VIDEO: Myles Turner swats away James Harden
Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses the transition from college to the NBA compared to the jump just before from high school to college.
It’s a little weird to think I was in high school two seasons ago. I was actually just discussing that with one of my friends. It’s quite odd. Time flies. It feels like a month ago you were at the prom and what not, and now I’m here.
Going from college to the pros is definitely a bigger jump than high school to college. In high school, I had the chance to play with USA Basketball. That really got me ready for the whole college ball thing, as far as the speed of the game and what not. But going from college to the pros, the strength of the game is so much different. It’s crazy.
I check in with friends from high school and see how they’re doing, but everybody’s pretty much doing their own thing. It’s general conversation for the most part — how are things going? Just keeping everything real.
But I’ll get a lot of questions about the NBA. “How’s the money treating you?” “How are the girls?” “How is LeBron James?” “How’s Kevin Durant?” Little stuff like that. General questions that they don’t get to ask every day. Sometimes I have to decide between what to tell them and what not to tell them. But for the most part I’m pretty straight up with it.
Going from college to the NBA is hard socially as well. It’s hard. After classes at Texas, after practice, we’d all go hang out with each other. Now it’s like everybody has to go home to their families. It’s definitely a huge adjustment in that aspect. Everybody is not friends. You’re cool with everybody. You’re brothers. But at the end of the day everybody has their life away from the court as well.
One of my friends lives with me. He’s one of my best friends ever since elementary school. He goes to college up here. He runs track at Butler. Having him here definitely helps. Not having him here would hurt. For sure.
Sometimes I miss the social aspect of college, a little bit of the structure, just knowing what I’m going to be doing every day, just being able to hang out and stuff. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. I was tired of school. I once told my parents that once I’m done with school I’m done with school. But it’s a little different now. I want to go back for my degree because I’ve had good times.
I’d probably like to get my degree in counseling psychology. I’ve just always liked helping people. Helping people through a tough situation, a hard problem, I kind of get a kick out of that. I could see taking classes when I’m still playing, when it’s easier to do at some point after I get past my rookie season. Probably not this summer but next summer I’ll try and get ready for it.
Campus life was different. It’s your first time on your own, you have friends and everybody gets to hang out with each other. You’re on your own for the first time. It was fun. I loved the city of Austin. I would go back anytime I get an opportunity. The city itself is an amazing city. I love it there. The scenery, there’s always something to do. It’s a weird town — weird in a good way. It has a different vibe to it. I just love the city. All the different types of food and everything. That too.
It’s a lot slower here, but people are nice. They’re cool. It’s the Midwest. It’s not hard to adjust to because not a lot goes on here. I’m able to keep my head on straight.
It was a little rough at first because you don’t always have the same constant connection with teammates like you did in college, but I got used to it in the summertime. Having my friend here has been good. If he wasn’t here it’d definitely be harder. It’d be boring. You’d be sitting here talking to yourself at times.
Guys like Monta Ellis have their kids. It’s kind of odd. It’s almost like they’re old enough to be my dad in some aspects. It’s kind of funny. Sometimes my teammates try to make fun of me and call me “15,” like “15 years old” and stuff like that. I really don’t care about all that. They’re just kidding. It’s all in fun.