NBA Draft: Kids From Phony Island

NBA Draft: Kids From Phony Island

by November 4, 2020 1 comment

The NBA Draft is coming up.

A new set of NBA players are going to be selected which will alter their lives forever. Some of these players are going to fit in right away and be All-Stars down the line. Others won’t be playing enough minutes to make an impact though. It all depends on the situation they’ll inherit when they join their future team.

Let’s take a look at some players who were so good before being drafted but somehow never found success in the NBA.

Note: There are too many to mention! That’s why only 10 players will be talked about in this article…  

Tyler Hansbrough

Hansbrough was the star player for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He has a long list of awards like winning Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and becoming a champion in his senior year (2009). He is best known for earning the nickname “Psycho T” because of his personality on and off the court.

Hansbrough had a seven-year NBA career averaging almost seven points per game and moved to China to continue his basketball career.

Mateen Cleaves

Cleaves was the “go-to guy” when he played for the Michigan State Spartans. He made the All-American Team and led his team in winning the college championship back in 2000.

Cleaves bounced around in the NBA and ended up playing limited minutes for four teams in six years.

Adam Morrison

Morrison played three years for the Gonzaga Bulldogs and did not have problems when it came to scoring points during his time there. He had multiple 30-point and 40-point games and was the scoring leader back in 2006.

Morisson has two NBA rings, but everyone knows he got them while riding the bench of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ed O’Bannon

O’Bannon was the man back in 1995. He played for the UCLA Bruins and won a championship title. He earned multiple awards from 1993 to 1995 and had his college number retired.

O’Bannon never found his comfort zone in the NBA though and averaged five points in 128 games.

Lenny Cooke

How high was Cooke’s potential? He was apparently at the same level as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

What happened? Cooke had school eligibility issues and no NBA team took him during the 2002 NBA Draft. Ouch!

Anthony Bennett

Bennett played for the University of Nevada where everyone thought he was going to be the next Larry Johnson.

Maybe we expected too much from the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft.

Jimmer Fredette

Fredette gained national attention during his junior and senior years playing for Brigham Young University.

His scoring milestones reached “pop culture” level and President Obama went on to say that he was the best scorer during the 2011 college tournament.

Fredette never found a home in the NBA and played for five teams in six seasons.

Kwame Brown

Brown averaged 20 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, and two steals during his senior year in high school. He went straight to the NBA and there were games where he showed potential. The expectations were too high and he never reached “superstar status”.

He will forever be known as the No. 1 pick of the 2001 NBA Draft.

Sean May

May won multiple basketball-related awards. Too bad those awards came before AND after his time in the NBA.

May was a college champion with the 2005 North Carolina Tar Heels and found success in Europe (Turkey and France) after his four-year NBA stint.

O.J. Mayo

Mayo was a “superstar in the making” back then. Media outlets would send people to cover his games. Celebrity athletes would find the time to see him play. There were times when organizers would have to find a bigger venue for some of his scheduled games to accommodate large crowds.

Mayo finished second in the Rookie of the Year race behind Derrick Rose (2009). He still had a respectable eight-year NBA career but will be known for being banned by the league for a drug violation.

There are a lot of stories about players who couldn’t make it in the NBA. One has to understand that it all depends on what those players went through. Some get injured. Some get stuck on the bench behind superstar players. Others found the spotlight too bright and couldn’t handle the pressure.

There will be a new batch of players entering the NBA this month. So let’s sit back, watch the NBA’s first ‘videoconference’ draft, and see how their careers unfold.

Check us out on our socials: 

Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @ptsportstalk

Follow Joey Almendras on Twitter @Buyaw

Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

1 Comment so far

Jump into a conversation

Leave a Reply