The NBA Combine is taking place in Chicago just now ahead of the upcoming 2014 draft and one of it's biggest stars, Australian Dante Exum, today revealed the advice he has been receiving from current NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
The pair, who share the same agent, have been exchanging words as the big day approaches, and Exum told LA Daily News Thursday exactly what wise words the Black Mamba had for him:
"It's basically there will be a lot of distraction off the court.
"It's about how you handle those and focus on the court. That's what's going to define my career." the 18-year-old revealed.
Sound advice from Bryant that Exum would do well to heed. Given Kobe's extended time spent as a leading figure in the NBA there can't be many other people who can speak on the subject with such authority.
Exum meanwhile is a largely unknown quantity heading into the NBA Draft having played all of his basketball in his native Australia to date. That hasn't stopped experts placing him in the top ten on many mock drafts after impressive displays for Australia with whom he will participate in this summers 2014 World Cup of Basketball.
The 6' 6" (in shoes) athlete was excited to be in the US when he spoke this week, describing the huge transition that lies ahead:
"In Australia, I've always been the main guy there.
"Coming over to the States, I'm a fish in the sea. It's nice to get all the attention, but I'm taking it one stride at a time just to soak in the moment and enjoying it."
There have been strong suggestions that the guard could eventually link up with Kobe in Los Angeles next season, with reports quoting the Aussie as seeking favorable about the prospect. The player himself moved to downplay such comments Thursday however:
"Obviously the Lakers are a great organization, but I'm in this draft to go to someplace where I feel best that is a good fit for me," he said.