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Steven Adams embraces daily grind of NBA 23 Aug 2013

Far from star-struck, Steven Adams is embracing the daily grind of an NBA player as he aims to make an immediate impact in his rookie season.

The 20-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder centre is in New Zealand for a week-long working holiday and yesterday he ran a coaching clinic in Wellington with All-Star Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets.

Adams, selected No 12 by the Thunder in June's draft, is considered raw and a long-term project but he showed encouraging signs in last month's Orlando Summer League.

The glitz of the draft has been replaced by sweat and hard work and he will return to Oklahoma next week to try and force his way into the Thunder's NBA rotation alongside superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder open their season against the Utah Jazz on October 30.

"They're cool, Westbrook and KD, they're pretty mean," Adams said.

"I've never been star struck bro, I don't know, I just see them as normal people. Especially if I'm going to be playing with them, it's never really hit me.

"I just see them as players but I definitely have mad respect for them and what they've done and accomplished. [Oklahoma's] quiet but it's good because all you do then is just focus on basketball."

All going well, Adams will soon be tussling in the low-post with Lopez, rather than simply learning from him.

But the two seven footers share the same agent and the 25-year-old Lopez was happy to dish out some advice to New Zealand's great basketball hope.

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