The Los Angeles Lakers introduced their No. 42 draft pick, Thomas Bryant, on Thursday afternoon, who they acquired via their trade with the Utah Jazz on draft night.
In our interview above, Bryant chats about how he sees himself fitting into head coach Luke Walton’s system and what he’s most looking forward to during NBA Summer League.
Plus, Bryant takes a question from the fans and explains why his No. 31 jersey number is so significant. We’ve also included a transcription below.
Q: What it’s like to be in this building, walk in here, and have your jersey for the first time?
It means a lot just being a part of this historic organization. You just dream about this stuff as a kid, so when it becomes a reality, it’s kind of like living on cloud nine. It feels great.
Q: You are No. 31, and I know this number is pretty special to you. Explain why so?
I was born on July 31st, and I always promised myself to work at the game of basketball 24/7 and 24 +7 = 31, so I found that out and thought that was kind of clever.
Q: What are you most excited for during NBA Summer League?
Just to continue to grow with my teammates, it will be a great fit for all of us, and it’s going to be a great process for us to go through, to learn from each other and grow together.
Q: What are your impressions of Luke Walton?
The guy wants to win, and I’m all behind it. Feels good to have a young coach that knows the game of basketball just as good as any other guy out there. Feels great.
Q: Most exciting thing you’ve done since you’ve been here in Los Angeles?
The most exciting thing I’ve done since I’ve been here in LA is go through downtown and see what it was like.
Q: Do you see yourself more as the stretch 4 or as the 5 in Luke Walton’s offense?
I see myself as the 5 right now but just continuing to develop throughout the process, maybe I can become the 4, work with Lopez out there on the block as well. Just for me I just have to continue to grow, that’s the main thing for me right now.
Q: What was it like to sit up there next to Magic Johnson and listen to him rave about your game and your work ethic?
It feels great, just to have an all-time great talk about you like that in a high standard, it feels great, you just don’t want to take that for granted, you want to keep working to get better.