Adaptation to the NBA is extremely difficult for any newcomer. But especially for a 19-year-old international player, it will be even harder. For all rookies, certain things are inevitable: they will make mistakes, they will play badly in a lot of games, and they will lose playing time. Those things you can’t control.
What you can control is how you respond to adversity. The best response to it is to maintain your aggressiveness and keep playing the way you are used to. This will be one of the most important things to watch for in Coulibaly’s rookie season.
Sometimes, what makes the difference between players in the NBA is not their talent level. Every NBA player is incredibly skilled and athletic. The ones that differentiate themselves are the ones who are aggressive and have the drive. Coulibaly needs to show he has that.
He needs to be unafraid to take shots, drive to the rim, and handle the ball. While doing all this, he will miss a lot of shots and turn the ball over quite a bit. Almost no rookie is efficient. That is to be expected. But passing up shots, settling for mid-rangers instead of trying to get to the rim, or not making off-ball cuts is a bad sign for a rookie.
For Coulibaly in his rookie season, it will be much better to take four three-pointers and miss all of them, rather than taking zero in a game. Not losing his confidence and staying aggressive will be one of the most important qualities Coulibaly can demonstrate early on.