FD Embedded Rookie Dispatches

Morris Almond is the FreeDarko Embedded Rookie and is kind enough to blog for us on the random things we want to know about behind-the-scenes NBA life.

The Rookie Photo Shoot went real well. Went strong from 9am all the way to 6pm. Long day. By the time it was time to go, my face was sore from taking so many pictures and holding all those poses and (unnatural) facial expressions. The professional photographers had our stances, positions, and facial expressions already in mind before we even showed up.

Shot all the photos in a big open practice facility, so while you were trying to manufacture a certain look for a particular shot at one of the stations, you had a handful of other fellow rookies behind the cameraman goofing off, dancing, and trying to make you laugh in all your shots. I don't know how many re-takes I had to do throughout the day after laughing at Aaron Brooks and Alando Tucker doing little choreographed dances behind my camera guy. So it was a day full of (sometimes awkwardly) fun moments. And the check we got afterwards made everything that much better.

Real positive buzz throughout the whole weekend. Now that the draft is long gone and summer league is over, everybody had like a different aura to them--definitely a lot more 'jolly' and 'chipper.' I had never seen (in person) or played against quite a few different rookies there, but that didn't make a difference at all; felt like I'd known them all year, through all the NBA coverage and media outlets.

The Rookie Transition Seminar takes place during the middle of September. Haven't heard many good reports from that event at all (long, boring, dull, etc.) so we'll see how that one goes.

Morris was the nation's third-leading scorer (26.4 points) during his senior season at Rice and graduated in may with a degree in kinesiology. A high school teammate of Atlanta's Josh Smith at McEachern High in Georgia, Almond will be looking to compete for the starting shooting guard spot with the Jazz this fall.

Read his pre-draft interview with Henry at True Hoop here, and here.


At 7/31/2007 1:59 PM, Blogger MaxwellDemon said...

Maybe it's boring for him, but the Rookie Transition Seminar sounds fascinating. Is it five minutes of Bentley buying tips and the rest of the time guys begging them to use condoms? Maybe they had to work in some dress code lessons.

At 7/31/2007 2:08 PM, Anonymous returnofthecurseofthecreaturesghost said...

great stuff. thanks for taking the time to fill us in and good luck in the Lig.

At 7/31/2007 2:12 PM, Anonymous amphibian said...

Mo Nuts:

I think Henry Abbott had a great post on True Hoop about the little things that can cost professional athletes millions of dollars. Things like insurance coverage, making sure car titles are fully checked out and so on.

Awesome idea to have a rookie write his impressions down for this blog. Daps to Shoals, DLIC and Brown Recluse.

At 7/31/2007 2:17 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

daps should go to PCA on this one.

At 7/31/2007 2:34 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...


In other news, Fesenko's monster is a large manchild.

At 7/31/2007 2:46 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

many thanks from FD to morris for hitting us off with these dispatches. i hope there are many more to come (i want to hear about josh smith in high school! did you also ball with dwight howard on the atl celtics?).

morris, you are going to do way bigger things in this league than paul shirley could've ever dreamed of.

At 7/31/2007 3:01 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i answered my own question. morris played on the georgia stars (with louis williams?).

At 7/31/2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous Zeus Double Deuce said...

Daequan Cook's thizz face in the photo shoot is priceless.

At 7/31/2007 3:37 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Wow, this is a great get by Free Darko. Here's hoping we see more of the insider perspective from Morris Almond!

At 7/31/2007 4:04 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

The Free Darko empire is expanding . . .

At 7/31/2007 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit, those Rookie photos are the greatest. The white guys are the best. It's like there's a rule that white guys in the NBA have to look like complete tools. McRoberts goes without saying, but Hawes, Fazekas, Adam Haluska (scariest picture of them all) and Jared Jordan are up there with him. Jordan should be in an ABC after-school special.

3 favorites though:

Carl Landry looking like he just did a bong hit.

DJ Strawberry doing his "I don't like cocaine, I swear" pose.

Julian Wright, aka Miss Cleo.

Congrats to Morris and the other older guys like Tucker and Afflalo for looking decent in their pics - apparently you do learn something staying in school.

At 7/31/2007 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darkofan: It is recalled that the rookie orientation sessions are quite comprehensive ( first comment by Maxwelldemon).

Any published information might be worthy of examination, given Freedarko interest in NBA management's , "lifestyle"- shaping efforts.

From prior reading, items of personal deportment are recalled as being included as the comment suggests.

Tips on travelling, dealing with your agent, investing and saving , and avoiding bad influences and hangers-on , are also part of the seminar and materials.

The imbed is obviously intelligent and maybe he can neutrally share the current program's content, which management formulates with deadly earnestness.

At 7/31/2007 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I just set my homepage to freedarko.com, and I get paid this Thursday, so I can donate then. Anybody else?

At 7/31/2007 5:50 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

This is awesome. Thanks so much to Morris for writing it and PCA for doing the legwork.

It would definitely be interesting to get a take on the rookie seminars from someone with clear smarts. He did go to Rice, after all.


That's my favorite rookie picture by far. Three final four participants, the best college player in recent memory, and Josh McRoberts. Did Oden have to leave? Did they put in one of the pictures with his stand-in there by mistake?

At 7/31/2007 5:54 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Great to have an up-and-coming NBA insider on the FD team. I hope there will be some kind of direct exchange posted here sooner or later, and maybe Morris can shed some more light on the Jerry Sloan culture.

I do have to point to this excellent limerick by Miss Gossip over at the fanhouse:

For Boston the trade comes in handy,
But what makes the Celtics so dandy?
After thinking a while,
KG said with a smile,
"The reunion with Olowokandi!"


At 7/31/2007 6:00 PM, Blogger Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

No disrespect meant to Paul Shirley here, but Morris Almond is poised to become the first man of letters to actually have game to back it up. (I'm excluding the gold standard of athlete blogging, Gilbert Arenas, because he doesn't write, he narrates.)

I look forward to his inevitable arbitration of the Fesenko-Kirilenko Debates regarding political culture and national identity in russian-ukrainian relations.

At 7/31/2007 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haluska needs to be in The Ring 3 or something.

And yeah, I finally was able to throw some cash FD's way. I feel good about it and I hope we keep this site rolling for the forseeable future. Love the embedded FD correspondent.

At 7/31/2007 9:37 PM, Blogger T. said...

Yay! Another Rice alum in the NBA! I've had a soft spot for Mike Wilks ever since my friend mistook him for a front office employee of the Rockets (instead of a player) at the team's holiday party and he just laughed it off and said he would've made the same mistake.

At 8/01/2007 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mo' Problems -
You don't have to be the second coming of Hornacek, in the same way that Boozer isn't Malone and D. Wil isn't Stockton. You don't have to cross picket lines during league strikes, wave to your kids during free throws, and sponsor your own Catholic school. If you keep up with this blog and hit a monster trey or two in the Western Conference finals, you'll be my favorite.
Jazz (Fusion?) Fan For Life

At 4/13/2009 4:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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