Thursday didn’t go as planned for Nerlens Noel. Not only did he slip five spots past where he believed he would go, he was stuck in the NBA draft’s phone room for hours after all the other draftees were long gone, waiting for his trade to be finalized.
“I was getting sleepy in there,” he told USA Today.
A Barclays security guard said, “Think you’re having a long day? Try being the sixth pick when you’re supposed to be the first, then getting traded and waiting forever. So much for celebrating. That’s the worst draft day ever right there.”
Noel was stuck in the arena until 1:00 a.m. after the draft, over seven hours after he first arrived at the Barclays Center with his family. When he was finally able to leave, he tried to stay positive, telling USA Today, “Each of those teams saw something in me that they considered a weakness. If you think it was the knee, that’s fine. You just gave me more motivation now. To the (teams that passed) all I’ve got to say is ‘thank you.’ I can’t wait to get on the court even more now.”