Adam Beechen hopes to follow in Amare Stoudemire’s footsteps and be the next Suns’ star chosen through the draft.
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that I’ve made myself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft. What? You weren’t watching my press conference at 4 a.m. on Sunday on the Tennis Channel? It was on just between a replay of the 1983 US Open Men’s Doubles Quarterfinals and a really interesting documentary on how to improve your lob.
Well, in any case, I’ve taken the plunge. Okay, I didn’t play in college…or high school…but that just means I haven’t developed any bad habits. And I may be a little older than your typical prospect, but my knees haven’t seen the wear and tear of countless competitive basketball games. And yes, I can’t jump, but the bright side there is that I’m not likely to get faked off my feet.
So you can see why I think I’m a cinch for the NBA. In the weeks leading up to the June 26th draft, I’ll be letting you peek behind the scenes at my journey from Superfan to professional basketball player for (hopefully) your Phoenix Suns, culminating in a draft-day diary that I’m sure will capture all the excitement and emotion of my life changing forever.
The first thing I decided I needed was an agent. It’s never too early to get started on endorsements, getting my name out there in the media, making sure teams are aware of me. Generate a little buzz. Luckily, I live in the buzz capital of America, Los Angeles. You can’t swing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar around here, without knocking over an agent. So I went right to the phone book and called the first agency listed:
RECEPTIONIST: Aaron and Aaron Athletic Management. How may I direct your call?
ADAM BEECHEN: I’d like an agent please.
RECEPTIONIST: Are you calling for anyone in particular?
AB: Best agent you’ve got. Let’s go! Hot commodity here!
RECEPTIONIST (long pause): Hold please.
(“All Out of Love,” by Air Supply plays on a loop for the next two hours and fourteen minutes)
SID: This is Sid.
AB: Sid, baby! This is Adam Beechen, your newest client!
AB: Adam Beechen! You know, top prospect, just declared for the NBA Draft…?
AB: Doesn’t anyone watch the Tennis Channel anymore?!
SID: Tennis? NBA? I’m sorry, you lost me…
AB: Doesn’t matter. You’re an agent, I’m a star in the making! Let’s sign the papers!
SID: I’m not actually an agent. I’m Bernie’s assistant.
AB: Bernie’s the agent? Put him on!
SID: No, Bernie’s Lou’s assistant.
AB: Lou, then.
SID: Lou’s Stan’s assistant.
AB: And Stan is whose assistant?
SID: Stan is the agent, sir. I won’t tell him you didn’t know that. He’d be very offended. Now then, you’d like us to represent you for professional basketball? Tell me all your vital statistics so I can get some basic paperwork going.
AB: Sure. I’m 5’ 9”, I weigh 160 pounds, I’m…in my thirties, and I’m a deadly shooter from just under the basket as long as there’s no one else around and it’s really, really quiet.
SID (long pause): Hold please.
(“All Out of Love.” Twenty six minutes.)
SID: Sorry to keep you holding, but I looked you up in our database, and couldn’t find any record of you as a player at any Division I, II, III or IV colleges. Or high schools. Or middle schools.
AB: Good to know your database is current!
SID: Well, uh, do you have any videotape of yourself you could send us?
AB: Videotape…Videotape…Wait, yes! Yes I do!
SID: Excellent. Just mail it to –
AB: It’s of my Bar Mitzvah. That’s okay, isn’t it?
SID (pause): Does it show you doing anything athletic?
AB: If I remember right, I worked up a pretty good sweat dancing with my Aunt Judith…Incredible footwork!
SID: Well, if it showcases your mobility, then you should –
AB: My aunt, I meant. That lady can move.
SID: Uh huh. You should know that at Aaron and Aaron, we only bring on clients of good character. Do you have any skeletons in your closet we should be aware of?
AB: Yeah, and I’m not proud of it…One day, I was down on the USC campus…
SID: Uh oh.
AB: …and I put a dollar in a vending machine for a candy bar, and it gave me three dollars in change. And I didn’t tell anyone.
SID: I see. Well, uh, Mr. Beechbaum –
SID: — Right, thank you for calling, but I don’t think a partnership between us would be prudent at this time.
AB (long pause): It’s because of the vending machine, isn’t it?
SID: Okay, sure.
So there you have it. Looks like I’ll be going it alone, without representation. But I remain undaunted. I’m sure I have what it takes to make it in the NBA. Those guys at Aaron and Aaron will regret their decision when the shoe companies battle over who gets to market the “Ground Beechen” high-tops.
Besides, I’m gonna look at the bright side. Without an agent, I can go back and play in college. After all, I still have my freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years of eligibility left.