Quote by Nba preview – Rookie & Sophomore in the Atlantic Division
basketballncaa.com opens up to the Nba. This is not about who will win the title or who will be the MVP. Honestly, we could not care less. All we want to do is keep an eye on the young guys. We followed their college career, and as they start their journey as professionals, we would like to know how they will do, at least at the very beginning. More often than not, the rookies who achieve success are the ones that get drafted in the right context, which is a fancy word with a dozen different meanings.
Sure, LeBron James jumped into the league and did not need any context to dominate, but the talent surrounding him was not enough to win, and he left. Evan Turner had all the hype surrounding a #2 pick, but he was quickly labeled a bust until a creative coach, a solid franchise and the right team put his career on the right path. There are incredibly skilled player who, unfortunately, have off-the-court issues, like, say, Hassan Whiteside, and will have to travel around the world and grow up before coming back. And then there are others who are not as lucky.
Anyone remembers Jonny Flynn? Two years in Syracuse taking the Big East by storm: Big East Rookie of the Year, Big East tournament Mvp, an epic six-overtime win in a quarter-final against Uconn and everyone was sure he was the real deal, even better than that kid from Davidson, Stephen Curry. He was the sixth pick in the 2009 draft for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the epitome of the dysfunctional franchise at the time. And they proved it once again that night by selecting Ricky Rubio with the fifth pick. That’s two point-guards with two consecutive lottery picks after giving Kurt Rambis (ex assistant coach for Phil Jackson) the head coaching position to implement the Triangle offense, a system that does not rely on point-guards.
There are plenty of other examples, but it should be clear by now: context is everything. And this is why we want to know what will be of these young athletes we loved in their college careers, however short. We will start with the Atlantic Division, the other teams will follow in the next days.