[VIDEO] Stan Van Gundy: Local guys have different situation in pros

Sam Schlenner, Sports Editor

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There are pros and cons to picking a local guy in the NBA Draft this Thursday, Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said in a press conference on Tuesday, June 21, the week after former Oakland University basketball players Kay Felder and Max Hooper worked out for the organization.

Going local is a sweet deal for many players in college, he said. You get to keep with your friends and family.

“It’s the same thing here,” Van Gundy said. “I think the difference at the pro level is … there’s pressures that go with it for guys. Pressures and distractions. Any time you’re a pro athlete there’s a lot of people that want a piece of you, want your time. That’s really magnified when you stay local.”

Playing local brings advantages and disadvantages, Van Gundy said. But how would they take it?

“I think it depends on who the player is,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t even think they know until they get into it.”

He said they’ve asked prospects about what it would mean for them to play locally.

“They all have their own views on how it would go,” Van Gundy said. “But they’ve obviously never been through it. They’re just guessing, too.”

Although, Van Gundy isn’t totally guessing. He’s been through it before when he was an assistant with the Miami Heat.

Tim James was from Miami, played at the University of Miami, was drafted in the first round by the Heat in 1999, and played there for a season.

“It was great for him having his family around,” Van Gundy said. “But at the same time, …. it brings a different level of scrutiny and pressure. Not only from your family and friends, but from guys like you [the media].”

So let’s say Felder or Hooper were no-names in Charlotte. Nobody would care there. That might be good. Because if they played in Detroit, they’d have to develop under some kind of spotlight, or at least with more attention than they’d receive anywhere else.

Van Gundy avoided speculating on or even mentioning specific players at the press conference.

The NBA Draft is June 23 at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN and WatchESPN (cable subscription required). (Click here) for live updates on ESPN.com.