The Insane Life of an NBA Draft Prospect
Editor's note: Former Colorado State star Colton Iverson has been steadily climbing up NBA draft boards over the past month, and serendipity has nothing to do with it. Bleacher Report asked Iverson to shed light on the grueling, high-stakes life of an NBA draft prospect.
No one said the road to the NBA was an easy one.
The pre-draft process for a prospect is thrilling, to be sure, but it's also incredibly tiring. I just finished my 17th pre-draft workout since May 8. That's right: 17 workouts in 45 days, including the week-long NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
For an NBA prospect, our job is to work out for as many teams as we can. I worked out for a different team every other day for a month.
Sure, the schedule was demanding at times, but it was also an incredibly fun experience, and it mimics the pace of an NBA schedule. When I felt tired, I simply shifted my thoughts back onto my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA, and it was all the motivation I needed to give everything I had each day.
This was my life for 45 days...
The day prior to a scheduled workout: Get myself to the airport to fly to the city of the team for which I’m working out.
Airports have just about everything except a place to get a hair cut #needingabuzzonthego— Colton Iverson (@colton_iverson) June 13, 2013
Upon arrival at destination city: Meet a representative from the team who gives me a ride to the hotel.
Check into hotel: Try to get comfortable and get something to eat. NBA teams offer a per diem (various amounts of cash, usually $25 to $100 depending on the team) and/or free food at the hotel. BUT: Note to everyone out there, it's not easy eating healthy when your options are airports and hotels.
Morning of workout: Wake up early and get some breakfast before meeting team personnel in the lobby of the hotel. Get a ride to the team's practice facility and then get dressed for the workout.
Workouts: While every workout is slightly different, there are also plenty of commonalities between them. Some teams take physical measurements (height without shoes, height with shoes, etc.), others don't. Some teams do physical testing (three-quarter-court sprint, vertical jump, etc.), some don't.
I'm about to get some Matt Bonner swag and rock a pair of New Balance for the rest of my workouts— Colton Iverson (@colton_iverson) June 7, 2013
Some teams do a lot of drills. Generally there are many types of different shooting drills: shooting from mid-range, shooting from NBA three-point range, shooting off the dribble, catch-and-shoot situations. There are other drills, too, but shooting is biggest with most teams.
@ButchMcCray_RaN my jumpers so wet...and you know I'm more athletic than you still to right— Colton Iverson (@colton_iverson) June 11, 2013
Most workouts also include three-on-three games. Since workouts are limited to a maximum of six players, this makes sense. I'm more of a five-on-five player, but three-on-three does allow me to show what I can do in the paint. I play tough and aggressive basketball, and I think I was able to show that pretty well in my workouts.
The workouts also include an assessment of who we are off the court. Most workouts last from 60 to 90 minutes on the court, and some teams also conduct interviews and personality tests afterward. Some of the interview questions teams ask are pretty interesting; I don't think any question would surprise me now.
There are certainly similarities, but it’s interesting to see the differences between how each team does things.
After the workout: Wait with other players for a ride to the airport to either head home or transition to another city for my next workout. It was always good to talk to other players during this time, as we'd share tips on workouts in various cities so we'd all have a better idea of what to expect with each team.
At the airport: At the airport, I'd always call my agent to let him know how the workout went. He'd then call the team and get feedback for me to let me know what the team thought about my performance. Then I'd sit and wait for my next flight so I could start the entire process all over again.
@stilusnoco5 wish I was watching but nahh I'm at the airport of course— Colton Iverson (@colton_iverson) June 21, 2013
This experience overall has been incredible, but I’m glad it’s over now. I'm looking forward to draft day.
I know no player has put in more work than I have, so I'm confident things will go my way on June 27. I just want to get with a team where I can continue to work hard and get better and help the team win as many games as possible.
Wish me luck on draft day and follow me on Twitter @colton_iverson
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