We’ve all had job interviews. Some went well, some not so well. We probably had at least a week before the next one. Time to reflect on where improvements are needed. Maybe a few days so the nerves can calm, research can be studied, and confidence can build going into the next one.
Now, let’s say you have between 10-15 interviews scheduled in a 3 week period. The stakes are high, because the competition for the position is unbelievably fierce. In addition, each interview is extremely physical. The amount of energy exerted in that one hour would normally take 2-3 days to recover. But you don’t have that luxury. Once the interview is finished, you have to get on a plane, (commercial, not chartered), and fly between 3-4 hours to the NEXT city for the NEXT interview the NEXT day.
Welcome to the world of the NBA pre draft workouts. This process takes place from the beginning of June right up until the draft on June 25. By the end of these “interviews”, the players heads are spinning so much that they can barely remember where they were yesterday, what team they are with today, and where they are headed tomorrow. It’s a REAL grind.
A typical pre draft team workout consists of flying into the city the night before. The team puts you up in a hotel for the night, then picks you up for delivery to the practice facility the next morning. After being probed and prodded by the training staff, the coaches then take over for a 60-90 minute on court workout. And it is a WORKOUT, (usually). League rules only permit a maximum of 6 players on the court at a time. (Some players get a “special” 1 on 0 workout, supposedly to see if they can score against the orange cones). In the 6 player workout, much of it consists of 1 on 1, 2 on 2, and 3 on 3 competition, which can be very strenuous, especially the full court work. In between the competitive drills, or at the end of the workouts, teams like to see the players do some shooting. Legs are tired, shots are short and players get frustrated. Tough interview question, huh?
Don’t get me wrong, all of us would have given just about anything at that age for the opportunity to interview for an NBA team. After all, if you are drafted in the first round, it is a GUARANTEE 3 year contract, worth millions. A second round pick, not so fortunate. They rarely make the team, and if they do, it is a non-guaranteed contract worth a fraction of what a first rounder makes. With the stakes so high, and the process so compacted into such a short period of time, here are some changes I think the league should make to improve the process.
1. Limit the number of workouts each player can have.
2. Allow the player at least one day of rest between workouts.
3. Allow teams to bring in 10 players at a time for 5 on 5 play.
4. Limit each workout to 90 minutes maximum.
Our pre draft workouts conclude this week. Thanks to all of the players who stopped by for an “interview”. Just hope they can remember the name of the next city they land in……