Thursday, May 24, 2012
Andrew Goudelock exit interview: Confident about his NBA future
By Andy Kamenetzky
Rookie Andrew Goudelock began this season as the surprise winner of Kobe Bryant's primary backup at the two-guard. Later, he played some minutes as a quasi-point guard of sorts. He's a considerably more natural scorer than playmaker, but has the literal stature of a lead guard. So what position do the Lakers see him playing sown the road? As it turns out, they may wanna split the difference.
"They see me as a combo guard," explained Goudelock. "They see my size as point guard size but my game as more two-guard. So right now, I'm a two-guard, in the future, I strive to be a point guard who can score. A point guard that can play the two. A better combo guard. I think once I get more comfortable running the point guard position, I didn't run it until this year and I was learning it in the game on the fly. So that's really tough in the NBA. I think once I get more comfortable doing that, I'll be okay.
"One thing that I keep hearing from a lot of people around the league is [I] can shoot really well and there's a need for that. As long as I can shoot, I'm always gonna be okay. But for me to be successful as I wanna be, me tweaking those other areas, it's really important. Nobody wants to be a one-dimensional, two-dimensional player. I strive to be like some of the guys I came up watching. I always watched Allen Iverson, but you know, I don't think my career is gonna be anything like this. You have to be more realistic when you have watch guys and you wanna pattern your game after guys.
"I've always liked Chauncey Billups. Right now that's probably the biggest guy I'm looking to be somewhat like. Just keep trying to get better."
A young player could certainly choose a lot worse than Mr. Big Shot as an example, and it also reflects how Goudelock's nature is a terrific blend of high confidence and grounded perspective. For Goudelock, generously listed at 6'3" and an alum of noted NBA factory College of Charleston, you can't reach this level without an extreme belief in your talents. When he met the media via a conference call on draft day, the kid wasn't shy about talking up his skills as a bomber. And the first time he took the floor in a legitimate NBA game, he played with a confidence that belied his inexperience. That's not to say he was immune to looking like a newbie. For every good performance, there was at least one other where he tried to do too much on offense and wasn't capable of doing enough on D. But that's to also be expected.
What's important is he wasn't intimidated, and more importantly, how hard Goudelock is willing to work to fix the deficiencies he's conscious of possessing. When asked what he planned to work on this offseason, Drew didn't just offer a laundry list of items on both sides of the ball, but labeled them "my weaknesses all year." The marksman has high standards, but also reasonable expectations of who he is and ultimately can be. It's not a given the potential free agent will be back next season, but Drew certainly recapped the meeting as if a return was envisioned. Assuming he continues to improve, Goudelock certainly offers a few assets the Lakers could use.