Los Angeles Lakers rookie Moritz Wagner might not be a fan favorite just yet, but he’s off to a great start, singing praises of all-time franchise great Kobe Bryant on draft night.
In his first interview as a Laker, Wagner talked about his appreciation for the Mamba, who he thinks is the greatest player to ever wear the purple and gold:
Moritz Wagner was asked who the best Laker of all-time is: "I'm a big Kobe fan. I think what Kobe did is incredible. I think I've got to go with Kobe, especially since he stayed there his whole career. Magic is up there, of course. This is a question I can't win."— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) June 22, 2018
Yes, even over his new boss, Magic Johnson:
Last question to Moe Wagner: Who's the greatest Laker of all time?— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) June 22, 2018
"You gonna ask me tough questions like that right now? I’m a big Kobe fan … gotta go with Kobe."
He's reminded Magic Johnson is his boss.
"This is the question where I can’t win."
Anyone who has ever put their foot in their mouth on their first day at a new job can surely relate to the pit that surely formed in Moritz’s stomach after he said that.
However, despite his admiration for the five-time NBA champion, Bryant wasn’t Wagner’s favorite player growing up. That title belongs to fellow German big man Dirk Nowitzki:
Berlin native @moritz_weasley: "Growing up I was a huge NBA fan. I remember waking up at 3 a.m. to watch games, and Dirk had a big impact on that."— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 22, 2018
The 21-year-old also admitted he’s a fan of Kevin Garnett for being “a little crazy in the head,” but we don’t need to talk about that. Like, ever again.
On the surface, it’s easy to draw parallels between Mo and Dirk, two German big men that can step back from outside the three-point line. But Wagner also has a little bit of Bryant’s fierce competitiveness, something that will make him a fan favorite sooner rather than later.
Prediction: Mo Wagner will become a fan favorite. He's skilled on offense & plays with a ton of intensity. His defensive issues aren't for a lack of effort. pic.twitter.com/CkhYqrSl0x— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) June 22, 2018
While it’s unlikely the No. 25 overall pick follows in the steps of any of the three aforementioned future Hall of Famers, anything is possible.
Anything is possible!
(Okay, I’m sorry. I know I said I wasn’t going to mention Garnett again. That was the last reference, I promise.
You can follow Christian on Twitter @RadRivas.