On the night of July 19th, Assistant Coach (and son of head coach Bernie Bickerstaff) John Blair Bickerstaff was arrested for DWI, driving with an expired tag and failure to heed a blue light. Maybe its because I’m not rich or in the media spotlight, but for the life of me I don’t understand why people who are rich or in the media spotlight can’t make better decisions. In JB’s situation in particular he should realize that people are going to give him twice the scrutiny, because he is the youngest assistant coach in the NBA and because he is the coach’s son. There are people begging for him to mess up just so they can say “I told you so”. I could go that route and kick him while hes down, but honestly thats too easy. Lets hope that this is an isolated situation from JB and he can use this mistake to learn how to make better decisions in life.
Today the Charlotte Bobcats re-signed one of their bench players Kevin Burleson, This should be your basic non story, but for the life of me, I can’t understand how this guy deserves to make a 12 man NBA roster. Maybe some of you experts out there can help me figure it out. Here are the details, Last season Burleson tore up the NBA at a pace of 1.8 points per game and 1.2 assists per game. He shot a blazing 25% from the field and torched opponents at a clip of 18% from three point range… Thats not a misprint He shot 18% from three point range. Last year over the course of several games, he had a streak where he missed 31 consecutive shots from the field. Also not a misprint, 31 straight shots.
Well, Maybe he really impressed the coaching staff during the summer league games last week. Lets take a look, 28 minutes a game, 7 ppg, 4 apg, 1.4 turnovers per game. He continued his torrid shooting by shooting 32% from the field, and a Ray Allen-like (for him) 33% from three point range.
Maybe his spot on the roster can be explained by this snippet from nba.com
Bickerstaff and Burleson played together during the 2000-01 season, when Bickerstaff was a senior and Burleson a freshman. Burleson and Hargrow were then teammates for two seasons, from 2001-03.
“This has reminded me a little bit of college,” Hargrow said. “Having them here has made my transition a little easier.”
“It’s been good just to have University of Minnesota guys around,” Burleson said. “Maurice feels like a little brother to me, and being here is a great opportunity for him.”
Despite the established camaraderie, Bickerstaff does not give his fellow Golden Gophers any special treatment or reprieves from the strenuous workouts.
“No special treatments at all,” Bickerstaff said. “If you ask them, they will both probably tell you the same thing.”
If theres somebody out there that can convince me that this isn’t a blatent example of the buddy system, I’d love to here your explanation as to why he deserves a roster spot.
Adam Morrison is clearly the media darling of this years NBA rookies. He already has his EA Sports commercials, Adidas contracts, hes working on an XBox gig… His commercials were even shown during the draft. When is the last time you’ve seen that from a rookie entering the NBA?
My question is, Why is it that media darling draft picks very rarely fail in the NBA? It seems like just based on odds that one of the incoming draft picks that the media falls head over heels in love with, would fail miserably and not live up to the hype. However, Trying to come up with one really stumped me. Going through the old draft boards these are the players that I felt were media darlings at the time of their draft.
2005 No media darlings, Chris Paul was popular, but he didn’t really become a media darling until he started doing his thing during the season
2004 No media darlings, Emeka was respected, but not a media darling
2003 Lebron James – he has undoubtably lived up to the hype, its not even worth debating.
I didn’t include Carmelo in the list of media darlings, because that draft was all about LBJ, it was like a coronation
2002 Yao – he started off slow, but with Shaq aging, he is now THE dominant center in the league.
2001 no media darlings
2000 no media darlings
1999 no media darlings
1998 no media darlings, Vinsanity was drafted at #5, but his hype started after his first slam dunk contest.
1997 Tim Duncan-Nothing needs to be said here. NEXT.
1996 Allen Iverson-Superstar
An intersting note: Even Kobe wasn’t a media darling that year.
1995 no media darlings
1994 Grant Hill – He had all of the buzz, and if not for his injuries, he would have had a truly amazing career.
Jason Kidd went ahead of Hill in that draft, but he still didn’t get the crazy amount of media attention at the time that Grant was
1993 Webber #1 – For those of you who are of the age where you don’t remember the early to mid 1990′s Chris Webber, he was like Amare Stoudamire with a shooting guards handle. He was amazing. Nothing like the bad kneed fadeaway jump shooting shell of a player that you see today.
Penny Hardaway went #3 – I won’t classify him as a media darling, because he didn’t get truly hyped up until after he was drafted and paired with The Diesel.
1992 Shaq – The motherload of media hype, And 4 rings later hes certainly lived up to it.
Zo – Even though Shaq sucked up 80 percent of all basketball attention that year leading up to the draft, Zo wrestled away the remaining 20% with him being the next great center in the Georgetown lineage ( On a side note, don’t you miss great Georgetown Centers? )
I didn’t include Christine Laettner as a media darling because after Shaq and Zo, there was no buzz left to be had.
1991-Larry Johnson. Man, before the back problems he was a more athletic, more fit and much meaner Charles Barkley… with a side of Charles Oakley thrown in for good measure. He was Hell. #@$#$ Damned back problems.
1990-No media darlings
So why is it that there aren’t any busts amongst the guys that were hyped up by the media leading up to the draft? I can’t figure it out, but I’d be interested in hearing your opinions.