The Los Angeles Lakers worked out point guard Emmanuel Mudiay on Saturday morning, which was his first workout. Mudiay has been one of the most highly regarded guards in the draft, often compared alongside D’Angelo Russell. Though most of the speculation surrounding the Lakers second overall pick has involved the two highly touted big men in the draft, Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns, considering to go with a guard like Mudiay or Russell is not out of the question for the Lakers. Check out Mudiay’s interview above and a transcript of his media session below.
On his individual workout with the Lakers and whether he was nervous:
Mudiay: It went well. I appreciate what the coaches did, what they have me going through. You always feel like you can do better, but it was good. Not nervous but anxious. I was just ready to get out here and do what I’ve got to do. As the workout kept going I got comfortable and more comfortable.
On what he would bring to the Lakers if they picked his at No. 2:
Mudiay: A winning attitude. I just like to win. When you win everything else takes care of itself.
On how playing in China helped him prep for the NBA:
Mudiay: No doubt, the physicality over there was ridiculous and transferring to the NBA…We had the 24 second shot clock over there, it was NBA rules and with the traveling, so all that played a big factor into it. Michael Beasley was there, Stephon Marbury was there. There was a lot of NBA veterans.
On how he developed as a player in China:
Mudiay: My maturity level, I would say and how to come into the game as a professional. It was a professional league so I kind of know how the system is with being a pro.
On why he decided to play internationally rather then play in college:
Mudiay: At first it was for my mother, she was struggling at the time so I wanted to help her immediately, financial wise. After that it also played a big factor that I was going to play against older men and more physical men. I was going to go to college for 7-8 months so I was like why not play professional, with grown men. They can teach me a lot and be more comfortable with the professional style.”
On seeing the Lakers championship trophies and banners:
Mudiay: It made me want to get some. I wasn’t in awe cause you know it’s a great franchise. I would love to be a part of something like this. I just want to win, get as many championships as I can. That’s the main thing.
On sticking it out in China despite his ankle injury 10 games into the season:
Mudiay: I was a pro now, I wasn’t a kid no more, so I couldn’t just pack my bags and decide to go home so I wanted to finish out the season, go there for what I went there to do and that’s to play there throughout the whole season. I ended up getting the call back that my teammates wanted me to play so I came back with a winning attitude.
On how his total older brothers influenced his basketball career:
Mudiay: Those are my heroes, to this day those are my two favorite basketball players. You see all the greats, but those will forever be my two favorite basketball players.
On what he has to prove in these workouts:
Mudiay: Competitiveness, show what you can do. My athleticism, I try to show that the best I could. Just show what’s your tag, what you’re known for.
On what he watched from Lakers last year:
Mudiay: I was in China. I was sleeping and they were playing. But, I know they didn’t want to have that season. Like you said, you see the trophies in the windows, you see the names, everybody has a winning attitude. I know that coaches want to change that. I know Mitch Kupchak wants to change that immediately and that’s what I’m about.
On what he could get out of playing with Kobe Bryant:
Mudiay: I’m competitive just as much as he’s competitive. He wants to win. I want to win and that’s how it is.
On Larry Brown saying he grew up a Lakers/Kobe fan:
Mudiay: Magic Johnson is my favorite player of all-time. I did like the Lakers and Kobe, I admire his determination. That’s what made me a fan. He got a dog in him and that’s kind of how I approach the game. You’ve got be a dog.
On where he thinks his game has to improve:
Mudiay: Everything to be honest with you I’m not satisfied with anything right now. It starts after the draft, I want to work on everything.
On how he thinks he compares to D’Angelo Russell:
Mudiay: I don’t try to compare myself to nobody. I’m just focused on myself right now. Where he goes is where he goes, but my focus is on me right now.
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