Steven Adams hoping for NBA draft night invite
The Steven Adams camp is confident his name will be called at next week's NBA draft but the more pressing concern is whether they'll get an invite.
Wellington teenager Adams is slated to be drafted in the 10-20 range but only 14 players will be invited to New York's Barclays Centre on June 28.
Based on feedback from teams, the NBA hands out golden tickets to a select group of hot prospects to attend the 'Green Room,' where they'll wait to be called up on stage to shake league commissioner David Stern's hand.
"Those invites don't come out till next week," said Kenny McFadden, Adams' mentor/coach who is flying today to join his prodigy in Los Angeles.
"We're hopeful but otherwise we'll watch on TV in LA."
Hoopsworld.com reported that seven invites had already been issued and while Adams was not among them, he was expected to be in the 7-14 group.
McFadden said Adams had already worked out with nine teams and he was encouraging him to express his unique, Kiwi personality.
"We had a talk about relaxing and not trying to be anybody that you're not. Just be a Kiwi and be yourself. People are embracing that because it's different and it's refreshing."
McFadden was also emphasising the unpredictable nature of the draft and the fact that Adams could be traded.
"He's doing a good job of just having tunnel vision. He doesn't read the newspapers or the internet. Nothing like that."
Former Saints star McFadden has been coaching Wellington youth since starting HoopClub in 1996 and he took Adams under his wing as a 14-year-old.
"The real goal was just trying to get someone into the NBA and it didn't matter if it was through the back door or the side door. But he's walking straight through the front door which is probably the proudest thing, being considered for the lottery. That means you're really wanted, you're not just coming in as a role player."
The Dominion Post