GREENBURGH, NY — Things may seem quiet around the NBA these days, but this is the time when guys ramp up preparation for the upcoming season.
The newest class of rookies is taking a break from on-court work for a few days in order to learn about the NBA lifestyle. For the past three days, the rookies have taken part in the Rookie Transition Program, learning from experts and former players about finances, nutrition, groupies, media relations and plenty of other off-court issues that they’ll have to deal with as players.
Now that they’ve gone through that, it’s time for the rookies to have some fun at the annual Rookie Photo Shoot.
For most of the 39 rookies that will be at the Knicks’ practice facility on Tuesday, the Rookie Photo Shoot is their first opportunity to wear their new uniform. Players only get practice jerseys for Summer League, but they get the real deal for the Photo Shoot (unless you were a babyfaced Thunder rookie in 2008).
The main purpose of the six-hour shoot is to get these guys’ mugs (and those new uniforms) on their first Panini basketball cards. But the folks at NBA Entertainment also take the opportunity to build their photo library with gems like this and this.
Come Tuesday afternoon, you will be able to find the latest photos of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and almost every first round pick from this year’s Draft here on NBA.com. That will surely include a picture or two of the top two picks with three of their Kentucky teammates.
So the Knicks’ gym (two courts wide) will be divided up into several stations with different backdrops for each player to cycle through over the course of the day. There’s also a DJ and video game set-up to keep the rooks entertained while their waiting to get their photos done.
After the Draft, Summer League and the RTP, this is the last day that this crop of rookies will be together as a group. It’s a one more day to relax and celebrate their arrival in the NBA.