With the seventh pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Emmanuel Mudiay. Today, Tom caught up with Mudiay for a chat via Cisco TelePresence along with other members of the International media, just moments after Adam Silver called his name. Here’s what he had to say:
How much can you help the Denver Nuggets and how do you see the fit with the roster?
It’s definitely a high motor team, you know you got Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried, those are the two guys that are really known for that team, they play really, really hard, high motor guys and I’m the same way. I’m pretty sure they hate losing, I hate losing. I want to be established as a winner in the NBA and win as many championships as I can.
With your experience in going to China to play, what advice can you give young players looking to make a similar move?
China is very physical. That’s the first thing I learned, you’re playing with grown men older men. You can’t be a little boy out there, you gotta be a man and that’s one thing that I learned really, really quick and its definitely helped me coming back to into the States because I see it differently.
Over here a hand check is a foul, over there and hand check…that’s like nothing, so it’s definitely a playoff environment more so than over here. I think the physicality is way different.
You’ve taken the road less travelled out of the majority of the guys in this draft, especially the Americans by going to China. What advantage do you think you have over some of the college guys with the fact that you’ve already played a year of professional basketball?
Just the fact that I have a professional experience, the way you carry yourself in practice, the way you gotta come in and work on your reps, you have to have a routine.
In college you don’t really have routine besides going to class, everything’s thrown at you in a different way, but in a professional league that’s all your used to, it’s your job so you know if you’re not performing because they have the opportunity to do what they want with you. You just want to be on top of your game at every time, so that’s one thing I learned.
In China, did you get a chance to speak with many of the other Americans over there who have played in the NBA and had long and successful NBA careers about what to expect and how helpful were those guys with the transition?
That definitely helped, I did talk to a lot of NBA guys that I played, they told me what to expect, how to carry yourself in the NBA, how to approach practice, how to approach games, so that was one thing that really stood out for me, the guys who I could get great advice from.
What does the experience of playing in China mean to you?
It means a lot to me playing overseas and playing in China, they welcomed me with open arms and I love the country very much, it’s a big part of me and definitely did me well in going back to the NBA because I learned so much with the physicality over there and just the determination to win and the work,. My team worked really, really hard.
Do you ever wonder what could have been, had you played college ball under head coach Larry Brown?
I don’t think about it, I just gotta hard and play, you can’t regret anything you’ve done so the main thing is just moving forward you can’t take that back and you know I’m happy with the decision that I made.
What are you expecting for your future in the NBA?
Just going to go out there and try to win as many championships as I can. Play hard every day, every game and be the best player out there and just be a competitive person.