Andre Drummond reveals a lesson in respect from his rookie season

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Although the NBA Finals is the talk of the town right now, 28 other teams have their eyes set firmly on next season and increasing their chances of being involved in the showpiece event of 2017. 

Preparation for the 2016-17 campaign begins with the draft, which takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on June 23 as 60 of the brightest talents from college and around the globe look to make their way into the league. 

The step up from European basketball and the NCAA circuit can be a huge learning curve for the young guys, and adapting to life in the big league is a challenge within itself. 

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond is now an All-Star and an All-NBA third team selection but just four years ago, at the ripe age of 18, he was like all of the other hopefuls waiting to learn his fate in the draft.

The one and done UCONN product was selected ninth in 2012 and has since led Detroit to their first playoff finish in nine years. Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport, the now 22-year-old explained some of the changes, on and off the court, upon arriving at the NBA.

"Taxes," he laughed when asked what surprised him. "Off the floor, definitely taxes. [They were] Definitely huge for me because I didn't really know much about it until my first two years.

"Then when I finally started realising how much we get taxed in different places, it was crazy.

"On the floor, I think it's the life on the floor. It's like really getting to know your teammates. It's like a frat. If you're a new guy coming in, you've got to do certain stuff to gain their trust and make everybody like you.

"For me, when I came in, I had to carry everybody's bags, carry laundry and stuff like that. It's kind of a tradition for all new guys that come in. That was kind of the new thing for me coming in because when somebody told me to carry their bag I'm like 'I'm a grown man, why are you telling me to carry your laundry? For what? No.'

"Actually, Charlie Villanueva was the guy that had me carry his stuff. I told him 'no, I'm not anybody's bag man'. He sat down and told me 'this is kind of a tradition, you do us favours and we will take care of you in return'.

"That kind of stuck on me. I started doing different things for all the veterans on the team. I was getting watches and stuff for no random reason.

"Now I do the same thing to my rookies now too. They ask me the same question 'why am I doing this?' and I tell them the same story that was told to me. It is an ongoing thing."

Villanueva was respected by Drummond as a Connecticut alum, but his point stands. Being part of the team is vital when integrated into a new team. It certainly worked for Drummond, who is fast on his way to superstardom. 

The next crop of youngsters can certainly learn something from the big man.

Eastern Conference
Andre Drummond
Detroit Pistons
Central Division

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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