2011 Golden State Warriors 2nd round draft pick Jeremy Tyler is ready to be an employee of the NBA and is saying all the right things to his colleagues to prove he's not treating this lockout as an extended celebratory vacation for getting drafted. Tyler is on a mission to prove that he's coachable, sending out smoke signals every time he opens his mouth. Problem is, none of his colleagues are listening just yet.
Sam Amick of SI.com writes of the struggles that rookies are having staying motivated amidst the 2011 NBA Lockout. Without the structured life of NBA Summer League, rookies are left to their own training regimens, which include playing in semi-pro leagues or private workouts individually or with others. Tyler, known to have a poor work ethic, is talking the talk:
"Right now, I'm just trying to stay focused, stay on track, stay professional off the court and just go through every single day working out," Tyler said. "I'm trying to get with some veteran guys to try to see how they prepare for the upcoming NBA season."
Sounds like plan and what we as Warrior fans want to hear! Except...
"I'm still getting guys' numbers," he replied sheepishly. "I haven't really found any [vets] yet."
Tyler has been playing in the Westcoast summer basketball jawn that is the Drew League, which is saturated with NBA talent past, present, and future. His future teammate Dorell Wright has been training in his hometown of Los Angeles and playing in the Drew League, too. Can't Wright holler at him and show him the ropes? Introduce him to some friends and not groupies?
I could imagine Tyler's non-traditional path to the NBA has not allowed him the opportunities to mingle in the amateur circuits with other high profile high school stars and collge players. He, figuratively, fell off the map bouncing around the globe and the time as a senior in high school is a time when player across the country meet to "compete" in high school all-star games. Tyler's non-traditional route means he's behind not just on skills, but on extra-basketball related skills like networking.
Hopefully, Tyler can impress some NBA vets like he has impressed Warrior fans so far. Maybe they'll help keep him on the right track before the season stars if it ever does.