An exclusive first-person account from Kansas forward Drew Gooden
June 5: Good-bye Kansas, hello NBA
June 12: On Thursday, I worked out and basically packed my clothes and got ready to go to Chicago camp because I was leaving Friday morning. I'm working out with Kareem Rush, we're roommates so we work out together.
I got on the plane of Friday and it's like, a four and half-hour flight to Chicago. I got there and ate at TGI Friday's. I forget what I had, an herb chicken or something and basically watched the game (NBA Finals Game 2) that night. We were staying at the Wyndham hotel in downtown Chicago, which was cool; it was a nice hotel. I basically just chilled and waited for the next day to go to camp and do a lot of physical testing.
Saturday, we came in to get our vertical, how many times we could bench 185, get your official height and your official weight. What surprised me was how long we had to be there. Each day, I didn't know the whole day was going to be busy like that. It started Saturday and went until we got done with the physical stuff.
On Saturday, we also met with the media. They only selected like 7-8 players for the media part, which was an hour long, and I was one of those players that had to go for the media. It wasn't that bad, as far as dealing with the media. As far as dealing with the medical people, I think that was the part that took the longest.
Out of all the days, Monday was the longest day -- that was just a whole day of meetings. Earlier, we had to go through these medical checkups, giving blood, take a urine test, stuff like that, a lot of tests and Monday the results came back. So we had to get about 10 different opinions from 10 doctors, past history as far as medical history and stuff. Meeting with the doctors, that lasted the whole day.
After that, we had a meeting from 2 o'clock to 8 o'clock at night. That was the rookie transition program where they just told you a lot about the NBA. They acted out a play, with the little scenarios that go down because a lot of athletes get themselves in trouble. Basically, it was just getting educated because we're at a level where there's a lot of stuff we can be vulnerable to. There's a lot of temptation. They just presented it to us, talked to us about drugs, steroids, a lot of financial stuff. They touched everything as far as how to deal with family, how to deal with friends ... they touched on a lot of different subjects.
I met some new people but I basically knew a lot of people there. I had a lot of friends who were already at the camp. All in all, we had fun. We went out a couple nights that we could. The other nights we went to bed early because we had to be up early in the morning. Whatever we could do, we'd do.
I got back home on Tuesday. I feel sorry for the dudes who were there for the four days before that. They were there for about a week or eight days total. They had been playing all that time too, so it was tough for them.
Today I finally got to sleep in for the first time in about a month and a half. This was my first day I got to sleep in. Usually when I sleep in, I sleep until about 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock. I only slept in until about 11:30 because I'm so used to getting up early so I was a little disappointed. But I woke up and started cleaning the house.
I have a home outside of Oakland -- five bedrooms, upstairs/downstairs. It's a nice house. Basically, I'm trying to learn how to pay bills. It's tough. I'm paying them, but it's a hassle. I don't cook for myself. I have somebody right now that comes every once in a while that cooks what we need. We tell the lady what we want to eat and she'll cook it for us.
I'm going to go pick my trainer up from the airport, work out later on tonight, kick back and play video games. I've got a nice sized TV downstairs and have some couches. So I'll just relax and play a lot of video games when I'm not working out. So basically I'm going to do that tonight after I'm done working out and get ready to schedule some more workouts with more NBA teams. But I'm not going back on the road just yet. We might have three teams come watch me. They're going to get on the road and come watch me this time.