By Ryan Mayer, CBS Local Sports
The transition from college sports to the professional level can be hard on a young athlete. That’s why you see many veterans take younger players under their wing to try and show them the ropes of their new life. Having an older brother that’s able to do that for you? Even better.
Toronto Raptors rookie point guard and first round pick Delon Wright is in that exact situation. His older brother Dorell is an 11 year NBA veteran, who has been on four different teams. He’s getting set to play this year in China, but took the time during the first week of NBA training camps to write his brother an open letter on The Players’ Tribune giving advice to Delon on how to handle the transition to the pros.
Among the advice, comes this important note that not many people consider about the professional athlete’s lifestyle.
“What they don’t tell you is that it’s not just the availability of money that adds temptation, but time. You have all this free time to buy, buy, buy. Really, free time is the root of the trouble you can find as a pro. That’s the hardest thing about the adjustment you’re about to make. When I was at prep school before jumping to the NBA, I had a strict schedule. Be at school at 7:30. Breakfast. Assembly. Class all day, then basketball. Afterwards, it was study hall and maybe one more chance to sneak in some gym time. Most of your days in college were basically planned for you, too.
In the NBA, on non-game days, you’re there at 8 a.m. to get your extra work in and then practice with the team. That takes maybe four hours, tops. Now you’ve got the rest of the day to yourself. You’ll need to learn how to manage your time.”
The letter is an incredibly open look into the transition to the NBA. Dorell is clearly looking out for his brother trying to make sure he avoids some of the potholes that trip up many rookies. The biggest one, which gets two mentions in the piece: Step away from the card games.
This is the kind of advice that all young players should be getting. Kudos to Dorell for taking the time to write this.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him. Agree/Disagree? Thoughts, comments, complaints? Email or tweet him.