Ryan Kelly: 2014 Exit Interview

IMG_0583Rookie Ryan Kelly appeared in 59 games (25 starts) towards averages of 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists on 42.3 percent field goals overall and 33.8 percent on three-pointers. While working his way back from a foot injury, Kelly played five contests with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers NBA D-League affiliate, and posted marks of 25.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks.

- Opening statement:
“This has obviously been a tough year for us as a team and for the organization. But it’s something as individuals we’ve grown a lot. I know for me personally, I’ve grown a lot as a player and as a person. I would’ve never imagined being drafted by the Lakers and being in the position I am today. I’m excited for my future going forward.”

- On the feedback he received in his exit meeting:
“My feedback has been pretty consistent. Everybody was happy with my play as a rookie. If you ask me, I shouldn’t have been the 48th pick anyway. I was lucky I fell to a great organization like the Lakers to get that opportunity.”

- On when he felt like himself prior to his injury:
“Playing in the D-League was huge. Getting a lot of minutes, getting into shape and have a free flowing attitude and playing. I wasn’t lacking in any confidence in my ability. I constantly had a chip on my shoulder that teams that had picked the players before me had made a mistake that I wasn’t an NBA player.”

- On what he showed he can do as a player in his first year in the league and what he needs to do to take that next step as a player:
“For my growth, I showed I can do a lot of things. Most rookies have their ups and downs and I did too. There were times where I shot the ball better at times and was moving better at times. The more physically stronger I can become, the better player I can become. I’ve shown that I can play at the highest level.” Kelly also noted he wanted to become a knock down shooter in this league.

- On what this offseason regimen will entail:
“For my skillset, I have to become a better shooter. When people run at you, you have to have able to put the ball on the floor and make plays. It’s going to be about strength, but not necessarily about weight. I’m never going to be 260 pounds like some of the big power forwards, but I have to keep adding strength and muscle. I’ve started to do that and I think this offseason will be huge for me.”

- On how much buying into the nutrition program the team abides by helped his progress:
“No question. I think for a rookie, I did a good job of buying into the nutrition thing. I was in survival mode in this league and (trying) to find any way to stay in. For me, that’s going to be a huge part of my future – handling my body and handling my nutrition.”