Aaron Gordon’s Draft Diary, Part Four

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 a week until the Draft, which is being held in Brooklyn, NY, the affable Gordon has agreed to keep a weekly diary with SLAMonline. In the fourth entry—catch the first diary entry here the second entry here, and the third diary entry here—Gordon, who averaged 12.4 ppg and 8 rpg at Arizona, details his experiences working out for the Celtics, Magic and more.

by Aaron Gordon (as told to Tzvi Twersky)

After I left Utah, I went back to P3, where I work out. You know how P3 is. It’s just a really, really good place. I worked on mobility, strength, loosening up my joints—just things to get me right. I was there with other players, but at the same time they do a good job of making you feel like it’s individual. They always have separate things for different players. They realize that not everybody’s body is the same.

At this point in the process, I’m just trying to stay sharp and shoot the ball as consistently as I can. I’ve found a stroke, and now it’s about shooting it as consistently as possible. That’s really what it comes down to.

My next stop was Boston. I saw what they had to offer. It was a competitive workout with CJ Fair, Rodney Hood, Doug McDermott, Jerami Grant. I wouldn’t say it was easier than my first workouts, but my nerves had settled down. We played threes, and I had to guard Doug again, automatically.

Around that time, the media was saying that Boston wanted to draft me—but it’s hard to listen to the media right now. The media says so many things everyday. They change their minds everyday. They wake up with new opinions, and if one media members says it, the rest of the media follows it. So it’s not something I listen to.

I look at these workouts as job interviews. Each time I come out, I try to excel as best as I can in a job interview. That’s how I take it. Even though it is a sport I love to do, it is important and that’s what I try to do. I still have fun out there, though. I get to show what I can do. I got to show how I can dribble the ball, and that my versatility doesn’t mean “tweener,” it actually means I can play different positions.

Boston was a really good trip. I got to meet Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, couple other guys on the staff. The team has crazy tradition and the city’s lovely, so we’ll see how it goes. At the end of the day, it’s up to somebody else.

I was in Boston for two days, then I flew to Orlando. I was in Orlando for two days.

It was a one-on-none workout in Orlando. I shot the ball pretty well. I showed them the different things I can do, like, how smoothly I can shoot the ball with range, my versatility.

Orlando is a cool organization. They have good people surrounding the organization, from Rob Hennigan to Scott Perry to the coach, Jacque Vaughn. Vaughn is a real cool dude and a real good hooper. I got a real sense of family there, a good bond. They’re smart, young people who understand where the players are coming from. Rob is a good GM and I think he’ll be a great one someday.

After that, I came home and got to see my brother and sister and parents. Automatically, me and my brother (Drew) got in the gym and started going at each other. It had been a while since we played—he came to a game in Arizona six months ago.

My brother looks like he knows how to score the ball better than ever. His jumper is, like, a pro. He looks like a pro. He’s been overseas for two or three years, and he looks like a pro now. The way he shoots, the way he dribbles, the way he understands the game—he looks like a pro with the ball in his hands. I’m proud of him.

He’ll never tell me how good I am, but I know he knows. He’s my biggest fan, and I’m his biggest fan. We have mutual respect, and we always try to make each other better.

The Draft is coming! Each day, I check the calendar. Right now, I’m looking at suits. It’s starting to get exciting. We’ll see whose suits I go with, but I’m going to be looking nice, regardless. There’s no such thing as fitting in with this suit. You get this day once, so you have to go all out. You want to look nice and classy, but definitely loud.

I’m so excited to be in New York for the Draft. I’ll be with like four friends and family. It’s going to be memorable.

PS: There’s this picture floating around of me on Twitter. It’s crazy.

I was chilling, just resting my eyes on the train after a two-a-day. A couple hours later, there was just a random picture of me on Twitter. I had no idea someone had taken a picture. I guess people are starting to recognize me, but I don’t carry myself in a way that you would think I was a professional athlete. When I’m off the court, I carry myself like a normal person so people are never sure if that person they see is me or a look-alike.

PPS: I got moved up to first class on the second leg of a flight from Utah to Oakland. A lady recognized me and said that her son was a real big fan, so she moved me from coach to first. That’s love. It just shows that people appreciate you for playing basketball, and people are looking up to you and aspiring to be where you are.