Wizards’ rookie Kelly Oubre trying to bring Kobe Bryant’s mindset
Kelly Oubre may be a raw rookie, but the man doesn’t lack for confidence.
The Wizards traded up to get Oubre on draft night, knowing he was very athletic but considered a bit of a project. He showed exactly that at Summer League in Las Vegas, where his stat line — 16.8 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting, 25 percent from three, plus 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game — was boosted by a strong 30-point showing in his final in Sin City. Oubre put up numbers but showed himself to be a guy whose decision making and jumper needed work.Oubre told CSNMidAtlantic.com that he just needs to channel his inner Kobe Bryant.
“In Vegas, I was rowdy. I was just hyped all the time,” Oubre told CSN’s Chris Miller of his first experience with the Wizards’ summer league team when he was incredibly active but erratic with his shooting. “A hundred miles per hour all the time. I kind of noticed that I need to change my speeds and change my poise, learn the game and make sure I’m relaxed at all times. Make sure the moment doesn’t get too big for me, or I don’t get too hyped....
“I saw Kobe say that. It’s just about staying even-keeled,” Oubre, 19, said during the interview on the Wizards’ practice court at Verizon Center. “He’s a guy that it’s worked for him so I’m going to try to take that same mentality.”
The Lakers brought Kobe along relatively slowly as a rookie (15.5 minutes a game). That’s going to seem lightning fast to how slowly the Wizards bring along Oubre — he is not going to get a lot of run this season. Otto Porter is going to start at the three spot with Jared Dudley and Alan Anderson behind him. While those three are going to play some at the four when the Wizards go small (hopefully far more this regular season than last), the Wizards will likely use John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Gary Neal/Martell Webster at the first three spots in that situation.
As the game slows down for Oubre, he will get his chances. They’re just going to be few and far between this season.