By David Boclair
Things got real for Darius Garland over the weekend in terms of what his future holds.
The Brentwood Academy graduate and — for a short time — Vanderbilt star posted to his Instagram account a photo of himself from the NBA Draft Combine earlier this month with the caption “Draft Dreaming.” The image is of Garland in a suit and tie dribbling a basketball.
The first of more than 500 comments was from none other than LeBron James, this generation’s singular star.
“No need to dram no more lil bro!” James wrote. “It’s about to become a reality!”
It was not a random acknowledgement from the four-time NBA most valuable player. Weeks after he withdrew from Vanderbilt to focus on the draft preparation and rehab of a knee injury that ended his freshman season after five games, Garland hired the agency Klutch Sports to represent him. Klutch’s client list includes James as well as other notable NBA players such as Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and John Wall.
Garland made headlines last week when he left the Draft Combine before the physical tests and scrimmages began. Analysts speculated that the decision meant he had received a guarantee that a particular team would select him and preferred that he not display his skills for the rest of the league.
The expectation is that Garland will be among the first 10 players taken in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Photo by Getty Images.