Nik Stauskas, Sacramento Kings rookie and Uber guy


Sacramento Kings rookie Nik Stauskas turned 21 years old Tuesday.  The world is his oyster.  He is a millionaire.  He has a high-profile job.  Fame and fortune and everything things that goes with that.

But until today, he couldn’t get past the doorman at most night clubs or even order an alcoholic beverage.  And there is also the issue that he doesn’t have a drivers license.  So maybe life isn’t perfect just yet.

After spending time with the former Michigan star, it is clear that he is not your typical NBA rookie.  He is composed, quick-witted, and he loves Justin Bieber.  He is also very good at basketball and one of the more refreshing people you will meet.

During media day, we caught up Stauskas for a little one-on-one conversation, and he didn’t disappoint.

CK: After Las Vegas, what is it that you saw that you need to work on to get ready for this upcoming season?

NS: I think the biggest things from Vegas was just adjusting to the physicality.  Obviously, that’s just summer league and it’s a whole other level once you start playing the regular season.  So for me, it was just embracing the physicality and getting stronger.  I feel that was the biggest thing for me to improve upon.

CK: What did you do to accomplish that?

NS: I started on a strength program that the Kings have put me on.  So when I went back home for the majority of August, I was lifting about four times a week on the things that they wanted me to do.  As I’ve gotten here, I’ve continued to work with them on that stuff.

CK: Have you gained any weight?

NS: Not really.  For me, it’s tough gaining weight because I’m so active.  I feel like I’m burning so much that it’s tough to put on weight.  It’s going to be a process over a longer period of time.

CK: You’re walking into your first training camp. Do you have the mindset that you want that starting shooting guard spot, or are you just going to let this competition play out?

NS: For me, I’m not going to come in and try to put any pressure on myself.  I’m a very confident person.  I’ve talked to coach Malone and I think he’s looking for me to just play my game.  I know when I’m playing with confidence, playing with swagger, that’s when I’m at my best.  If that leads to me having a starting role, that’s great.  If not, I’m ready for any role I’m required to do.

The same thing happened to me when I got to Michigan.  My freshman year at Michigan, I wanted to be a starting shooting guard and from the start, I wasn’t.  The first eight or nine games, I came off the bench, but I waited for my time, I waited for my opportunities and I made the most of them when I had it.  I think it’s going to be the same way here.  Whatever my opportunities, I’m going to make the most of it.

CK: Have you set any goals for yourself coming into training camp and for the regular season?

NS: Personal goals for me is that I just want to play.  I feel like if I get the opportunity to play, I’ll be able to show people what I’m capable of doing and I’m going to help this team win games.  So for me, it’s all about just getting on the floor and earning the trust of my coaches and teammates.

CK: You put yourself out there on social media.  You are active.  Your girlfriend is active.  You guys are active communicating with each another, too. How is that going?  You let the people out there on social media see a little bit more of yourself than the average player.

NS: It’s important for me.  I’ve always believed that basketball is not who I am; it’s what I do.  So I don’t want people to look at me and think that, “Oh, he’s just a basketball player.”  I’m a normal person.  I like doing normal things.  I like watching TV shows.  I like hanging out with friends and I want people to understand about me that I like interacting with my friends the same way anyone else does on Twitter.

CK: Have you gotten yourself settled here in Sacramento?

NS: Not yet, I haven’t.  I found a place I want to live. The problem is I don’t have a drivers license yet.  So I can’t go there, unless I can drive here, so I’m figuring it out right now.  I guess I’m going to be the Uber guy for a while, but I’ll get my license figured out soon.

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