Darius Garland has been one of the main prospects tied to the Los Angeles Lakers in preparation for the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20.
It’s even widely believed in NBA circles that the Lakers have given a draft day promise to Garland with the No. 4 pick. Because of this, the 19-year-old has been and likely will continue to be asked questions about the Lakers.
Like many of the prospects that will be taken in this year’s draft, Garland never watched Michael Jordan play. Due to this, they are often filed into two categories: Kobe Bryant fans or LeBron James fans. The current young core has been asked these same questions with Lonzo Ball choosing James and Kyle Kuzma choosing Bryant.
When asked about his fandom, Garland actually sided with Kuzma, saying that he and his family have always been fans of Bryant, via ESPN’s The Jump:
“Yeah, he was. For sure. Our whole family has been a Kobe family for a long time.”
If that didn’t impress Lakers fans enough, Garland spoke even more about his ties. In the same interview, he spoke about how playing for the Lakers would be ‘an honor’ and that just playing at Staples Center is a legacy in its own right:
“It would be an honor to play with Lakers Nation. I mean it’s a legacy like just to be in the arena — it’s crazy. But my dream is just to play in the NBA, so I’m happy wherever I go.”
Garland seems to be saying all the right things in preparation for the draft, which is quickly approaching. A prospect talking about the legacy of being a Laker and how Bryant was his favorite player growing up is almost sure to win over some of the fanbase.
On the court, Garland is also an ideal offensive fit should the Lakers decide to keep their pick and use it on him. He shot 47.8% from the three-point line in his five college games and his handles can leave any defender in the dust.
It also helps that Garland is a client of Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul, who also represents James. Regardless if Garland gets to play with James or is traded for a second All-Star player, he seems ready for the bright lights of the NBA and Los Angeles in particular.