Great Britain forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu will step into the biggest shoes in basketball when the new campaign begins in the NBA tonight but the Londoner has insisted he is capable of making himself a permanent fixture in the world’s toughest league.
Mensah-Bonsu will make his official debut for the Houston Rockets in their opening game against the Portland Trailblazers after successfully battling to win a roster spot during the team’s month-long training camp. Mission one, accomplished, acknowledged the 6’9” swingman, who split time last season between the Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs and Spanish club Badalona. However, with the daunting prospect of trying to replace injured Chinese superstar Yao Ming, he concedes there is pressure to deliver from Rockets coach Rick Adelman.
“I’m excited about the challenge,” Mensah-Bonsu said. “I’ve been working all summer for this opportunity and hopefully, I’ll get the chance to play a lot and showcase what I can do. I’d like to stay in the NBA for good. Coach Adelman has told me I have a chance to play and when I get that, I have to do the best I can with it and solidify my position.”