FORMER Los Angeles Lakers big man Josh Powell said he’s well aware of the challenging situation he has put himself in the moment he agreed to play for Barangay Ginebra just last weekend.
But just hours after his arrival from Los Angeles, the 6-8 former North Carolina State standout said he’s ready to face the high expectations of the Ginebra fans while taking with him the "kill mentality" he said he developed while playing alongside Laker great Kobe Bryant.
They Said It!
“That‘s one of the reasons why me and (Kobe Bryant) go along so well. I have a certain mentality that’s the same as his, go out there and just kill." Ginebra import and former LA Laker Josh Powell
“At the end of the day, you know the (Ginebra) fans are obviously passionate about this team, but (I’m coming here at Ginebra) with just a kill mentality. That‘s it, point blank period,” Powell shared to Spin.ph just after his one-hour practice with the Gin Kings on Tuesday morning at the Green Meadows gym.
The soft-spoken Powell said the “kill mentality” is something he shared with the 'Black Mamba' during their two seasons together with the Lakers, eventually producing two straight NBA championships in 2009 and 2010.
“That‘s one of the reasons why me and him (Bryant) go along so well. I have a certain mentality that’s the same as his, go out there and just kill,” he said.
“Go hard and have fun, but it starts in practice, because it translates in the game.”
Powell, a six-year NBA veteran who is coming off an impressive stint in the Chinese league, will be replacing Leon Rodgers with just three games left in the team’s elimination round schedule.
While fans hope the NBA veteran forward could be the Gin Kings’ 'messiah' who could salvage the team’s sputtering Commissioner’s Cup campaign, Powell said he is coming in with just the simple goal of fitting in to the team’s overall goal.
“For me, what's in my head, it’s talking (with his teammates). Communicating is a big thing to get the team going,” said the 31-year-old Powell, who arrived at 6:45 on Tuesday morning.
“And just rebounding, bring the energy, play after play, grinding and go hard.”
The well-built Powell will be making his PBA debut on Wednesday when the Gin Kings collide with the Meralco Bolts, a team that is also unveiling new import Darnell Jackson, a former NBA veteran as well.
Ginebra is currently mired in the eighth and ninth spots with its 2-4 record along with Barako Bull, a situation that doesn’t sit well for a lot of the Gin King fans this conference.
Still, Powell is hopeful that Ginebra fans will be patient and just rally behind their favorite team as they try to sweep their last three elimination round assignments.
Jackson, the Miami Heat’s second round draft choice in 2008, is no stranger to Powell, having played against him in the Chinese Basketball Association.
The incoming Ginebra import last played for the Guangdong Southern Tigers, where he averaged 16.6 points and 9.9 rebounds in 42 games, while Jackson saw action for the Shanghai Sharks, logging in 19.6 points and 11.2 rebounds in 37 games.