NBA Draft Prospect Jaylen Brown Works Out for Lakers
NBA Draft prospect Jaylen Brown worked out for Los Angeles on Friday, as Lakers staff got an up-close look at the freshman wing from California.
Afterward, the First Team All-Pac-12 selection met with the L.A. media in order to discuss his mentality and experience with the draft process.
Below is a full transcript from the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.
Q: On what the past 24 hours have been like for him:
Brown: The past 24 hours have been great. I'm glad to be alive. It's been pretty good.
Q: On his workout experiences with different teams:
Brown: It's great. For me, it's just a learning process and experience. Just getting some good workouts in. It's all about getting better.
Q: On what he wants to show to NBA teams:
Brown: I think the biggest knock on me is if I can shoot the ball. I've been shooting the ball pretty well at each workout. I think a lot of people have some low expectations coming in, shooting the ball 29 percent at the college 3. So coming in, they probably didn't expect me to shoot it well and then shoot it the way I do now. It's been significant growth.
Q: On if it has been a big adjustment from the college 3-point line to the NBA one:
Brown: Not as much. Now that school's over, you just get to focus on your craft. You're in the gym every day just working out and staying in grind mode; having tunnel vision and just repetition and focus.
Q: On his thoughts on the Lakers' current roster:
Brown: I'm not sure. I'll talk to (General Manager) Mitch (Kupchak) tonight and I'll talk to the rest of the staff tonight over dinner. I'm not sure.
Q: On what he knows about the Lakers:
Brown: I know a lot. I grew up a Laker fan watching Kobe Bryant. His mind set — I admire things like that. I know the history of the Lakers. In my opinion, the best Laker to ever play was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Magic Johnson and those types of guys — just growing up and having the admiration for them and seeing them play for the Showtime Lakers. Just studying the game has been great. ... I wasn't (alive during Showtime), but they have NBA (Hardwood) Classics, so you can just go back and watch.
Q: On his inconsistency being one of his biggest criticism:
Brown: It's fair. They go based off college and that's fine, but college and NBA are completely different styles of basketball with completely different pace to the game. It's an adjustment. When they bring me in to work out, they'll see the difference.
Q: On whether he feels like he fits in best with certain teams:
Brown: A little bit. Once you get done with the workout and you talk to the coaching staff and they tell you what they're feeling and how they see you fitting in, then you can make an educated decision off of that.
Q: On not hiring an agent:
Brown: Just with the resources that I've accumulated over my short 19 years of life, I just feel like I'm good at this point. It doesn't mean I never will.
Q: On if he will negotiate his own contract:
Brown: Not as of yet. I haven't figured it out. I've got some time left. But, as of now — with resources like Isiah Thomas, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Jason Kidd and people on the inside that I have relationships with — they kind of help me as I got through the process.
Q: On which NBA players he would compare his game to:
Brown: I grew up trying to idolize my game off Tracy McGrady, like a big guard that can handle (the ball), play inside and outside, bring it up the floor; (play) point guard, shooting guard, small forward. Mind set-wise, I try to be Kobe Bryant. I pictured myself in the driveway (with) three seconds left, hitting the fadeaway jump shot to beat the Spurs or something like that. Those two as past (players). As current: Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard. I think Russell Westbrook plays with a tremendous chip on his shoulder. He plays the game like he hasn't eaten in three weeks or something like that. Kawhi Leonard is like a silent assassin. He just kills you quietly, and I love it.
Q: On saying at the NBA Draft Combine that he planned to wake up at 5:30 a.m. for training, like Bryant:
Brown: I've continued. I feel like this is not just for the process. This is about me just getting better and chasing after something I believe in really strongly. A lot of people want to get to the level of a Kobe Bryant, but nobody wants to put in the work that he did and (make) the sacrifices that he sacrificed. I'm willing to make those sacrifices and I'm willing to put in the work, so we'll see where it takes me.
Q: On how he has used California's loss to Hawaii in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament as motivation:
Brown: It's definitely a learning process. My last college game didn't go as planned. But now it's about learning from it and worrying about your next game.
Q: On what kinds of advice he has received from ex-NBA players, like Thomas, Abdur-Rahim and Kidd:
Brown: Tons of advice. Some of it with basketball, some not to do with basketball. ... Use everything as a learning experience. It's all about learning. It's all about education. Use your influence to help your community, help a lot of people, help your family, etc. That's what it's about: just being a high-character guy. Those guys are very high-character. And just follow your heart.
Q: On potentially playing power forward in small-ball lineups:
Brown: I think it's more of a versatility thing. The way the NBA is going a lot of guys can play multiple positions. That's what makes them so valuable. You look at the Golden State Warriors: You've got Stephen Curry, who plays the one and the two. You've got Draymond Green that plays the three, four and five. Harrison Barnes can play the two, three, four and maybe the five. You've got a lot of people on a good team that are very versatile, and I think that's why they're so good, because they can all interchange positions.
Q: On what he views as his main asset to a team:
Brown: I'm not sure. It depends on the team. Everybody has different wants and needs and wants to play me differently. I think I can score the ball. I think I can defend. That's what my calling is: on defense. I think I can guard ones, twos, threes and fours. I think that is my best asset.
Q: On how many teams he has worked out with thus far:
Brown: This is my third and I think this is the last one actually.
Q: On working out for the Lakers, considering he grew up a fan of the team:
Brown: It's surreal. I'm glad to be here. I'm glad they invited me. I know they have to do their due diligence and check out each prospect and things like that. But I'm just glad I got invited here. That means I'm doing something well. If I don't come here, it's not the end of the world, but I'm happy to be here.
Q: On playing with Duke's Brandon Ingram for USA Basketball:
Brown: That's my guy. We kind of grew up playing against each other since sixth grade. And I kind of watched him blossom. I remember he was just a skinny kid that didn't play too much on the end of the bench. Out of nowhere, he grows to 6'9" and starts developing his skill level. He played (AAU basketball) for Jerry Stackhouse. His team is based in Atlanta and I just watched him get better and better each year. ... He's still skinny (laughs), but it doesn't matter.
Q: On if he has talked to Ingram about their mutual draft process:
Brown: I talked to him at the Combine and asked him about how things are going. He said things are going well. I told him to keep his head up, things like that. I gave him some advice: just continue to work hard. That's what it's about. I think a lot of guys lose sight on the process, (instead) looking at the results and and they're satisfied with their draft position. I'm not worried about being a top-five player in the draft. I know if I show my skills, that'll probably happen. But for me it's about being a top-five player in the league one day.
Q: On if he is getting a clearer picture of which team might draft him:
Brown: Yeah, but you never know. GMs have a really tough job of trying to figure out who's gonna be the next superstar; who's gonna fit in the team. So I hold no grudges against any GMs or anything. I know they have a tough job. I don't know, but we'll see on draft day.
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