Preparing for NBA draft is an exciting -- and hectic -- experience
From training to working out for teams, Pattrick Patterson shares his experiences
Decision to leave Kentucky was tough, but in the end NBA was calling
Patterson nearly left school after last season, but didn't feel he was ready
Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson decided to forego his senior season to enter next week's NBA Draft, where he is projected as a first-round pick. The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder from Huntington, W.Va., has been busy since he left school, training and working out for teams. Patterson shares his experiences in his first installment of his draft diary.
Hello, world! My life's been so busy the last couple weeks between workouts and interviews that I haven't had a chance to slow down since school ended. After we lost in the tournament to West Virginia, it took a while for me to shake off the loss and think about the NBA. I talked with all my Kentucky teammates about coming back and we decided that the best thing for all of us was to leave school with me leaving with my degree.
Once I decided to go pro, the last few days in Lexington were tough for me. Walking around campus, all the students and fans would ask me "Are you sure you want to leave?" It was surreal. One day I was getting into my car and I turned around and these two girls were standing right behind me. They were wearing homemade T-shirts; one of them said: "Our PP is bigger than yours." I thought it was funny so I agreed to take a picture with them. Next thing I know, a whole mob of people swarmed around me, all wearing shirts with my name on the front. They started chanting my name, taking pictures, it was wild. There was even a baby with a mini-version of one of the T-shirts. I'm just going to miss being loved by all the fans. Then again, I won't miss the 8 a.m. classes and long hours in study hall.
Last year I thought about the NBA, but I decided to come back because I just didn't feel like I was ready. Jodie Meeks was my roommate and he really tried to get me to go. Right around that time the NBA playoffs were going on, and I watched the Boston-Chicago series that went seven games. That's when I thought, "I'm not ready." I had hardly played on the perimeter and knew I needed to get better. That and knowing John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins were coming in to UK helped me make up my mind to come back.
Lately, my schedule's been crazy. I'm training in Indianapolis when I'm not on the road, but that's rare these days. At the Draft Combine, I roomed with Butler's Gordon Hayward. When we weren't playing or doing interviews, I hung out with him, my teammates from Kentucky and Ed Davis from UNC, who I played AAU ball with in high school.
Basketball was the easy part; it was the team interviews that really wore me out. One day I had interviews with seven different teams, which took like six hours. After the combine, the Rockets brought me in for a workout. Then I headed to Miami, and Damion James from Texas was there, too. I have to admit, I thought he was a real serious guy, just from seeing him play on TV. But Damion's probably the funniest kid I've ever met. His southern accent is hilarious.
That was the first time I'd ever been in South Beach and now I can understand why guys in the league want to sign with the Heat. I met with Pat Riley, who went to Kentucky, too, so we talked about college hoops and I asked him about the movie Glory Road.
My next stop was Oakland. The night before our workout with the Warriors, I went to an Italian restaurant with Xavier Henry and Al-Farouq Aminu and then watched Youth in Revolt back at the hotel. Pretty funny movie. If I'm not watching movies in my hotel, I'm listening to music. I can't wait for Drake's album to come out. I love the songs Fireworks and Over, so I'm going to go buy his new album I've been bumping the new T.I. and Rick Ross, too.
I was in Utah the next day and the hotel there was crazy. I wanted to film my own version of MTV Cribs on my phone; I was going to call it "PAT Cribs." My room had a king size bed, a glass shower, a Jacuzzi, two sinks, and an automatic toilet paper dispenser, which I had never seen before. I felt like a celebrity. Supposedly they built that hotel for the athletes at the 2002 Olympics, and it was without a doubt the best one I've ever stayed in.
I have more workouts in different cities every day next week. Hopefully I can catch some of the World Cup on TV. I'm a Fernando Torres fanatic, so I'm rooting for Spain. I'll check in again next week. Good night, world!