In addition to being in the NBA Playoffs and running one of the best SnapChats ever, Patrick Patterson found time to write an eloquent open letter to the incoming NBA Draft Class. Patterson penned the letter for The Players’ Tribune with some solid advice for the incoming players and some insight on his time at Kentucky, the last year of which taught him the importance of being a role player:
My sophomore year at Kentucky, Jodie Meeks and I formed one of the best scoring tandems in college basketball. It was something I was comfortable with because I had shared the spotlight with O.J. Mayo in high school. But in my junior year, John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins joined the team, and I went from averaging 18 points and 9 rebounds to averaging 14 and 7.
Playing on that team was a great preparation for the NBA because I learned how to tailor my game when I was surrounded by big-time talent. That was my wake-up call, and I’m thankful it happened while I was still in college. Don’t look at your teammates as competition. If you can make them better, you’ll improve as a player and everything else will fall into place. At Kentucky, I was put in a situation where I had to sacrifice shots and put more focus on other areas of my game. In the NBA, I was asked to do the same thing.
Nobody dreams of being a role player, but those are the guys who manage to have decade-long careers.
That probably sounds pretty familiar to seven certain players. Stop what you’re doing and read the rest at The Players’ Tribune.