Dragan Bender can thank his ‘Friends’ for language skills

Dragan Bender was the fourth pick in last month's NBA draft.

PHOENIX — The "Friends" TV show really can be there for you. At least that’s the case for the Suns’ rookie power forward and center Dragan Bender from Croatia, who says he learned the English language from watching the hit sitcom.

During a session with NBATV’s "The Starters" during Summer League play in Las Vegas, Bender was quizzed on his "Friends" trivia knowledge after he said he has seen "pretty much" every episode.

Bender’s language skills came through as impeccable — but he might not yet be ready for the Friends Fan Club Hall of Fame. He knows his "Smelly Cat" just fine but got tripped up on the "Ugly Naked Guy."

Bender will have plenty of new friends there for him when he returns to Phoenix. The 7-foot-1, 225-pound 18-year-old was the fourth-overall pick by the Suns in the 2016 draft. He spent the last two seasons in Israel playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Basketball Premiere League.

Both ViceSports.com and TheRinger.com offered up glowing reports this week about Bender, fellow first-round pick Marquese Chriss and the future of the Suns based on their observations of Summer League play. The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks went so far as to describe Bender as "the most impressive rookie I saw in Vegas."