Niko Manion waited longer than he expected to hear his name in the 2020 NBA draft, but it was worth it.
“Surreal,” said the Arizona ranger. “When I heard I got the call and found out that the Golden State had been recruited, it was just a burst of emotion because my dad (Pace) was also formulated by a Golden State. Yes, that’s inexplicable. It’s a blessing to be fulfilled.”
Manion admitted to going 48th overall to the Warriors “not where I wanted to go by number,” but he does enjoy the opportunity to develop with what has been the most successful NBA franchise over the past decade.
And he can do so under the supervision of fellow UA Producer Steve Kerr, who tweeted “Bear Down!” When the choice was announced.
“I’ve spoken to him before and talked to him recently, and he looks like he’s just an amazing guy,” said Manion. “I think he’s running a clean ship in the Golden State, and he’s a hard worker, and I think that rubs off men. One thing I’ll say about Coach Kerr is that he looks like he’s really getting his buddies looking, which really pays off in the long run. I think the guys who play with him are … They will fight for him because they know he has their interest and he will go on the racket for them. “
One of those guys is Stephen Curry, the best goalkeeper in the NBA.
“This is just another situation that I think is surreal,” Manion said. “When I found out, that was kind of the first thing I thought about: Learn from Steve. He’s been in the league for a while, the best multi-time player. Actually I really met him. I played in Steve’s camp and got to know him a little bit. But I’m excited, man.” I think the most important thing for me is that I get someone I can really learn from. He is a vet and one of the best players ever. I will be like a sponge, trying to absorb as much information as possible from him. “
Mannion had one disappointing season in Arizona due to the hype he made as an All-American McDonald’s. That’s why, in just months, he’s gone from picking a potential lottery to picking a late pick in the second round.
But Manion thinks he’s a different player now. He added “12 to 15” pounds to his now 6-foot, 3, and 190-pounds frame and tweaked his blues in hopes that it would become a more consistent shooter.
Manion said, “I don’t think I hit the ball like I should have played it in Arizona … Now I’m shooting better than ever.” “I think the important thing also is the system that the Golden State plays. I think I’ll be able to get along with that properly.”
Mannion’s playmaking industry may be needed from the start now that All-Star keeper Klay Thompson is said to be knocked out with a serious Achilles tendon injury, and he will have an extra boost on his debut.
“Being No. 48 gives me a small slice on my shoulder,” said Manion. “I’d like to say more than just a slide. But honestly I’ve lost the words. I think next year, I don’t have any expectations of going into the season. I’m just ready to get there and learn and work. I really spoke to Coach Kerr, and he pushed me more. So I’m excited. To get there, learn and work as hard as possible and see what we can do next year. “
Mannion called it “the ideal situation.”
He said “I’m high.” “I’m still at a loss for words. I’ve been with my family for the past 30 or forty minutes since I was criticized, and I’m still crying and crying, which feels surreal.”