s going to be fun just to be sharing the court with both of them, AD and LeBron. LeBron is one of the greatest. So it’s going to be real special.

Q. Rob Pelinka said that JJ already had a white board and was drawing up ATOs and different ways to get you shots. As a motion shooter scorer, what’s your reaction to that level of excitement from your new coach and the ability to play for a guy in JJ Redick who did that as good as anyone?

DALTON KNECHT: Yeah, that’s really exciting. At Tennessee, I watched a lot of JJ Redick with Coach Barnes. Just the way he moves and paces himself, and was able to create space. So hearing that, it’s going to be really exciting and really special.

Q. Each step along your process from junior college from Colorado to Tennessee, you got better. How did you manage that? Every time there was a new test, how were you able to meet it?

DALTON KNECHT: I would just say playing with a chip on my shoulder. Every single time I touch a basketball or walk into a gym, I always feel like I’ve got something to prove.

It doesn’t matter where I’m at. It’s always going to be there, having that chip on my shoulder, feeling like I’ve been underrated for my whole life. It’s something I’m going to carry with me the rest of my career.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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