NBA Rooks: Diaries … Tyler Zeller

By Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers

Uncle Tyler

Hi, everybody! I have some exciting family news … I’m an uncle! My older brother Luke and his wife had a baby boy a few weeks ago. They named him Kyston, which is a biblical reference, and it’s very cool to see Luke with a kid! He’s very proud, and every time I talk to him, he’s talking about Kyston and texting me pictures. It’s really cool – but kind of weird at the same time – because I’ve been used to being one of the younger ones in the family, and now there’s a new addition. But it’s really cool and fun to have a new little guy around!

I will get to meet Kyston back home, which is Indiana, the last week of April. First, I’m planning to go to North Carolina for about a week, and then head back home. My younger brother Cody will get to meet the baby a week before me.

I can’t wait until Kyston is old enough for us to spoil him, and it will be cool to see him develop. Actually, it will be interesting to see if he likes basketball, too. Our family definitely knows how to make sure he’s good at it! Our parents always told us to try everything and see what we like, so I think Luke will be the same way with Kyston. There will not be any pressure to play basketball unless he wants to do it.

Marching On

I didn’t do a March Madness bracket this year, partially since my brother’s team (Indiana) was in the Tournament. Obviously, I wish Cody’s team was on their way to the Final Four, but they lost to a very good Syracuse team. Their zone is tough to beat and gave Indiana a lot of problems. As for Cody, I think he played well this season. I’m his brother and a little biased, but I do think he’s under-appreciated because he really makes the team go and helps everybody else get shots.  Throughout the season, he’s had some great games and he’s struggled in some games … that is pretty much the story of a solid basketball career.

It’s a bummer that my school, UNC, is out of the running as well. In their last game, they played fairly well in the first half, and then Kansas made some very good adjustments at halftime. They tried to come back, but it was a little too late. I would have been really impressed if they were able to pull out the win. You have to give Kansas credit for that victory.

I think the upcoming Final Four is going to be very good. All of the teams have played well to get there, and I am excited to see what happens next week!

Rookie Season Wrapping Up

Right now, for me personally, I’m trying to get better every game and get more and more comfortable in the NBA setting. We are playing teams that are battling for playoff position, so we are still playing a very high level of basketball. We still want to compete and win as many games as possible. We are pro basketball players, and we enjoy winning. We are also looking ahead to next year. I think we have a chance to be a very good team, and it’s important to prepare and be as ready as possible for next year.

My rookie year has been like a roller coaster, with its highs and lows. You play well for one stretch, and then it seems like you can’t do anything right. It’s a learning experience, and it’s been a lot of fun. I learned a lot this year, which will definitely help my game next year.

DVR Update

Right now, I’m watching “Duck Dynasty,” which is an unscripted reality show on A&E. It’s basically about a family that turned duck calls into a million dollar business. I also enjoy it because they are a good Christian family, which you can tell by watching the show. For example, they end each episode with the family saying a prayer around the table. It’s actually the show’s third season, but it blew up this season! I know a ton of people watching it now. I bought the first two seasons on DVD and have been watching this season on DVR.

Oh, and I’m also reading “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of The Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden.” I only have about 50 pages left, and I think it’s a really good book! I’ve been doing most of my reading on flights or while sitting around the hotel. It’s a nice break from watching TV.

That’s all for now … follow me on Twitter @ZellerTyler!

Tyler Zeller is a 7-foot center from the University of North Carolina. He was the 17th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

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  1. Tyler says:

    Hey Z! Congrats on being an uncle. We miss you here in Chapel Hill, but love pulling for you in the NBA. Take care!

  2. Rav says:

    These Rookie Diaries are pretty good. Props for a great idea, All Ball team. The lack of comments is definitely surprising, and I guess it shows that the general audience doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

    Here are some suggestions:

    1) Make each diary entry shorter – right now, it could be their length that is discouraging readers.
    2) Increase the frequency of the diaries – we’d like to check in on these rooks more often than we can; it would definitely make us feel more invested in them if we were updated more regularly. In addition, doing this would compensate for the shorter entries I suggest above.
    3) Follow fewer rookies. I know increasing the frequency of the diaries will be difficult as these rookies are busy and it will be tough to convince them to keep writing, which may necessitate fewer rookies in the lineup anyway. That said, now that there are 6 or 7, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I’d suggest limiting it to one “star” (i.e. a rookie getting near-starters minutes), one rookie trying to make the team (i.e. someone on an unguaranteed contract), and possibly a rookie somewhere in between.