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4. Kobe Bryant was his favorite player.
"When I played video games, I was him," Favors says.
5. He likes to eat — a lot.
As a kid, Favors consumed everything in sight. "I’d be hungry," he says. "My mom used to say she couldn’t keep food in the house. I’d eat it all. She’d buy a bag of chips, and it would be gone that day. My sister didn’t like that. And my brother was the same way. I still eat anything that’s in the refrigerator, and anything my mom cooks."
6. He never even imagined himself playing in the NBA until his junior year of high school.
"Before that, it was, like, ‘People don’t go to the NBA,’ " he says. "But then, college recruiters and scouts started coming to watch me play. I started winning MVP awards. Accolades came. I was always more of a defensive-type player. I took pride in that."
7. Favors turned pro after one year at Georgia Tech to fulfill dreams and fill his bank account.
"I decided to leave," he says. "It was my dream to play in the NBA, and it was the money, too. That kind of chance doesn’t come around often. I wanted to help my family out. Not too many people get to be a top draft pick."
8. Like a lot of accomplished athletes, he has a box-sized chip on his shoulder and uses that as motivation.
"I’ve got a lot of people to prove wrong," he says. "They don’t think I deserve to be in this spot. They think I’m overrated, or whatever they say."
Favors heard all that in high school, despite being ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country. He heard it at Georgia Tech. And after he was drafted by New Jersey with the third overall pick before last season, he felt disrespected by the Nets. His name was constantly connected to trade rumors, many of which swirled around Carmelo Anthony.
"I got tired of hearing, ‘Carmelo … Carmelo … Carmelo,’ " he says. "I felt unwanted. They put me on the trade market as soon as I was drafted."
9. He was happy to come to the Jazz.
Favors, quite candidly and remarkably, describes his move last season from New Jersey to Utah thusly: "They traded me for that guy who was here — I forget his name — and I’m happy to be in a place where they wanted me. They gave me a chance to go out and actually play."
That guy was Deron Williams.Next Page >
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