Last night, Matt spoke to Nerlens Noel, who shot down rumors that the people surrounding him were damaging his draft stock. Nerlens said that the only people around him were his mother and business manager, and that if it’s been difficult to schedule meetings with him lately, it’s because he’s spending so much time in Birmingham rehabbing his knee, which is his number one priority. Nerlens will call in to the radio show on Friday to talk about the issue some more and how he’s doing the week before the draft.
Since the rumors came out about Nerlens’ handlers, several have stepped forward to defend the talented player, including the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer, who wrote a feature on Nerlens earlier this month and had this to say about their encounters:
After the Cavaliers won the NBA draft lottery and the No. 1 pick, I arranged to go down to Birmingham and interview Noel while he was rehabilitating his torn knee ligament.
I had no trouble setting it up. It took me all of two emails. He arrived when he was supposed to, worked hard all day, reported for a shooting session on time and worked hard until the coach running it decided he’d had enough. He was serious, but polite and businesslike.
I encountered no entourage, although recent reports also have been critical of those around him.
Boyer echoes many of us when she says “I just know that the player I’m reading about is not the same one I interviewed.”
Nerlens meets with the Cavs this weekend.