NBA.com welcomes second-year NBA guard and guest blogger Charles Jenkins to the rookie conversation. Charles shares his rookie reflections …
By Charles Jenkins, Golden State Warriors
Hey, guys! Thanks for having me join in on the rookie talk. When I think back, there are a lot of differences from last year to this year. I learned as I went along, but one thing that sticks out to me that’s different from this season is my confidence level. Last year, it was very hard to stay confident. I didn’t play in the beginning, and then when Stephen Curry got injured, I did play and got more minutes. A lot of the veterans and coaches kept encouraging me to stay confident and understand that I was playing against a lot of great players and that there were nights where I wasn’t going to play well. I kept working because I knew good things would happen.
Now, I don’t feel that way at all. I know my place on the team and I know what I have to do. I don’t feel the same kind of pressure. The NBA is all about preparation and having a role, and this year, I’ve been learning how to adjust to different roles. I realize that some nights I’m not needed on the floor, but I’m always ready when my number is called. My role is to be ready and play to the best of my ability every day.
I feel so much more comfortable this year knowing that I have a place on this team. There are guys who work as hard as they possibly can and don’t even get to dress, so I feel good about my role on this team. In the beginning, I was shy in the locker room and on the court. But my teammates — the established players like Steph, David Lee, Monta Ellis – always made me feel comfortable. But it took me a while to come out of my shell, especially on the court.
Another teammate who really helped me out was Dorell Wright. When the lockout ended in 2011, he was the first person to reach out to me and tell me to make my way to the gym. Every time I called, he always picked up his phone. I didn’t know anything. Dorell showed me the ropes and taught me everything. And he really helped me with my confidence. Being a second-year player, I’m still learning myself. When I’m a real veteran, I’ll help out the rookies, too.
This year, our team has gotten a lot closer. I’ve been around everyone my entire rookie season and this past summer, working out and playing in summer league. My teammates know what I’m capable of, and I also know what I’m going to get from my teammates. When you see how hard all the players and coaches work, we gain even more respect for each other. Our relationships have grown.
Sometimes people ask me the best piece of advice I received as a rookie. And it goes back to confidence. A lot of people, especially Coach Jackson, kept telling me that it’s a long season and to stay confident. And I’d pass on the same advice to this year’s rookies.
I also think the best thing rookies can do is stay ready … which is something I still carry with me. When you get to the NBA, every team has its star and major role players. Rookies have to find out where they can help. Every night, play as hard as you can. People notice how hard I play, and that’s gotten me the reputation of having a good work ethic. Somebody is always watching. It’s easy to get comfortable … but you dream of playing in the NBA your entire life and if you want to stay here and make it a career, you have to work at it.
And that’s what I’m doing … working at it and staying ready.
I like to interact with the fans, especially through social media. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @CTJenkins22.
Charles Jenkins is a 6-foot-3 guard from Hofstra University who was the Warriors’ 14th pick in the second round (44th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft. Check All Ball all season long for more NBA Rooks posts.