Photo by Tyrone Walker
NBA rookie Andrew Goudelock is getting a lot more comfortable in his role with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Since finishing his career at the College of Charleston, the 6-3 guard has gone from someone who might not be drafted to an entrenched spot on the Lakers’ second team.
Lakers coach Mike Brown now occasionally pronounces his name correctly, although he’s more likely to say GOO-de-lock as GOWD-lock. Star guard Kobe Bryant, whose nickname is “Black Mamba,” has christened his understudy as “Mini-Mamba.”
“It’s been great, everything I imagined,” said Goudelock, who was in town over the weekend during the NBA All-Star break.
“I’ve grown accustomed to the game. It’s a lot different than college. We’ve got more plays. But I’m getting used to everything.
“The biggest adjustment is the pace of the game, the 24-second clock and the 3-second calls. The terminology is different for everything. You have to find your niche, find where you fit in, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
The highlight of his year, he said, was just making the team.
“Having guys like Kobe embrace me as his understudy, so to speak. Fish (Guard Derek Fisher) being so helpful. I’m just so happy in the situation I’m in. I feel really blessed,” Goudelock said.
“(The veterans) treat us like little kids. We have to get their laundry, grab their shoes, pick up balls after practice. Whatever they say you have to do. Kobe made me fix him a plate (of food).”
Brown, in a story by Elizabeth Benson on Laker Nation, said recently: “He’s been ready whenever we’ve called on him and has done a good job. He’s very confident out there. He knows what we expect of him, and he tries to deliver. He’s not intimidated by the pressure of playing in the NBA; that’s for sure.”
Goudelock said Brown told him near the end of training camp that he was considering cutting the rookie. Goudelock said it made him feel as if he wasn’t doing his job, but he kept believing and his faith paid dividends.
An undersized shooting guard, he’s also had to play point guard this season. He began to get meaningful minutes in a Jan. 25 game against the Los Angeles Clippers and posted his season-high of 14 points.
Goudelock’s scoring average for the season is 4.7 points, but he’s averaged 7.1 ppg since the battle with the Clippers and averaged almost 15 minutes per contest since that point, reaching double figures five times.
Goudelock had signed a non-guaranteed two-year contract for the rookie minimum, so he breathed a sigh of relief of Feb. 10 when non-guaranteed contracts became binding.
“I felt confident at that point,” Goudelock said. “I had worked myself into the rotation, and guys knew what to expect out of me. I had been doing a pretty solid job.
“Not a lot of people get the opportunity I’ve been given. I’m just trying to capitalize. I think I’ve been given an opportunity to do some things as a rookie, and I just want to do my job.”
Photo by Tyrone Walker