Lucas Nogueira is having a good time in Las Vegas.
The coolest man at the Thomas & Mack Center at any given time, the affable 7-footer stands out in a sea of enormity, his trademark hair poking higher than all but Mamadou N’Diaye. That he’s usually donned in shades and a sleeveless shirt, dapping up just about everyone he sees, only serves to make him stand out further.
Nogueira, of course, doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he’s welcomed the cameras on him even further, consistently dropping in to media scrums to hone his skills as a reporter (something he’s done in the past, too).
First, he took my microphone at a scrimmage session on Saturday and proceeded to interview rookie Pascal Siakam.
I actually wrote up that interview. Here’s the transcript:
Nogueira: First question, how you pronounce his name? So, what did you feel about that game. Let me start again. Siakam, how was your sensation to see Lucas wear your jersey during the pick-up game?
Siakam: Oh man, I just felt awesome, man. To have a guy like Lucas wear my jersey man, it was great. I feel blessed, man.
Nogueira: He feels blessed, too. Because he hears very great potential, so for him, using your jersey is an amazing experience, you know. So, how is your health, do you feel a little bit better compared to yesterday? Are you ready for tomorrow, or maybe gotta wait a little bit more? How do you feel about today?
Siakam: I’m still pretty sore a little bit. We’re just going to go day by day and see what happens. We’ll see.
(Bruno audibly giggling)
Nogueira: You’re a rookie this year, so what’s your expectation for next year? Because everybody in the organization, fans, franchise, they really believe in your talent, they really believe in your potential. So, how’s your expectation for next season? What do you have in your mind, what are your goals for next year?
Siakam: For me, it’s just trying to go out and do what I do. Be the player that I am, not force anything. Just try to help this team with energy and playing hard, and just win. That’s what it’s all about.
Nogueira: I understand. Thank you so much, Siakam, I hope you’re having a great Summer League and a great year, man.
Siakam: Thank you, man. I appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Nogueira was back at it Sunday, taking over another Siakam interview session:
He wasn’t the only one. There’s no video, but DeMarre Carroll, dressed like a creamsicle, asked the first question in head coach Jama Mahlalela’s scrum, too. Carroll got some reps in during All-Star Weekend as well, and the Raptors have to be making the team’s current broadcasters a little nervous that the players will soon just do the job themselves. (I mean, they’re better at it than I am.)
Both Nogueira and Carroll, by the way, have been working out here in Vegas. Nogueira’s been practicing and scrimmaging with the team – he even played against the Bucks in a scrimmage Saturday – and Carroll’s been working out off to the side.
As for Siakam, if you missed our update yesterday, he won’t play today, as he’s off to Ottawa to sort out immigration matters for the coming year. It’s unclear if and when he’ll be back, and if his sore left knee will allow him to play once he’s back.