CHICAGO — Shabazz Napier bookended his college career with national championships, winning as a freshman when he came off the bench for a star-studded squad, then winning again as a senior when he led the UConn Huskies on an improbable title run last month.
“He’s clearly a winner,” said an Eastern Conference executive. “The kid won two titles and he basically won this last one with everyone on his back. Everyone knew he was going to take the shots, and he took them and made them. That does go somewhere in the NBA.”
It’s unclear how much that success will ultimately matter to NBA teams, but Napier, the pride of Roxbury, believes winning is the trait they should rank above all others when evaluating him for the June 26 draft.
“At the end of the day, winning gets you whatever you want,” Napier said during the NBA Draft combine this week, where he’s trying to improve his stock with workouts and interviews.
“It gets your rings, it gets you more fans, it gets you everything an owner needs, everything a team needs. I think it should be No. 1. Certain guys know how to win, certain guys understand what to do at certain times of the game and that’s kind of rare.”
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