Australian point guard phenom Dante Exum told the Canberra Times this week that he plans to sit down with Lakers star Kobe Bryant about making the leap from high shool to the NBA without attending college.
''A reason why I signed with the agent I'm with is he has Kobe Bryant, and he's been through this when he came into the NBA,'' Exum said.
''I guess having him as a mentor who can guide me through what he did and how he became successful is something which is pretty good. I haven't chatted to him yet, but the agent said Kobe knows who I am and he said he'd definitely have a chat to me.''
Nice of Kobe to be willing to chat with the kid. Exum declared for the draft last week and is expected to go in the top 10 of a loaded draft. With his athleticsm and raw scoring ability, Bryant's not a bad guy to talk to on that front.
Also of note, the kid doesn't want to get drafted somewhere that's good, because he wants to start. Now.
''I want to go to a place that needs me, I don't want to go somewhere like the [LA] Clippers who have Chris Paul and be stuck behind him,'' he said. ''I want to go to a team which is going to want and need me, and hopefully get minutes in my first season.''
Pretty bold. He should fit in right alongside Kobe with that kind of brashness. You might argue that it's better to land somewhere you'll have a stable organization around to help you grow, but at 18, you want to take on the world. Kid's not lacking in confidence, that's for sure. We'll see where he ends up, and how it works out, starting in June.