With a big grin on his face, new Lakers forward Josh McRoberts — who arrived at midnight and had his physical in the morning before practice — expressed his excitement to be in L.A., detailed what he hopes to bring to the fold and more:
Q: On learning Coach Mike Brown’s new system quickly:
McRoberts: I think I’ll pick it up. A lot of it is just basketball. A lot of the NBA stuff is the same, it’s just like learning a new language. Everything is called something different and has wrinkles to it. I’m going to get with the coaches today and before practice tomorrow to try and pick it up as fast as possible.
Q: On if he spoke or met with other teams, and deciding on the Lakers:
McRoberts: My agent talked to a lot of teams before the decision was made; the great players that have been here, the great players that are here now, it’s a privilege to put on this jersey. We talked about it a lot. I had options to go right away when camp opened, but we wanted to wait to see what the best opportunity was going to be. The Lakers are a great organization, a great opportunity. The Lakers had expressed interest, and I talked to Coach Brown before and after.
Q: On half of his field goal attempts coming at the rim last year, and if he get there easier with defense focused on Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol:
McRoberts: I think so. Obviously guys have to focus on them, those are big, long, athletic guys. It takes a lot of attention to keep them off the boards, so I think that’ll create lanes and opportunities for me to get to the rim for put backs and offensive rebounds.*
*Google McRoberts dunks from last season, you’ll see a bunch with him flying in for put-backs.
Q: On what he thinks Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak saw in him:
McRoberts: I think he knows I’m going to play hard and bring my best effort every night. I like to play winning basketball. I’m not a stat guy. You’re not going to be too blown away if you look at my numbers from high school, college, the NBA … it doesn’t matter, I’ve never been a numbers guy. I just want to win basketball games and do what it takes to get wins, whether that’s passing or rebounding … whatever it takes.
Q: On the key to his improvement last season:
McRoberts: Playing time. Just getting an opportunity to play. I got a chance in Indiana to start at the beginning of the season and continue to find a role towards the end of the season coming off the bench that I could excel in.
MIKE BROWN TALKS MCROBERTS:
Mike Brown revealed that he’s actually known McRoberts since his sophomore year in high school at Carmel in Indianapolis, as Brown’s sons looked up to the forward and would have gone to Carmel themselves had the family not moved. Brown was the associate head coach under Rick Carlisle with the Pacers, and used to take his kids to Carmel games. He’s quite familiar with the game of McRoberts, who spent the past three seasons in Indiana.
“I like his size, his length, and that he’s a tough son of a gun,” said Brown. “He brings an added energy to this team when it comes to getting offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, running the floor, getting put backs, diving on the floor for 50-50 balls. He brings those intangibles that can be infectious on the group.”
With Andrew Bynum being suspended for the first five games, Brown said that, who knows, McRoberts might even have to start at the four as Pau Gasol moves over to the five. Either way, Brown expects him to get some “serious minutes,” adding that he can even play a little bit of five if need be.
“He’s a young guy that has established himself as an NBA player, maybe a starter but definitely a rotation guy that can get better,” Brown concluded.
RELATED: Press release and some additional info on McRoberts: Lakers Sign Josh McRoberts.