November 19, 2020
Bristol, Connecticut, USA
Q. Let's start out with an opening statement about what you'll bring to your new team.
NICO MANNION: I mean, I think I've said this a couple times, but I think I shoot the ball well. I think that's the most consistent thing I've been working on recently.
So I think I bring leadership. I'm a hard worker. I think I bring that. I think I'm going to earn the respect of my teammates, and I think I'm going to be able to come in and compete and help the team win, and that's what I want to do.
I'm just looking forward to it. I can't wait to get out there.
Q. How much did it help you playing for FIBA about a year ago confidence-wise, and how proud are you of being an Italian and being drafted in the NBA?
NICO MANNION: I'll start off with the Italian. I'm super proud of it. I represent my country and actually have a little Italian flag right here on my sleeve. So I carry that with me pretty much everywhere I go, and that's really who I am.
Playing in FIBA really helped me a lot. It's a different style of basketball, and I was able to adjust to that pretty quickly and kind of tried to pick up some things that I learned out there to incorporate in my game and bring it back here to America.
Q. Can you just take me through that moment being drafted and being with your family, your father playing in the NBA? What was that moment like to finally achieve your dream?
NICO MANNION: Surreal. You know, when I heard that I got the call and had found out I was getting drafted by Golden State, it was just a rush of emotions because my father was also drafted by Golden State. Yeah, it's unexplainable. It's a blessing come true. It's a great organization, and I'm happy to say I'm a part of it now.
Q. And Steve Kerr also played at your former University, University of Arizona. Has Sean Miller given you any advice going into this draft and potentially playing for Steve Kerr? What have you heard about Steve Kerr?
NICO MANNION: I mean, I've talked to him before and talked to him recently, and he just seems like a great dude. I think he runs a clean ship at Golden State, and he's a hard worker, and I think that rubs off on the guys.
One thing I'll say about Coach Kerr is it seems like he really has his guys' backs, which really pays off in the long run. I think the guys that play for him really will go to war for him because they know he has their best interest and will go to bat for them.
Q. Arizona has had a big night tonight, you, Josh Green and Zeke all get drafted. Can you talk about that moment for all three of you guys and how important it is that you all came from Arizona?
NICO MANNION: I mean, yeah, it was a huge night for the program, three guys getting drafted tonight, two of them in the first round, which will be Josh and Zeke. When those guys got drafted, I felt like I got drafted. We're brothers, and there's no hatred, there's no envy, I'd say.
I'm just as happy for them as I am for myself, and I think they both got drafted into good situations for themselves, so I'm really happy about that, really proud to be a Wildcat.
Q. Obviously not only are you a basketball player, you're obviously a basketball fan, so now that you're going to be playing with Steph Curry, multi-time MVP, how does that feel? Because I'm pretty sure you watched him on TV, and now you're playing with one of the greatest point guards, if not the greatest point guard, that we've ever seen from this generation.
NICO MANNION: That's just another situation that I see that's surreal. When I found out, that was kind of the first thing I thought of: I get to learn from Steph. He's been in the league for a while, like you said, multi-time MVP.
I actually got to meet him already. I played at Steph's camp, so I got to meet him there and kind of get to know him a little bit.
But I'm excited, man. I think the biggest thing for me is I get someone I can really learn from. He's a vet and one of the best players to ever play. I'm just going to be like a sponge, trying to soak up as much information from him as I can.
Q. What do you think you're bringing to the Warriors, and are you a little bit disappointed to be only the 48th pick?
NICO MANNION: You know, it's not where I wanted to go number-wise, but at the end of the day I think the fit in Golden State is perfect for me. I think everything happens for a reason, so at the end of the day this is the perfect situation for me.
I'm ecstatic. I'm still at a loss for words. I've been with my family for the past 30, 40 minutes since I got picked, and I just keep crying, tears, and it's a surreal feeling.
Q. Since the season has been over, Zeke said he's improved a heck of a lot, gained some weight, worked a lot on his game. What did you work on to get prepared for all this?
NICO MANNION: I think the biggest thing for me coming out of college was my size, so I've gained about 12 to 15 pounds. I came out about 176, 178, and I'm a little over 190.
And I think consistency shooting the ball. I don't think I shot the ball as well as I should have or could have at Arizona, and I've tweaked just two or three little things, and right now I'm shooting the ball better than I ever have.
I think a big thing also is the system that Golden State plays. I think I'll be able to fit right in with that.
Q. How is the 48th pick motivation for you that you could be in better position in the NBA Draft, and what are your expectations for next season in the Bay Area?
NICO MANNION: I mean, yeah, being the 48th pick does give me a little chip on my shoulder. I'd say a little more than a chip. But I'm just -- I'm lost for words, honestly. I think next year -- I don't have any expectations going into the season. I'm just ready to get there and learn and work.
I've already talked to Coach Kerr, and he pumped me up even more. So I'm excited to get there and learn and work as hard as I can and see what we can do next year.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports