Moments after Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre learned that they were drafted by the Lakers at No.’s 55 and 60, each called into the team’s practice facility to answer questions from assembled media.
Below are some of the more interesting comments from each player, Johnson-Odom a 6-2 guard from Marquette and Sacre a 7-foot center from Gonzaga:
DARIUS JOHNSON-ODOM LISTEN
On how he felt when drafted by the Lakers: I was quite happy. To be able to play with a great team, a team that knows each others game … I’m just excited. For me, it’s going to be a learning process, but I have the opportunity to become a player with this organization … I’m glad to say I’m with the L.A. Lakers.
On being a winner: I think my style of play allows me to be on a winning team; that’s what I wanted to prove when I was at Marquette, was to be a winner. I think that’s why I’m able to fit in with the Lakers.
On what he can offer: I want to be that guy that has that spark off the bench, creates energy. The team is great skill wise. My job is not to come in and be a guy that scores a lot for them, but somebody that brings energy on the defensive end, contributes, makes plays and knocks down open shots. That’s something that I’m able to do at a high level and that’s something I want to bring to the table.
On a particular skill of his: I don’t think a lot of teams were able to see me in pick and roll situations. That’s something that I pride myself on; I think I’m very, very good at that.
On what NBA player people have told him he reminds them of: James Harden because of the way we attack the rim and the way we can shoot the ball. He’s a little taller than me, but we are the same.
On his middle name being “Earvin.” Yes, (Earvin Magic Johnson) is exactly what my mom named me after. She said that was her favorite player, and I wouldn’t tell my dad this, but I think she kinda liked him. I think every player (tried to emulate Magic), whoever was able to see him play. Who wouldn’t want to watch that? For myself, I know I can’t do the things he did, but the things you can take from him is leadership and just being a great competitor. That’s what he used to bring to the table when he wore the Purple and Gold and that’s what I’m trying to do.
ROBERT SACRE LISTEN
On being drafted by L.A.: First thing I thought of was best for last. I was selected to go to one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
On what he brings: Defense wins championships. I take a lot of pride in my defense, and I think I’d be a perfect fit for this team and what I can bring there, a lot of energy off the bench and a defensive vibe.
On L.A.’s current 7-footers, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum: They’re the greatest two big men, a combo punch. It’s something I’m looking forward to working out against and being a part of. It’ll be a privilege to play with them. (I hope to learn) their offensive efficiency. They’re very skilled, especially Gasol, the way he can handle the ball and shoot it and just his knowledge of the game. And then Bynum, he’s a stud. I’m very excited to see what I can learn and pick their brain.
On his role: I think it’s going to be very similar to Ronny Turiaf’s role. An energy guy, the guy who comes in and plays hard defense, makes sure opponents don’t get baskets while Gasol or Bynum gets a break. I’m going to come in, play my butt off, know my role, shut my mouth and try to get Kobe another ring.