Apparently, you can be super fast and grounded at the same time. That’s the biggest takeaway from Kira Lewis Jr.’s Zoom media availability session with reporters Friday.
As someone who not only is considered speedy on the court but is rapidly rising up mock draft boards, drawing legitimate interest from the Bulls along the way, Lewis could be getting big-headed. Instead, the Alabama point guard said he isn’t focused on the attention, presenting himself as humble and respectful in close to 15 minutes of questions and answers.
“I try to bring every aspect I can, whether it’s ballhandling, passing, shooting, defense, rebounding. Anything I can do to try to help the team get better,” Lewis said. “Being more physical with my size and handling maybe bigger defenders, cutting them off. Coming off pick-and-roll, making great reads. I try to get better at every aspect of the game so I can be the most complete player I can be.”
In the new rules for the unprecedented predraft process impacted by the global pandemic, teams are allowed up to 10 in-person visits and workouts with prospects. The Bulls -- in addition to six other teams, including the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks -- flew to Miami to spend time with Lewis.
“It was a real good experience, great people. We had a good time,” Lewis said of meeting the Bulls’ brass. “It was a great workout. Showed them everything that I wanted to show them as far as what they needed to see -- shooting, my speed of course. And then after sitting down and talking to them, it was a great meeting. They’re great people. And I see the organization going in a positive direction.”
Some questions regarding Lewis’ fit alongside fellow blur-of-a-guard Coby White have surfaced in the wake of the Bulls’ due diligence and legitimate interest. However, Lewis said he never fully got to showcase his off-the-ball potential at Alabama, whose system under first Avery Johnson and then Nate Oates featured him primarily at point guard.
As for his speed, which has drawn comparisons to fellow Alabama product and current Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, Lewis said he comes from an athletic family that includes a mother who ran track as a sprinter.
“I know there are going to be times being a rookie (where) I might have mistakes,” Lewis said. “That’s where it goes back to watching film and see how you can manage that speed and not get out of control. Really change paces, which is going to be a big thing with my speed.”
Having not played a game since the pandemic shut down most of the sporting world in March, Lewis said he has focused on trying to replicate game speed in his approach to his predraft workouts. In other words, he’s got both feet on the ground, focused on what matters.
“Trades can happen. Anything can happen. Whatever happens on Wednesday, that’s really what I’m going to be focusing on,” he said. “It’s been kind of busy but I’m glad it’s happened to me because a lot of people want to be in your shoes. Being blessed to have this opportunity is good.”