Former University of Kentucky standout Patrick Patterson penned a letter online at The Players' Tribune in which he offered many words of advice to the next class of NBA draft picks.
Patterson wrote that making the NBA can seem like the final step in achieving a lifelong dream, but it's just the beginning of a more arduous process: staying there.
"Right now, you probably feel like The Man," Patterson wrote. "Everyone around you is talking about the waves you're going to make in the league. That's all good and fun, but I recommend that you mentally prepare yourself to be humbled."
Patterson, who is in his fifth NBA season and has played a key role in the Toronto Raptors making the postseason two straight years, wrote that most players entering the league have always been the go-to guy in high school or college when the game was on the line. He warned the rookies-to-be that adjustments to their games are probably in order.
"One of the toughest things for a competitor to do is to take a back seat," he wrote. "But if you want to make it at the next level, you need to be prepared to change yourself and the way you play for the greater good of a team."
Patterson presented his time at UK as a personal example of what it takes to 'make it.'
"My sophomore year at Kentucky, Jodie Meeks and I formed one of the best scoring tandems in college basketball," he wrote. "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."
To read Patterson's complete letter, check out bit.ly/1JnCEt5 (case sensitive).