Just Pick Me Already: Morris Almond, Take 2

This is an INSANE time of year for those players hoping to be picked in the NBA draft. The logistics alone are pretty bad: most are running from city to city trying to put on the basketball show of their lives in private team workouts, while spending hours and hours stuck on crazy flights and in strange hotels. Normal patterns of eating and sleeping are abandoned entirely. On top of all that, they're about to become millionaires. Or not -- if they mess up these workouts. And they're about to move somewhere, to some city, where they will take orders from coaches they are in most cases just meeting for the first time now. Through all the stress, pressures, and miles, the players are supposed to be majestic, undaunted, and charming. It's exciting, it's bizarre, and it's weird. Starting now, and through the draft, TrueHoop will be following the emotional experience -- with repeated interviews -- of a handful of draft hopefuls. We're calling it "Just Pick Me Already."

So far we have heard from Zabian Dowdell twice, Morris Almond, Jared Dudley, and Petteri Koponen.

For Morris Almond of Rice, this is second installment, which he emailed last night.

Just had a short break in between workouts. I'm back at it again though, this time headed from my home base of Washington D.C. to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for a meeting with the Hornets.

I'll visit Charlotte the next day, and then that's a wrap for the '07 Morris Almond NBA Workout Tour.

Thought I'd check back in one last time before the draft to share some final thoughts. Nothing right or wrong ... just how I was feeling at the moment. (Thanks again for having me on Mr. Abbott.)

As hectic and nerve-wrenching as things may get during this draft process, one of the most important things is to keep a sound presence of mind. I'll be the first to admit, it's easy to get overwhelmed and swept up in the hype and splendor of the annual NBA Draft. Mock drafts, articles, rumors, your uncle's opinion, your homeboy's opinion -- all that adds fuel to the speculation-fire on a daily basis. Whether its favorable press or not-so-favorable, being under such a microscope can really trip a player up as he makes the transition from an amateur to a professional.

Don't lose touch with reality.

For me, I just try to take it all in stride. Unless a GM is doubling up as the editor-in-chief of these draft publications, its all gotta be taken with a grain of salt. Through it all, you have to stay true to yourself and keep your esteem high regardless of what is said and written about you.

Fortunately for me, I've been able to keep a circle around me that has really kept my head right and on the right track, starting with my father, Willie Almond, my agents, Lon Babby, Jim Tanner, and Trevor Bukstein, and my trainer, Idan Ravin. With them, I've come to realize that as exhilirating and important as it may seem, the draft is just one day in your career. One day. What really matters is everything that happens from June 29th on. So whether you get drafted in the top ten, the second round, or enter the Association as an undrafted free agent ... the cream always rises to the top.

So there you have it. Like I said in the beginning, this is just how I try to interpret and handle information during this period. My grasp ... my take on the situation. I'll be tuned in like everybody else on June 28th to see where all the chips fall. This is a new beginning, and as the story unfolds: "Que Sera Sera." What will be, will be. We'll see how it all shakes out though. Good luck to everybody going through the draft process this year. I gotta get back to work. Peace.