Denver Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay did not allow negative comments from Lakers head coach Byron Scott get into his head during his team’s 120–109 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday
The Lakers passed on Mudiay in the 2015 NBA draft, instead selecting rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell out of Ohio State with the No. 2 pick. When asked about the decision, Scott said of Mudiay, “I didn't think he was a true point guard. I didn’t think he was a guy who made great decisions when we saw him and had him here. I thought that was something he would have to learn to do to run that position.”
Before Tuesday’s game, Mudiay told the Los Angeles News Group that Scott’s comments fueled his drive.
“They passed up on me; that’s definitely motivation. They took another point guard ahead of me. I am a point guard,” Mudiay said to the Los Angeles News Group, also adding that he is not worried about Scott’s opinion of him. “I just have to worry about what I do and worry about the Denver Nuggets.”
Mudiay went on to combat Scott’s criticism during the game by scoring 12 points and earning 10 assists against the very team that snubbed him.
After his team-leading performance, Mudiay thanked Scott for saying that he was not a point guard.
"Thank you, Byron Scott, for saying I'm not a point guard," Mudiay told reporters.
Mudiay was the No. 7 selection in the first round of the NBA draft by the Nuggets. In four games with Denver, Mudiay has averaged 12.5 points, 6.4 assists, and 3.3. rebounds.
The Nuggets are set to play the Utah Jazz on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.
- Xandria James