The Sports Illustrated Players Poll last week (1/21/08 issue) was interesting - of 242 NBA players surveyed, 17% said Kwame Brown is the player that "gets the least out of the most talent." Kwame Brown if you remember was the 1st pick in the draft by Michael Jordan when he headed up the Washington Wizards organization - and the first high school player to be drafted number 1. People often attribute that pressure and Michael Jordan returning to the NBA to play with him in order to 'win now' for stunting his growth. Years later Jordan is retired, Kwame Brown is on the Lakers, and is averaging under 5 points per game.
Other players on the list - Tim Thomas (10%), Eddy Curry (7%), Vince Carter (6%), Darko Milicic (5%). I guess my question is - for Kwame, Curry, and Darko - do players really see flashes of brilliance in them that should make us believe they have the talent to excel, just as scouts did, or are they just going on hype? Also the Vince Carter mention is particularly poignant given numbers he's put up over his career. Still, he was a joke in Toronto when he decided not to care, and his success in any game seems to come down to if he's interested in the game or not. When he wants to, he's unstoppable, but when he chooses not to drive to the basket, and sit outside jacking shots, he's underwhelming. I guess everyone in the NBA seems to notice.I wonder if players read Sports Illustrated...
Photo: Lakers vs. Clippers 11/21/06
Originally uploaded by Vaguely Artistic.