The summer’s been great. Busy, but great. I got married on July 27 and then went on a honeymoon to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico for a week. Right at the end of it, I got the call from Detroit saying the Pistons were going to sign me. Flew back in that night to Louisville and flew right here the next day to sign my contract, then flew to New York right after I signed here that same day and went to the Rookie Transition Program.
After that, I had a little camp in Louisville for a couple of days. It was T-Will’s camp – Terrence Williams, from Seattle like me, the first one from Seattle who went to Louisville, who I’ve known since I was a kid – and we had fun there. Now I’m here in Detroit, working out, and I’ll be here right until training camp starts.
Hearing the news that the Pistons had made the trade for Brandon Jennings and there was a roster spot for me was a great wedding present, absolutely. I was very excited about that. I found out on my honeymoon and I couldn’t wait to get back on the court.
My wife’s name is Patience, but I don’t think she would have shown much patience with me if I tried to play basketball while we were on our honeymoon. I wasn’t allowed to play, but there were no courts there anyway, so I was able to relax. But I missed it. It was killing me out there to not be able to play, but I picked up beach volleyball and water polo. It was awesome! I had a great time playing those. I also went zip-lining, too, which was also fun. We went on a tour around Puerto Vallarta and had a real good time.
One of the things I’m working on with Arnie Kander now that I’m settled here in the Detroit area is strengthening my ankle that I twisted in Summer League. We’re working on getting all that fluid out of it and getting it stronger and getting the range of motion back.
That was the only disappointing thing about Summer League. Other than that, I felt it went really well. I thought I did a good job of handling the ball and trying to set up my teammates, just get everybody involved. That was my main focus going into it.
I knew that there were no guarantees, being drafted late in the second round, but I don’t like pressure – not in the sense that I fold under pressure, but I don’t like to put added pressure on myself. I just went out there to play basketball. I’ve played basketball my whole life, so why add the pressure? Joe Dumars told me before I went into it, “We want you, so just go in there and play.” So that’s what I did. Just went out there to play and try to relax and not overstep my boundaries. That’s what I tried to do.
I look at our team and I’m excited about coming in and learning from those guys we have at point guard – Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups and Will Bynum. I’ll make my impact wherever I can. I’m not worried about it. Chauncey can play other positions; Will can play other positions. I’m just going to go in there and play my game, do whatever the coach asks me to do. If that’s picking up full court, facilitating on offense, picking up the tempo, that’s what I’m going to try to do.
You definitely have got to find those little niches to stick around the league and that’s what you want to do. You ultimately want a 10-year career in the league and how you do that is you find those little niches. My whole thing is I’m going to do whatever I can to get on the court and show that I’m a hard worker.
For the next month and a little bit before camp opens, I’ll go hard every day, knowing my body’s limits and getting back into shape so I’ll be ready on Oct. 1 so I won’t give the coach any reason not to play me. I’ve been shooting a lot. We’ve been going two-a-days, so a lot of work on my jumper, a lot of work on the pick-and-roll game and just working on my skills in general.
I’m excited for the season. We’ve got a great group of guys. I’m looking forward to playing with them all and it’s going to be fun. I’ve already got a great relationship with a couple of the guys and I’m looking forward to meeting the ones I haven’t met already. I can’t wait to get going.