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Anthony Bennett, Steven Adams bring NBA Draft to new international levels

Anthony Bennett from UNLV reacts after being selected by the Clevland Cavaliers as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn

Anthony Bennett from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) reacts after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York, June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)


NEW YORK – Anthony Bennett – who became the NBA’s highest-drafted Canadian when the Cavaliers picked him No. 1 in last night’s NBA Draft – said seven dangerous words in his press conference.

“I’m not a big fan of hockey,” Bennett said as reporters shot each other nervous looks, wondering what fate his home country would deal him for those comments.

“But I support the Maple Leafs,” Bennett continued, hopefully saving his reputation in the Great White North.

Bennett surpassed new teammate Tristan Thompson, whom the Cavaliers picked fourth in 2011, as the highest-drafted Canadian.

He wasn’t the only international player setting a new mark for his country. Steven Adams, drafted at No. 12 by the Thunder, became the highest-drafted player from New Zealand.

There had been just three NBA players from New Zealand – Aron Baynes, Sean Marks and Kirk Penney – and Marks was the only of trio to be drafted, No. 44 in 1998.

Don’t put away the record books just yet. As Bennett was quick to point out, another Canadian, Andrew Wiggins, could go No. 1 next year.