In two NBA D-League seasons, Lance Goulbourne has made two appearances to The Finals as a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors. A role player of sorts during the 2012-13 campaign, the forward returned to town midseason this year following some time abroad.
Luckily for the Warriors, Goulbourne came back just in time to help ignite the spark necessary to reach the D-League's final round. In seven postseason contests, the 25 year old stole the show, averaging 16.1 points and 13.3 boards. It goes without saying that he served as the team's X-Factor over the course of such a run.
"I think I did pretty well. I gained some momentum heading into the summer, and that's what I wanted to do. Coming back from Korea, I didn't want to sit around and not do anything," Goulbourne told RidiculousUpside.com. "I figured I'd come back to Santa Cruz and get some games under my belt. It turned out pretty well because we made it to the championship. I felt like I got better as the season went on. It was a good two months."
Such an effort has already paid off for the forward, as he's currently participating in the NBADL Elite Mini-Camp taking place in Chicago this week. The lone Warrior in camp, Goulbourne is one of thirty-seven select prospects strutting their stuff for NBA executives and related staffers.
Providing a window into what goes on during such a showcase, the young gun put it simply. He added, "When we got there, we started off by shooting and doing some drills. We warmed up first, and then we played two games. Each one was forty minutes long. It's mostly five-on-five, so that we can get up and down and compete against each other."
Coming off an impressive stint in Santa Cruz, Goulbourne's confidence level is high, and with good reason. He said, "I don't like to compare myself to many people, but I can hold my own. I'm just trying to go out there and show what I can do. I'm not worried about anything else but what I have to do here. They're all good players here, but I think I can hold my own against anybody."
What's more, the Vanderbilt alum has a pretty good idea of what he hopes scouts and coaches in the building will make note of when watching him play. He continued, "I just want to show more of what I've been doing the past two months in the D-League. I don't want to go out of my comfort zone. I play with energy. I like to rebound the ball, run the floor, get to the rim, and hit my mid-range jump shot. Those are things I do, and I'm sticking with that."
There's no doubt that, upon returning to Santa Cruz, Goulbourne showed evident progression. An NBA Summer League champion with Golden State last year, the forward is a high-flying and athletic specimen who knows how to assert himself inside to fight for boards and/or score down low.
The young gun added, "I lay it out there every night. I just try and play hard, rebound the ball, and do what it takes to help my team win. Offensively, I let the game come to me. I don't try and force things."
As he continues to benefit from this worthwhile exposure, Goulbourne says, "After this, I'm going to keep working out. I want to get my game right. The goal is to get a team to be with in Summer League, so hopefully that happens."
Given his most recent success, there's no reason why that should be a problem. He's confident, young, assertive on both ends of the floor, and is proving he's only getter better.