While speaking with Jeremy Tache on Bally Sports Florida’s podcast, Herro made a bold statement about his talent level and where he ranks among other NBA players such as Trae Young and Luka Doncic.
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“I feel like I’m in the same conversation as those guys, the young guys coming up in the league who can be All-Stars, superstars one day,” Herro said. “You know, Luka, Trae, Ja. Those guys like that, I feel like my name should be in that category, too.
“I put the work in, and I’m just continuing to get better every single day. So I got a lot of goals in mind to be an All-Star one day and continue to chase my dreams. So I’m really excited to see where I can go.”
After the interview went live, Herro’s comments were balked at by analysts across multiple outlets. ESPN’s SportsCenter anchor Randy Scott tweeted, “Like… alphabetically?”
Bleacher Report‘s Paul Kasabian titled a piece, “Heat’s Tyler Herro Believes He’s on Same Level as Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Ja Morant.”
Basketball Network‘s Ernesto Soliven asked, “Tyler Herro thinks he’s an NBA superstar – can he back it up with his game?”
Herro is a solid player who averaged 15.1 points, five rebounds, and 3.4 assists last season, but his stats pale in comparison to that of Doncic, Morant, and Young.
Doncic, 22, is an absolute beast, a two-time All-NBA first-team superstar. Young, 23, averaged 25.3 points per game last season while Morant, 22, averaged 19.1 points.
However, if Herro’s regular-season stats mirror the level of performance he’s putting on display during the preseason, he may soon be elevated into that elite circle of talent.
Herro Clarified His Statements as Being Aspirational
While being super confident is nothing new for the young “Boy Wonder,” his comments were more aspirational than delusional. Herro wants to be in the same conversation as Doncic, Morant, and Young, but the 21-year-old Kentucky alum knows he’s not there yet.
“What I meant by that was I feel like those are the guys that I’m chasing at this time, not really the same player as them,” Herro told Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman on October 13, “but being able to chase them, and be at the level they’re at. Obviously they have their own teams and everything like that.”
“For me to chase them, and try to be in the category as them, that’s definitely where my mind is, for sure,” Herro continued. “I don’t think I should sell myself short of anything.”
Herro’s Teammates & Coach Have His Back
During his rookie season, Herro averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 38.9% from deep. Last year, he averaged 15.1 points, five rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game, but his three-point average fell to 36%.
Herro didn’t let the sophomore slump affect his life off the court, and his star power seemed to only exponentially grow with brand deals and endorsements — accolades that didn’t sit well with his detractors. However, on media day, Herro’s coaches and teammates stood up for him.
Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo said of Herro, “He sees a lot of the doubt and a lot of the hate and he wants to prove people wrong. He’s going into the season with a bigger chip on his shoulder.”
Head coach Erik Spoelstra said it’s wrong to even consider Herro’s second year in the NBA as a slump:
[He’s] had a great offseason, a springboard from last season. Everything his first year was roses and compliments and easy sailing. Everything he did was considered great. If you look at last year from a statistical standpoint, his year was better in many regards. One of the keys with a young player is to handle some adversity and forge ahead and learning the league and learning how to impact winning.