Curse of the Lottery: Losers Among First Half of NBA First-Round Picks
The big winner stemming from the NBA draft are fans after they can stop mocking the mock drafts, put ESPN's contemporaneous gab fest (featuring bulging "discs," never-ending wingspans and manhood-testing Berlitz language course) behind them plus stop enduring the perfunctory day-after winners/losers analysis.
Player ratings projecting future results as a professional are virtually worthless. Does the name Renardo Sidney mean anything to you? Enough said on that topic! Wouldn't you love the Worldwide Leader to replay its glowing comments over the years about platinum pro prospects who subsequently became little more than spare parts sold for scrap?
All hands weren't on deck for ESPN's draft raft attempting to generate interest like its NFL cruise liner. Where were self-absorbed Doug Gottlieb and Jalen Rose during ESPN's draft-day drama while they waited for the network to issue a verdict on Hubert Davis' Game Day replacement?
Gottlieb, who subsequently moved on to the CBS Network, could have complained about Iona playmaker Scott Machado going undrafted and promoted himself as a potential NBA bench boss sans any coaching experience while Rose could have called Duke's Austin Rivers an "Uncle Tom" as part of his Fraud Five routine. If Gottlieb is good enough for Kansas State, he should be able to exhibit his coaching expertise at the NBA level just like former K-State mentors Tex Winter and Cotton Fitzsimmons. Meanwhile, Rose could finally have some legitimate reasons to dump on Duke, which has had more than its share of lottery-pick underachievers (William Avery, Bobby Hurley, Trajan Langdon, Cherokee Parks and Shelden Williams).
Of course, the talent level required to compete for an extended period in the NBA is off the chart. Despite ESPN's hype regarding the NBA draft, no one should have wasted their time watching the inconsequential second round unless you are a family member. Since the NBA draft went to two rounds in 1989, only about one-third of the second-round picks eventually played in three or more seasons in the league.
The talent level isn't nearly as high on the "boob" tube. Amid the pedestrian post-draft dogma from ESPN's First Take was a disgusting manufactured smearing of centers Meyers Leonard (Illinois) and Miles Plumlee (Duke) as American-born white players unworthy of their draft status because of skin color. Do the know-it-alls really believe or have any evidence Joe Kleine, Jon Koncak, Will Perdue, etc., survived so long in the NBA as honkey backups because of some sort of racial quota? Did their staggering show prep convince them to imply Leonard will have less impact on the league than previous top six picks such as William Bedford, Tractor Taylor, Hasheem Thabeet, Ekpe Udoh and Chris Washburn? Seems as if cable collaborators Skip Baseless and Screamin' A. Stiff are more impressed by Bedford, a bozo known as "Willie B" - as in "Will he be at practice?"
Naturally, front-office executives make mistakes. But do you trust professional scouts who've evaluated prospects countless times to meet specific franchise needs or ill-equipped commentators? ESPN's tasteless tandem, sorely in need of a 12-step program to cure race baiting, viewed the collegians a handful of times with one eye on the nearest mirror but think they absorbed just enough insight to spew discriminatory trash.
Baseless, recovering from being blindsided recently by colleague Rose for embellishing his Oklahoma high school playing credentials, and Stiff, a self-proclaimed expert apparently because he briefly sat on the end of coach Big House Gaines' bench at Winston-Salem State, stereotypically tried to cite every first-round Caucasian big man who failed to become an All-Star. Meanwhile, the delusional duo conveniently overlooked a striking number of African-American frontcourt busts. It would have been a "first" if they would "take" the time to discern whether Leonard is capable of making more of a pro contribution than ineffectual Bedford, Taylor, Thabeet, Udoh and Washburn before spouting such utter nonsense.
The NBA draft lottery was introduced in 1985. But dialogue regarding dreadful draft decisions should be based on a fair share of context and facts; not superficial color-coding debate resembling an ambulance-chaser lawyer.
