Today the NBA PR people run the draft prospects through a lot. The first thing is an event in conjunction with the NYC Department of Education and a bunch of charities. Two actual public service bigwigs that you've never heard of, and Bob Lanier (HOFer, NBA Cares ambassador) will be hosting this even, sponsored by State Farm.
What is it? Well . . . from the press release the NBA e-mailed me:
Summer is one of the hungriest times of the year for kids. Many kids spend the summer months missing out on the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong. No Kid Hungry and the New York City Department of Education are working to end summer hunger in New York City. This summer, free meals are available to kids 18 and younger at more than 1,000 sites from June 27 through August 29. Families can find the closest site by texting NYCMeals to 877-877 or calling 311.
As part of NBA Draft 2014 presented by State Farm, the top NBA Draft prospects will join 75 students from Manhattan’s Public School 111 to launch New York’s annual free summer meals program and host an NBA FIT clinic to promote being active, eating healthy and playing together.
- The NBA
This 75 minute event happens AFTER media availability for the green room players. Being active, and seen helping the community is a big deal for David Stern's NBA. It seems like this is also the case for Adam Silver's NBA. The need back in the 70s and 80s was for an image change. Now, it's to maintain that image.
As a result, a number of draft hopefuls have been conscripted into participating in this. Who are they?
- Andrew Wiggins
- Jabari Parker
- Dante Exum
- Marcus Smart
- Doug McDermott
- Gary Harris
- Elfrid Payton
- Nik Stauskas
- and Adreian Payne
Obviously, these are some of the more visible, non stress fractured, players. And the torch is being passed to these guys from the NBA to take part and be active community service members. If you work for the NBA, they'll work for you, and promote you, and feature you -- which ups your league standing and may get you a few calls down the line in your career.
And it starts early when we construct the narratives for how great these guys are. Today it starts at the NBA level for these players who aren't even in the NBA yet.