By Khris Middleton, Detoit Pistons
All Settled In Motor City
Oct. 29, 2012 – There has been a crazy vibe around Detroit. With the Tigers having been in the World Series, the Lions in the middle of the NFL season and our Pistons team getting ready to start the regular season, everybody is talking about sports!
Detroit is a fun place to be. I’m living in a nice, quiet spot, about 10 minutes away from the arena (with traffic). I’ve gotten to know the Auburn Hills area where I live, but once I’m about 10 miles from home, I start using my navigation system.
Moving to Detroit has been a smooth transition, especially once I found my place. My family came out here for about a week to help me move. Then they came back about two weeks later to help me finish setting up my place and get wherever else I needed, like furniture and kitchen things. I told them to get whatever they wanted, but make it nice for me!
I feel like I played okay during the preseason. I got better each time I stepped on the court, which is what I wanted to do. And I think I proved that I do belong in this league. I just want to get better every day.
I know I can contribute to my team. My scoring ability and having a feel for the game at my size and position … that separates me. I’m working hard on a little bit of everything; and I’m focusing on strength and consistency, two keys to helping me get better.
Coach Frank is a great teacher of the game. He breaks down a lot of details, which, as a rookie, is great for me. He’s very friendly, but at the same time, he’s honest with everybody. If you make a mistake during a game or practice, he’ll call you out.
Vets & Rooks
We are a young team with only a couple guys over 30, and our veterans have been great. Guys like Corey Maggette and Tayshaun Prince – they are always in my ear, giving me tips, telling me what I did wrong. They are always there helping me out. We are very team-oriented, and the veterans are always inviting the rookies to eat with them on the road. It’s a nice family atmosphere around here.
I am one of five rookies. It’s been very competitive, but helpful at the same time. We all push each other and are fighting for position and minutes. We are all going through the same things, so we talk a lot about it.
One thing we talk about is how much respect we have for what our older teammates do every year. After seeing how hard they work, how they are always in the gym and performing at the highest level, you have to have respect for that.
The athleticism in this league is on a whole different level than it was in college. These really are the best players in the world. Guys know what they do best, and they play their game.
The veterans are really trying to pull pranks on us rookies. One day I parked in my teammate Jason Maxiell’s spot. The vets were looking for my keys, but luckily I had them with me. Jason decided to park his truck in front of mine and Andre Drummond’s car (which was next to mine), so we couldn’t leave until he was ready! I just took my time since I knew it was coming.
We haven’t pulled any pranks on the veterans yet, but we’ll think of something!
My cousin Josh Powell, who has played a bunch of years in the NBA, has been helping me out, too. He’s been telling me to stay patient, keep believing and never stop working. He’s also told me many times not to be afraid to say ‘no’ to people, and that I have to be smart about what I do off the court because it can affect me on the court. I’m trying to live what he has preached.
It’s Game Time!
Our first home game is Wednesday. I’m excited. I’ve been dreaming about this my entire life, and now it’s here! It’s going to be a great experience, and the home crowd makes it that much more fun! I will probably be nervous, but when I get in the game for the first time, and run up and down the court a few times, I’ll be fine. I’m excited and ready for it!
I hope I’ll have a chance to blog again soon, but in the meantime, follow me on Twitter @Khris22m.
Khris Middelton is a 6-foot-7 forward from Texas A&M. He was selected by the Pistons with the ninth pick of the second round in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Follow All Ball all season for more from NBA Rooks: Diaries …