The Unaccompanied Minors of the NBA

The most notorious of these players is undoubtedly former first overall pick, Kwame Brown, otherwise known as Michael Jordan’s worst player evaluation to date.  The way I see it, if Michael says to your face, “You’ve got no heart,” you pretty much suck at the game of life and you definitely stink it up as a basketball player.

Brown is the supreme example of a high school standout who did not possess the appropriate or even necessary work ethic to go along with his raw talent. Succeeding in the NBA is much more about a player’s mental fortitude rather than his physical abilities. Kwame, as clearly indicted by MJ, did not have what it took to develop into the superstar that everyone expected him to be.

I wonder what it is with centers because there’s also guys like Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry who were so highly regarded coming out of Dominguez High School and Thornwood High School, respectively, but have failed miserably to live up to the billing.  Is it the pressure? Lack of motivation?  Insufficient guidance?

Obviously we could highlight Greg Oden, but I am honestly sympathetic to his situation.  I’m sure all Laker fans can relate, given that Bynum has been plagued by multiple knee injuries in his still very young career as well.  You never want to see a young player fail to reach his potential because he can’t stay healthy.

While there are the superstars who have forged very successful and remarkable careers for themselves upon entering the NBA draft early, it’s evident that there are also a tremendous amount of failures. Although I’ve only highlighted a handful, there are undoubtedly tons more that we will never hear or know about because they could not even get far enough for us to learn their names.

Failing to make an NBA roster has nothing to do with attending college for a full four years, one year or none at all. We can’t mistake the success of the players who have made it as being a total representation of everyone who has ever tried.

That is not to say however, that we can overlook the poise and composure that players who have played a lot of college basketball come into the league with.  The readiness with which these men begin their NBA careers with is something that should not be taken for granted. They have carved out their own niche as well and additionally have one thing that many early draft entrants, if any, can brag about owning.

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