On the latest episode of "Strictly Hoops with C.J. Miles", Miles details what he would tell Malachi Flynn to keep him motivated and confident in his abilities despite inconsistent minutes. Full episode can be found on the "Raptors Over Everything" podcast feed or on our YouTube channel.
AMIT MANN: In any case, I think it's reasonable to say, after what we've seen last season and this season, that if it comes down to it, is Nick Pierce going to put in Dalano Banton or Malachi Flynn? It's probably going to be Dalano, right? So for Malachi, I mean, I keep on talking about this. I just feel for him.
I was thinking about this. If the pandemic doesn't happen, the Raptors probably don't draft Scottie Barnes. And before that, Malachi Flynn was like the up and coming backup point guard on the Raptors, you know? Kyle, Fred, Malachi Flynn, he was the next one, right? The Prodigy, so to speak.
And here he is now, and just like that, things have changed for him. And I'm not really sure where things are for him or where he goes from here. He's talked about the same thing that you just said, trusting my work and just believing things are going to work out. But damn, man, this is tough.
You can see the flashes with him. He may not be a star or something like that. Who the hell knows? But you can confidently say that he is a good point.
CJ MILES: Yes. Yes.
AMIT MANN: Right? He's good. So what do you do right now if you're him?
CJ MILES: You almost have to develop this confidence that is so great in yourself. You have to overwork. You have to be overly ready, because there's going to be nights you got to do 4 minutes, there's going to be a night that you haven't played in 2 weeks and Fred is going to get 3 fouls or somebody's going to be down.
It's so like a roller coaster, like you said, it's so crazy. You have to work so hard and be so focused, it's almost unfair, like to be honest. Like I was talking about, being in this position before where just like, when I step on that floor, I got to kill. And that doesn't mean I go shoot it every time I touch it, but I have to affect this game.
Because the other thing that we're talking about is, it might not be happening here right now, but every other team in the league sees what I'm doing when I do get a chance. There's teams that come to games and watch you work out before games when they got their eyes on you to see how you treat that work when you haven't played in a month. It's such a professional mindset. It's such a hyper-focused mindset to make yourself and turn yourself into a rotation player from this position.
Like I said, it's almost crazy talk. But you've got to look in the mirror and you've got to tell yourself, I'm still who I think I am. And that's the best advice I could give him if I was talking to them face-to-face and any young player that's going through that. Don't let any of this make your confidence waver. Your confidence will only waver if you're not working.
AMIT MANN: What are your thoughts on his game?
CJ MILES: I think he's got range. He's got a great handle, he shoots it really well. He's got potential to really score the ball too, from that backup point guard position, which is what the backup point guard position has really kind of become a little bit with this open style, guys that are aggressive and attacking. Obviously, making 3's helps anybody in the state of the game now.
But he's got such a good just knack for being able to get going and like I said, the range is one of the biggest things that steps out of me, it's with ease. And he can take a lot of things from Fred, also. That's the other thing. Take as much from Fred as you can.
As much as you can get from him from watching, from work out with him before practice. Like, Fred used to work out with Kyle all the time before practice. he would go through the routines with Kyle, see the type of things that Kyle worked on a daily basis, just to pick his brain. And obviously, he was watching him play.
But take as much as you can and implement the things that are non-negotiable type of things that make those guys great. And then you obviously add things that are your game specifically, but those non-negotiable things, like getting up, getting up early, whether it's Pilates, working your body, diet, whatever it is. Take those things and tweak them to make you as good as you can be.
AMIT MANN: You've got to have insane self-motivation to be an NBA player, it seems.
CJ MILES: I mean, to be a great one, yeah. Especially, we're not talking about a guy who's Dalano, 6'8", who's going to pop out of everybody's eyes right away. Not to say Dalano didn't work to be where he's at, but like you said, there's potential oozing off of him, especially from a Toronto Raptors Front Office, because we know the type of guys they like. So that's not a secret.
AMIT MANN: Oh, they got to type, all right.
CJ MILES: They got to type.
AMIT MANN: They're a picky date, picky date.
CJ MILES: But for Malachi to be there says a lot about what he does also, because he does not fit the type.
AMIT MANN: Yeah. Hmm, tricky one for Malachi, man. Really tricky one.
CJ MILES: It is. It's tricky for all young guys in that position. You're behind an All-Star point guard that's won a championship.
AMIT MANN: And then Pascal Siakam was also a point guard, and then Scottie Barnes is also a point guard, a then Dalano Banton is also a point guard.
CJ MILES: You know what I mean? You got all this stuff around you.
AMIT MANN: Ooh-wee. Yeah.