Projected by many to be a top five pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, Emmanuel Mudiay worked out for the Lakers in El Segundo on June 6. Following his drills, the point guard who spent last season in China spoke with the assembled media. Below is a full transcription from the practice facility:
Q: On how his workout went:
Mudiay: It went well. I appreciate what the coaches did (and) what they had me going through. You always feel like you can do better, but it was good.
Q: On whether he was nervous:
Mudiay: Not nervous, but anxious. I was just ready to get out here and do what I have to do. As the workout kept going, I got (more) comfortable and comfortable.
Q: On what he would bring to the Lakers if they picked him:
Mudiay: A winning attitude. I just like to win, so when you win everything else takes care of itself.
Q: On what he gained from playing in China:
Mudiay: The physicality over there was ridiculous. Transferring to the NBA with the shot clock — we had the 24 second shot clock over there. So it was NBA rules. With the traveling, all of that played a big factor into it.
Q: On whether he played many players from the NBA in China:
Mudiay: Michael Beasley was there. Stephon Marbury was there. I can’t think right off the top of my head, but there were a lot of NBA veterans that played out there.
Q: On how he thinks he has grown in China:
Mudiay: My maturity level and how to come into the game like a professional. It was a professional league, so I kind of know how this system is with being a pro.
Q: On how he decided between playing in college or overseas:
Mudiay: At first it was for my mother. She was struggling at the time, so I wanted to help her immediately, financially. So after that, (another) big factor was that I was going to be playing against older men and more physical men. I was going to go to college for seven or eight months, so I was like, “Why not play professionally with grown men, (who) can teach me a lot, and get more comfortable with the professional style?”
Q: On whether he was in awe seeing the Lakers facility with the championship trophies and banners:
Mudiay: It made me want to get some. I wasn’t in awe because it’s a great franchise. I would love to be a part of something like this, so I just want to win and get as many championships as I can. That’s the main thing.
Q: On why he continued to play in China after an ankle injury instead of just preparing for the draft:
Mudiay: I was a pro now. I wasn’t a kid anymore. So I couldn’t just pack my bags and decide to go home. I wanted to finish out there season and (do) what I went there to do, and that’s to play throughout the whole season. I ended up getting a call from my teammates wanting me to play. So I came back with a winning attitude.
Q: On how his brothers influenced his career:
Mudiay: Those are my heroes — to this day my two favorite basketball players. You see all the greats, but those will forever be my two favorite basketball players.
Q: On whether he has worked out with any other teams:
Mudiay: This is my first workout. … Me and my agent are trying to set (more) up right now. We want to see what we’re going to do.
Q: On what he thinks he needs to prove the most:
Mudiay: Just your competitiveness: Show what you can do. My athleticism, I tried to show that the best I could. So you show what’s your tag. Some people are shooters; you’ve got to come here and shoot. Some people are athletes; do some athletic stuff.
Q: On what he knows about the Lakers based on last season:
Mudiay: I was in China, so I was sleeping while they were playing. But I watched some of the games. They didn’t want to have that season. I know that. You see the trophies in the window. You see the (Hall of Fame) names. Everybody’s got a winning attitude. So I know the coaches and Mitch Kupchak want to change that (losing record) immediately, and that’s what I’m about.
Q: On the idea of playing with Kobe Bryant:
Mudiay: I’m competitive just as much as he’s competitive. He wants to win. I want to win.
Q: On the influence of the Lakers in China:
Mudiay: I saw a lot of Lakers fans. I heard Kobe goes there every summer or something like that to do what he’s got to do over there. They’re big fans of the Lakers out there.
Q: On growing up a fan of the Lakers and Bryant:
Mudiay: Magic Johnson’s my favorite player of all-time. I grew up liking the Lakers. And Kobe, I admire his determination. That’s what made me a fan. He’s got a dog in him, and that’s kind of how I approach the game. You’ve got to be a dog.
Q: On where he thinks he needs to improve:
Mudiay: Everything, to be honest with you. I’m not satisfied with anything right now. It starts after the draft, so I want to work on everything.
Q: On how he feels he compares to D’Angelo Russell, a fellow top point guard prospect:
Mudiay: I don’t try to compare myself to anybody. I’m just focusing on myself right now. I just got to do what I’ve got to do. Wherever he goes, he goes. I’m just focusing on me right now.
Q: On potentially playing off the ball:
Mudiay: I’m comfortable playing off the ball, but it depends who’s rolling that game. Coaches make adjustments, so that’s how I look at it.
Q: On how he feels he fits in with the pace-and-space concept of basketball:
Mudiay: I feel pretty good (that) my style of play is the NBA’s style of play. I love pick-and-roll situations and getting up and down the court.