Upon signing a non-guaranteed deal withthe New York Knicks last summer, Lamar Peters decided to make the most of his opportunity. Six months later, the results have certainly opened a few eyes. The undrafted point guard from Mississippi State leads the Westchester Knicks in scoring (17 PPG) and assists per game (6 APG, which is good for 15th across the G League) and has the most games with at least 20 points (10).
To add further emphasis on Peters’ stellar rookie season, please know the New Orleans native has a penchant for making history. During last Saturday’s game vs. the Windy City Bulls, Peters set the franchise, single-game record for most threes made with 10 and only took 15 attempts.
I spoke with Peters on December 30th, after the W-Knicks faced the College Park Skyhawks.
Arden: What would be one of your biggest lessons learned after starting this season?
Lamar: Just understanding what it takes to be very prepared at this level. Good preparation prevents poor performance and I embraced that in various ways, whether it was studying more film or just taking my mind to another place before games.
A: For a guard of your caliber and size, how you do find your spots against this level of competition?
L: It honestly goes back to what you just said, me finding my spots. I know, I can attack defenses, but sometimes I have to take what the defense gives me because it’s the right thing to do. Especially in these situations involving pick and roll’s, as I can find my big men often based on their help defense and depth.
A: How was your NBA Draft process after leaving Mississippi State?
L: It was a great yet humbling experience since it didn’t ultimately end the way I wanted (being drafted). But it did teach me a lot in my biggest moments. I had to ask myself, what was I going to do: Grind harder and find my way or do the opposite? As much work goes into physically preparing myself, my draft process also improved my mentality and I’m thankful for that.
A: Speaking of your mentality, has there so far been any lessons learned in that area?
L: Oh, absolutely. I had to embrace this was my job and it’s a very serious one. There’s great value in being a good pro and leader and they challenge you to become either thing. You can’t just have any slip up’s on this level. If you’re late, you get fined and it’s a bad look on your name.
A: Growing up in New Orleans, what were your earliest basketball memories?
L: Hmm, I would say when my coach took me out of the game because I was playing bad throughout the third quarter (laughs). I remember this very well because with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, my coach put me back in and I scored 24 points to finish the game.
A: Just to continue speaking about your hometown, what makes a ballplayer from New Orleans unique?
L: I would honestly say, it’s our level of toughness. Coming from New Orleans and being a basketball player down there, we don’t get much recognition and I felt that. I was constantly under-recruited and overlooked, so I took it out on the court. But what made it better, was knowing almost everybody was just like me, so it was a battle every time we played.