Dime: You were roommates with Kemba Walker at UConn and he was your closest friend on the team. How did that friendship start?
AM: When I first got to UConn, Kemba didn’t have a roommate and he was a freshman and I was a freshman. We were the only two freshmen on the team at the time, so they put us together. So we started to hang out a little more and more, and we became pretty good roommates and friends. He started to trust me, I started to trust him.
Dime: How did having to go up against Hasheem Thabeet every day in practice help you develop your game?
AM: When I played against Hasheem, I had to develop a hook shot, my speed going around people. He was stronger than me, but I’m very hard-headed when it comes to me being a basketball player. I always said that I’m gonna beat you down, I’m gonna beat you down. No matter how many times you block me, no matter how many times I got elbowed in the face.
Dime: What’s the first thing you plan on buying with your NBA money?
AM: You know what, you know what I might buy? A whole collection of Disney movies and comedies. That’s one thing…I mean I love watching cartoons and I love watching comedies, you know that’s me. I’m a big Disney and Nickelodeon fan. I don’t care what you say about me, I’m still gonna keep watching them.
Dime: So what’s your favorite show?
AM: Phineas and Ferb. You ain’t gotta continue with that. (laughs) I mean I’ll watch everything, but if I had to pick one, that would be my show right there.
Dime: How will the lockout change your summer workout plans?
AM: Well right now I’m just working as hard as I can ’cause the lockout might end tomorrow and they’ll be like, ‘Okay, you gotta go to camp in three days.’ So I’m working hard, getting stronger, getting bigger, faster. I’ve been trying to work on my defense a lot.
Dime: You’ll be going up against Pau Gasol in practice every day. What parts of his game do you think you can adapt to your own?
AM: His footwork. He has amazing footwork. I’m pretty impressed. I’m always going to try to steal a little bit from each player and try and make my own brand. His footwork is definitely very exquisite. I wouldn’t mind staying in the gym with him every day, trying to get that footwork.
Dime: If you could say anything to Lakers fans, what would it be?
AM: I mean, they’re the best fans in the world, but don’t fall asleep on me. There are a lot of people falling asleep on me, a lot of people not respecting my game, not respecting me. It’s gonna be surprising, it’s gonna be surprising what I can do.
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