Since his collegiate career ended in April, after the University of Arizona Wildcats lost in the Elite Eight and he declared for the NBA Draft, freshman phenom Aaron Gordon has been in the lab. The nearly 6-8 forward took up residence in Southern California, where he’s been working out religiously. More recently, he traveled to Chicago, IL, for the NBA Draft Combine, and to Manhattan, NY, for the Draft lottery drawing. Gordon, the athletic younger brother of former high school star Drew Gordon, made a positive impression at both events. Barring something major, he’s expected to go in the lottery portion of the Draft.
With less than three weeks left until the Draft, which is being held in Brooklyn, NY, the affable Gordon has agreed to keep a weekly diary with SLAMonline. In the third entry—catch the first diary entry here, and the second entry here—Gordon, who averaged 12.4 ppg and 8 rpg at Arizona, details his experiences working out for the Kings and Lakers.
When we left off last diary, I was on my way to Sacramento. Well, I went there. I got a few shots up with Chris Mullin, Mully, and I hung out and talked with the GM, the owner, all that stuff. Then I was like, We can get a workout in, if you guys want.
That was my first actual workout. We ended up working for 45 minutes to an hour. Full sweat, shooting, everything. I was a little bit nervous, but that’s good cause now the jitters are out of the way.
After Sac, I went to L.A straight. I love L.A. It’s a great city, and I have family and friends out there. I get a good vibe from L.A.
I worked out in L.A. for the Lakers. I thought it was going to be an individual workout but it ended up being a competition workout. I got to workout with James Young, Doug McDermott, Davion Berry, Elfrid Payton, etc. That was fun. I haven’t played against other people in a while; I’ve just been doing individual lab work.
When we played twos and threes, I jumped on Doug. I needed to guard him, just cause I thought I was going to guard him during the college season. This was my chance to guard him, and he’s a really, really good player. He’s skilled, talented and he knows how to put the ball in the basket. He’s a hooper. I mean, you don’t become a top-ten scorer in the history of college basketball by luck. So, that was a fun matchup.
During that workout in L.A., everyone from the organization was watching. GMs, scouts, they don’t have a coach so obviously no coach was there, and Mitch Kupchak was there. I didn’t really get to have a conversation and ask questions there. That’s kind’ve what the interview at the Combine was for. Then, the media came and flooded in it.
It was cool to come and see the Championship trophies there. They have them in the upper left side in the practice facility. It was fun to play in there. They have real tradition. They said they liked me. Well see if they bring me back for another workout closer to the Draft.
After that, I was real sore. I was tired. I was doing three-a-days. In L.A., I worked out before the workout and worked out after the workout. I was trying to get in the gym. I felt like I lost a little bit of time when I was at my sister’s graduation in Boston last week, so I wanted to stay in the gym.
The day after L.A., I was pretty sore but my trainer dragged me to the gym. After a good go at it, I went to bed and slept for like 18 hours. When I woke back up, I was good to go!
This past weekend, I was in Utah. That was really cool. It seems like Utah has a good thing going. The new coach Quin Snyder was there. I got to meet him before players on the Jazz got to meet him. He was sitting on the side while we worked out. I played well. I shot well, and I think I showed them my versatility. I talked to the rest of the staff, and I think I had a good showing.
By then, the nerves weren’t there anymore. It wasn’t like Sacramento. I mean, they’re there a little bit, but in my mind it’s back to playing basketball and not trying to prove anything.
I’m back at P3, working out now. I have a big week planned. I’m headed out to Boston to workout for the Celtics. From there, I’m going straight to Orlando. Then, I’m playing it by ear. If any team wants to bring me back, I’m there. That’s the grind.
A couple days ago someone said to me, The Draft is coming up. I was like, Oh my God; it is coming up!
It’s getting closer. Every time someone talks about the Draft coming up it just makes me smile. I’m just happy about it. I’m completely happy.