Mo Bamba admires Draymond Green for ‘his swagger and mentality’
Orlando Magic rookie Mo Bamba has lofty goals and aspirations for his debut season in the league, but he’s just as hyped up to go against one of his idols in Draymond Green. The Harlem native explained his admiration for the Golden State Warriors forward in an interview with Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
“Draymond Green’s a guy who I look up to and admire, and I love his playing style and how he’s not from Harlem, but he plays like he’s from Harlem, you know what I mean?,” said Bamba. “With just his swagger and his mentality. And he remembers every single guy, every single team that passed up on him in that draft order, and it’s just more motivation and more fuel.”
Bamba is referring to Green’s infamous ability to recite every name that was drafted before him in the 2012 NBA Draft, going pick-by-pick and listing every one of the 34 names that were called before the Warriors took a chance on him.
The 7-foot-1 center only had five names go before him, but he’s looking to play with a similar chip on his shoulder after falling outside the top-five in this year’s draft.
The one-year Texas Longhorn is hoping his New York roots will ease his transition to the bright lights of being in the pros, just like it has for many before him.
“Just the mentality, to be honest, the swagger, the mentality, the comfort that you have in your own skin,” Bamba said. “One thing that you see with a lot of New Yorkers who have played in the NBA is how comfortable they were in their own skin and how it’s really translated to being on the floor. It shows up in my character, it shows up in my personality, and it’s something I try to rub off to other people. Even Isaiah (Briscoe) — he’s not really from New York, but he’s from the tri-state area, and he plays with that swagger.”
The shot-blocking, three-draining center will have to split time with starter Nikola Vucevic, but it could be only a matter of time before the Magic choose to ramp up his opportunities if he plays with that same swagger he’s come to love from the three-time NBA champion.