Denver - Nuggets’ first-round pick Evan Fournier is busy familiarizing himself with his new surroundings as he prepares for his first NBA season after being taken 20th overall in June’s NBA draft.
But first and foremost, the native of Paris, France (no, not Texas) is soaking in whatever he can get a hold of in order to learn English.
“I just pay attention to everything, the music, the lyrics, watching movies in English,” Fournier told Mile High Sports, in a heavy French accent. “So it’s getting better day after day. I had an English teacher last year, four hours a week, to get better.”
Fournier hasn’t been told what his role is going to be on the 2012-2013 Nuggets, although considering head coach George Karl’s reputation for not playing rookies and Fournier’s experience confined to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the 6-7 shooting guard will have an uphill battle for minutes this season.
“Nothing for the moment,” Fournier said of whether he’d been told by Karl what his role might be this year. “We won’t talk probably this week, but I don’t know yet.”
Fournier was expected to spend his first season or two overseas, but the teenager inked a two-year deal with a team option in July, meaning he won’t be going back to France or Europe for any tune-ups. So this fall, Fournier will be competing to avoid a possible stint in the NBA’s D-league as he looks to prove himself quickly at the NBA level.
“I don’t know how many minutes (I’m going to get),” Fournier said. “What I know is I’m going to give 100% every practice as soon as I’m on the court to play more minutes.”
Fournier is new to Denver. Having only arrived in town six weeks ago and having moved into his house only two weeks back, the three-point specialist tried to start building tolerance to Denver’s altitude by running the stairs at Red Rocks with his teammates last month, but Fournier doesn’t plan on heading back to Morrison for any kind of exercise again anytime soon.
“(I ran Red Rocks) one time, but that’s enough,” Fournier said.
The Nuggets will be hoping that one training camp will be enough to get Fournier ready to make a potential impact this season if called upon.