Here's a portion of the article Spree#8 posted...
... Mudiay said the change to his body came out of necessity. The Chinese Basketball league is filled with NBA veterans and very loose officiating. He just got beaten up over there.
"The biggest adjustment for me was the physicality," Mudiay told ESPN.com. "It was ridiculous. They miss a lot of calls over there. I had to spend a lot of time in the weight room every single day. I dedicated myself to working on my body. At this point, I'm not trying to separate myself by saying this, but a lot of kids my age don't pay attention to their body this early. So by me going over there, that's another plus. By me focusing on my body, I feel like I'm more ready than most for the league."
The strength training hasn't just made him stronger. It also has made him more explosive. While Mudiay was always considered a good athlete, he wasn't necessarily a powerful one. His athleticism showed up more in quickness than elevation. But after watching him go through the workout in Los Angeles, he has definitely improved his vertical.
Compare him with the other elite point guards in this draft -- Russell, Cameron Payne, Tyus Jones, Jerian Grant, Delon Wright -- none has his combination of size, strength or athleticism.
Mudiay also picked up an incredible work ethic in China. He powered through the workout on Friday in ways that few young prospects can typically handle. I asked him about it after the workout and he credited his time in China.
"I learned a lot over there," Mudiay said. "Their work ethic is just ridiculous. They work so hard ... I did two-a-days in China, going hard, going hard every day. I came back here and understood what it was going to take. I take everything serious. It's a job now. It's not playing around like when you're a kid. I want to feed my family."
When it came to the skills portion of the workout, Mudiay showed improvement there as well, especially on his jump shot.
Last year, Mudiay's jumper was one of the biggest concerns scouts had about his game. Although he had made major strides during his senior season, it still was considered more of a liability. Mudiay shot 34 percent from 3 in his 12 games in China (13-for-38), though his sample size was very small. More of a concern is the fact he shot just 57 percent from the free throw line.
Shooting has been a major point of emphasis since he hurt his ankle in November, and on Friday, his stroke looked much improved. Mudiay is never going to be Stephen Curry. But his jump shot goes in -- a lot. He went through several stretches in the workout on Friday where he hit 4-of-5 in spot-up shooting from NBA 3-point range, from every position on the floor. He was even more accurate as he got to the college 3 and midrange game.
He still needs to quicken the release of the jumper and work on consistency, but he's not a non-shooter in the mold of someone like Rajon Rondo. As for his free throws, that definitely needs more work.
An NBA scout who watched him in China said: "His shot is OK. It's not broken. He can hit shots from anywhere on the floor. It's more about shot selection. At times he was forcing shots."
As for the other things -- ballhandling, quickness and creativity -- Mudiay has it. He's going to impress the Lakers, Knicks, Sixers and Timberwolves in workouts. He'll impress them to the point they'll all seriously rethink where he is right now on their boards.
"He's so impressive," trainer Joe Abunassar said after the workout. He compares Mudiay to a young Chauncey Billups or Baron Davis. "I've been doing this for a lot of years. So many of the kids we train don't know how to work. You have to push, push, push. Emmanuel, from day one, knew how to work. He knows how to prepare. He wants to get better. He already acts and carries himself like a pro. The maturity is incredible. You forget he's 19. You don't see that every day. And you especially don't see that when you factor in his physical tools."
The on-court stuff is not the most impressive thing about Mudiay. It's the maturity he exudes when you sit down and talk with him.
There are a number of really great young people in this draft. Towns is incredibly likable and intelligent. So is Russell. But Mudiay talks like a 10-year veteran who just gets it.
When discussing his decision to skip SMU to play in China, he talked about his mother, who raised him by herself after his father died when he was 1½, who moved him from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Dallas when he was 5, who worked 12-hour days to support her family.
"A lot of people think it was because I couldn't get into SMU," Mudiay said. "But I got cleared to go to SMU. Everything was fine there. But I decided to help my mom out. She was struggling at the time.
"People can say what they say. I don't pay attention to that. I only care what God says, to be honest with you. You are going to have critics in life. People are going to talk but you can't feed into that and I don't feed into that. I try to inspire other people by what I did. My mom had been the backbone of our family since I was born. She's been the man and the woman. She's my motivation. To see her work 7 to 7. I didn't want her to go on like that no more."
Mudiay said the decision also was a savvy basketball one. It may not help his draft stock, but what he wanted was to get better. In his mind, that meant playing against other pros, not college kids.
"I wanted to focus solely on basketball," Mudiay said. "I had grown up playing with older people and I wanted the chance to play with professionals and see how I fared. I knew I wanted to play in the NBA, that was my goal. So why not try to challenge myself by going to a pro league? They play with NBA rules in China. [They have a] 24-second shot clock. I didn't want to come into the league as a kid. I wanted experience."
As for the experience of living in China itself?
"It's different. I don't know many people who can do it. There were grown men ready to go home -- some of them did go home. At the same time, I knew I had to do it. Basketball saved me. Every time I stepped onto the court, it didn't matter where I was at. Basketball is a universal language."
And when an ankle injury forced him to miss several months, he was alone in a strange country. "That's when I had to find myself," he said.
Find himself he did. After a year in China, he's stronger, faster and more skilled. He's more confident in his ability to play with the pros.
And he's humbled.
"I was in a poverty spot in Guangdong," Mudiay said. "I wasn't in Beijing or Shanghai. Here I am from Dallas, a big city. I don't take stuff for granted anymore. When I came back, I was so grateful for what I had."
"It's going to mean more to her [his mother] than me," Mudiay said when I asked him what it will mean to hear his name called on draft night. "I look at it like, yes, it's an accomplishment. But the real work actually starts when your name gets called. After my name gets called, I'm at zero. You got to put in the work. It's a celebration, but to me, you want to keep this feeling for a very long time. I haven't made anything. The real game has just started."
Several years ago, a former NBA GM relayed to me a conversation he had with his top-10 pick the day after he was drafted.
The news conference was over and the GM invited the rookie into his office to chat. At some point in the conversation, the GM told the rookie that he'd be getting his first check soon, and before he could finish, the rookie responded: "Just make it out to the 'Max.' I'm going to be a superstar."
"It was at that moment," the GM told me, "that I knew I had made a mistake. We drafted the wrong person. He had no idea what type of work it would take to make that type of money. The amount of effort that the top players expend to be the best. He already thought he made it."
The rookie lasted four seasons in the NBA, and only one with the team that drafted him. He never averaged more than 10 points per game.
The good ones -- the great ones -- are always hungry. They're always aware their best selves lie somewhere beyond the horizon. No matter the destination at which they arrive, it is never final nor fulfilling.
The real work to become an NBA star happens away from the hype. It takes place in the shadows and takes years to achieve that greatness.
The process is invisible to most.
Emmanuel Mudiay gets that.
Invisible to you doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
On June 25, he'll be invisible no more.
Since Mudiay is the "mystery-man" who played overseas the more information we have on him the better. Good find, Spree.
In regards to the article, I don't care what y'all say I know
these sports writers get their material from all of us here at the nykfp forum...
It's like they use my comments as like Cliff Notes, or sumthin... Fuckin' mugs.