Irrespective of ethnicity, the focus probably should be more on something such as the viability of Cleveland choosing Dion Waters with the fourth pick overall although he never started for Syracuse. Taking up the slack for ESPN's inane social engineering perspective, following are the biggest NBA flops among the top 14 picks in lottery-era drafts:
#1 pick overall - High schooler Kwame Brown (2001/6.8 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 11 seasons)
#2 - Connecticut's Hasheem Thabeet (2009/2.2 ppg and 2.7 rpg in three seasons)
#3 - Gonzaga's Mike Morrison (2006/7.5 ppg and 2.1 rpg in three seasons); North Carolina State's Chris Washburn (1986/3.1 ppg and 2.4 rpg in two seasons)
#4 - Syracuse's Wesley Johnson (2010/7.7 ppg and 2.9 rpg in first two seasons); Louisiana State's Tyrus Thomas (2006/7.9 ppg and 5 rpg in first six seasons)
#5 - Duke's Shelden Williams (2006/4.5 ppg and 4.3 rpg in first six seasons)
#6 - Memphis State's William Bedford (1986/4.1 ppg and 2.4 rpg in six seasons); Cincinnati's DerMarr Johnson (2000/6.2 ppg and 2.2 rpg in seven seasons); Oklahoma's Stacey King (1989/6.4 ppg and 3.3 rpg in eight seasons); Michigan's Robert "Tractor" Traylor (1998/4.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg in seven seasons); Baylor's Ekpe Udoh (2010/4.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg in first two seasons)
#7 - Duke's Bobby Hurley (2003/3.8 ppg and 3.3 apg in five seasons)
#8 - West Virginia's Joe Alexander (2008/4.2 ppg and 1.8 rpg in two seasons); Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu (2010/5.8 ppg and 3.9 rpg in first two seasons); BYU's Rafael Araujo (2004/2.8 ppg and 2.8 rpg in three seasons); Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1997/4.1 ppg and 4.7 rpg in 12 seasons); Arizona's Jordan Hill (2009/5.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg in first three seasons); Loyola Marymount's Bo Kimble (1990/5.5 ppg in three seasons); Michigan State's Shawn Respert (1995/4.9 ppg in four seasons); North Carolina's Brandan Wright (2007/5.9 ppg and 3.2 rpg in first four seasons)
#9 - Arizona State's Ike Diogu (2005/6 ppg and 3.1 rpg in six seasons); North Carolina's Eric Montross (1994/4.5 ppg and 4.6 rpg in eight seasons); UCLA's Ed O'Bannon (1995/5 ppg and 2.5 rpg in two seasons); Bradley's Patrick O'Bryant (2006/2.1 ppg and 1.4 rpg in four seasons); Georgetown's Michael Sweetney (2003/6.5 ppg and 4.5 rpg in four seasons); Louisville's Samaki Walker (1996/5.3 ppg and 4.7 rpg in 10 seasons)
#10 - Oregon's Luke Jackson (2004/3.5 ppg and 1.2 rpg in four seasons); Stanford's Adam Keefe (1992/5 ppg and 4.1 rpg in nine seasons)
#11 - Kansas' Cole Aldrich (2010/1.7 ppg and 1.9 rpg in first two seasons); North Carolina State's Todd Fuller (1996/3.7 ppg and 3 rpg in five seasons); Duke's Trajan Langdon (1999/5.4 ppg and 1.3 rpg in three seasons); Texas A&M's Acie Law (2007/3.9 ppg and 1.6 apg in four seasons); UCLA's Jerome Moiso (2000/2.7 ppg and 2.7 rpg in five seasons)
#12 - Connecticut's Hilton Armstrong (2006/3.1 ppg and 2.6 rpg in five seasons); Utah's Michael Doleac (1998/4.9 ppg and 3.3 rpg in 10 seasons); Fresno State's Melvin Ely (2002/5.3 ppg and 3.3 rpg in eight seasons); Wake Forest's Kenny Green (1985/4.4 ppg and 1.7 rpg in two seasons); Kansas' Xavier Henry (2010/4.9 ppg and 1.7 rpg in first two seasons); Georgia's Alec Kessler (1990/5.2 ppg and 3.6 rpg in four seasons); Duke's Cherokee Parks (1995/4.4 ppg and 3.6 rpg in nine seasons)
#13 - UNLV's Marcus Banks (2003/5.9 ppg and 2.1 apg in eight seasons); Tennessee's Marcus Haislip (2002/3.5 ppg and 1.5 rpg in four seasons); BYU's Michael Smith (1989/5 ppg and 1.5 rpg in three seasons); North Carolina's Joe Wolf (1987/4.2 ppg and 3.3 rpg in 11 seasons); Kansas' Julian Wright (2007/3.9 ppg and 2.3 rpg in four seasons)
#14 - Duke's William Avery (1999/2.7 ppg and 1.4 apg in three seasons); Louisville's Earl Clark (2009/3.1 ppg and 2.1 rpg in first three seasons); Michigan State's Mateen Cleaves (2000/3.6 ppg and 1.9 apg in six seasons); George Washington's Yinka Dare (1994/2.1 ppg and 2.6 rpg in four seasons); Oregon State's Scott Haskin (2 ppg and 2 rpg in one season); Nebraska's Rich King (1991/1.9 ppg and 1 rpg in four seasons); Kansas' Marcus Morris (2011/2.4 ppg in one season)