Back in 2011, the Los Angeles Lakers selected guard Andrew Goudelock out of the College of Charleston with the 46th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Goudelock was a relatively unknown player that many believed would simply be an extra body for the Lakers during training camp and throughout the NBA preseason.
Although Goudelock faced long odds to make the team with an already crowded backcourt, the second-round draft pick made an impression on then-head coach Mike Brown and earned a roster spot. Eventually Goudelock also earned the respect of Kobe Bryant which is no easy task.
Goudelock made such an impression on Kobe for his scoring ability, trash-talking in practice and no-fear mentality on the floor that he was dubbed the Mini-Mamba by the five-time NBA champion. Goudelock recently explained the origin of the nickname in an interview with Ian Thomsen of NBA.com:
At the end of his first month, after he had made half of his four threes while generating 12 points and three assists in a big win at Charlotte, Goudelock walked into the locker room to hear Matt Barnes and Luke Walton talking. “They were saying, ‘He sure does like to shoot,”’ Goudelock recalls. “I’m like, `What are y’all talking about?’ They were laughing, they said, `You know who we’re talking about. We’re talking about you.’
“And then Kobe was like, `We’re going to call you the Mini-Mamba.’ So that was a great moment for me.”
Unfortunately, despite making a name for himself in Los Angeles, a long-term future in the NBA remains elusive for Goudelock. After a short second stint with the Lakers in 2013, Goudelock headed overseas to play in Russia for UNICS Kazan.
In 2014, Goudelock signed with Turkish club Fenerbahçe Ülker and has found some success with the team. The former Laker also says the Mini-Mamba nickname has followed him overseas, via Thomsen:
People here call me `Mini-Mamba,’ I don’t think anybody in America calls me that. When people ask me for autographs they want me to sign that sometimes. I have no choice but to think of him often. I think about him all the time.”
It remains to be seen whether Goudelock will have a future in the NBA. The 26-year-old is still young and the league is becoming more and more dependent on sharpshooting guards meaning their may still be hope to his NBA dreams come true.[divide]
PODCAST: 5 NBA Draft Prospects Lakers Should Consider At 27, 34