Through the 2011 NBA Draft, Florida Gators forward and 2011 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Chandler Parsons was with us keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.
With his travels and workouts completed, Parsons caught up with us last time the day before the draft as he relaxed with family and friends in Orlando.
Selected with the No. 38 overall pick in the second round of the draft by the Houston Rockets, Parsons celebrated for one night and then immediately got on a plane to Houston and got to work. We spoke with him after he arrived back in the Florida on the eve of the NBA’s lockout for the final edition of his Path to the Draft blog.
Leading up to the draft, I knew that my range was somewhere between 20-40. I knew I had done really well in my workouts and very well in my Houston workout. Before the draft, my agent Mark [Bartelstein] was telling me a couple teams that he thought were good possibilities. He said there’s going to be so many trades with this lockout happening that I had to just let him work the phone and talk to people while I enjoyed the process.
I had 20 people come over to my house to watch it, and basically we just sat and watched it like everybody else.
Three picks before [I got chosen], he called me and said, “There is no way you’re getting past 39, but Minnesota may trade the 38th pick because Houston loves you. Just be watching.” He called me a pick later and said, “Golden State just bought the pick from Minnesota; you’re going to Golden State at 38 most likely.” So I’m like, “Alright cool.” I’m watching, getting hyped because I know I’m about to get picked and he texts me, “Houston bought it from Golden State. You’re going to the Rockets.” And then basically a minute later, they announced it. Houston ended up buying it for $1.5 million from them.
One pick before, I’m telling everyone I’m probably going to be next. Right before the 38th pick, they announced a bunch of trades that went down. We were like, “Come on. Come on!” And then after they announced my pick, we all went crazy.
Less than five minutes after the pick, Coach Kevin McHale [and a few of the team’s scouts] called me to congratulate me and tell me that they’re happy to get me. They said they couldn’t wait to get me to Houston.
After I got picked, we started celebrating and partying. I had ordered a 22-passenger super stretch limo to come to my house. I’m about to get in and my parents, who were the last ones to leave the house, start screaming. So I ran inside and that is when Vernon [Macklin] got picked at No. 52 [by the Detroit Pistons]. So we all ran back inside to see Vern’s deal.
After that we went to two places – a club called Bliss and another called Vain downtown. My parents stayed the whole time – I took care of them. My three older brothers went and basically all of my closes friends from Orlando and my family did, too. They were all at the club in VIP and it was really a great time.
The next day was rough. We came back to my house after the bars closed at 2 a.m. and had people over until like 5-6 a.m. Then I had an 11 a.m. flight to Houston the next morning for a press conference.
I met everybody at Houston, did the press conference, worked out. l went to an Astros game and then, Sunday-Wednesday, we had a minicamp with eight-to-10 of the guys working out each day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. My teammates are some cool guys; a lot of young talent, a lot of pieces that can make our team very good.
Having a new coach like Kevin McHale, who is a legend, I can’t wait to learn from him.
They got that camp in there because of the lockout. If there wasn’t a lockout, I’d be there right now getting ready for Summer League in Las Vegas.
We had a couple days to work with the coaches, get the terminology down. They told us, during this lockout, to make sure we’re working out with as many pros as we can and to stay in shape because there’s going to be limited time to do training camp once everyone gets together. And I even got to keep the number 25.
Being in the lower half of the second round, pick No. 38, it’s a really high percentage chance I get a guaranteed contract. There’s also the fact that they bought my pick for $1.5 million. It’s a really good sign. I’m in a really good situation because there’s not a lot of guys in my position at Houston. There’s Chase Budinger who plays small forward, but there are a lot of opportunities there. I worked out really well this week, and the coaching staff really liked me. I just have to get it done.
I love Houston. I’ve been there before. [Former Florida point guard] Jai Lucas is from there, so he happened to be there all week and he showed me around the city. It’s huge. It’s a big city, and it’s hot. It was like 98 degrees when we were there. Being from Florida, you’d think I was used to that. It’s a great spot to be in, and a good opportunity. I’m looking forward to it.
My agent recommended me to take 10 days off, because I’ve been working out non-stop. I’ve been going for a while. Courtney Lee is going to be working out in Orlando, and I’ll also be in Gainesville working out with the team. Hopefully we can get together with some of the [fellow former Gators] players and get some workouts in. Basically it is about staying in good shape and competing against as many NBA guys as I can. There’s a lot of options; basically I’m just going to take two weeks off and then figure that out. I just have to make sure I stay in the gym and my legs get stronger.
To all of the fans in Gator Nation and also those of you who have kept up with my blog here, thanks for supporting me throughout this whole process – throughout my whole four years at the University of Florida and this whole draft process.
Thanks for believing in me.
Remember – hard work pays off. My whole dream as a kid was to go in the NBA, get drafted and be in the situation I am. I’m honored to be in the situation representing Florida, and it is true – hard work really does pay off. I can’t wait for the season to start, and I hope all of my fans support me in the NBA, too.