Eight Common Profiles of a Bust – Back by Unpopular Demand

Eight Common Profiles of a Bust – Back by Unpopular Demand
Jun 15, 2007, 01:26 am
The opinions expressed in this satirical article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of DraftExpress

1. The “Overrated College Star” - He repeatedly carried his team to the NCAA tournament, was a unanimous selection to the All-American team, and he can't dribble with his left hand. WHAT? In every draft there are a few college players with all the accolades and awards that just can't make the transition from great college player to great NBA player.

What’s the problem here? Maybe it was merely the program and the amazing surrounding talent that enabled this average player to look like a future star. Maybe it was the fact that he played against a bunch hacks that will be signed up on RealGM in two years talking about their glory days when they held the Big Vanilla Earthquake to 38 points. How many of Duke’s players have we seen in recent years that were unbelievable in college but just average in the pros? Some players are just great college players and that's it. However, every June, some general manager will cave into the fan pressure to draft one of these guys based purely on their college resumes and not based on how they project as an NBA player.

Recent Examples: Adam Morrison, Mateen Cleaves, Trajan Langdon, Ed O'Bannon, Calbert Cheaney
Possible fits in 2007: Acie Law, Alando Tucker, Arron Afflalo

2. The “Tweener” – Dear Lord, please let me grow two inches by June. Is there a day that is feared more by the Tweener than measurement day at the pre-draft camp? I guess it’s what jury duty feels like to the rest of us. I’m still waiting for somebody to show up to the combine in heels. (Maybe Starbury should check into that – a $14 dollar basketball sneaker with a 3 inch stiletto. It’s affordable and practical.)

Whether it’s the 6’2” college shooting guard trying to convert to point guard or the 6’5” college power forward trying to convert to a wing, ‘Tweeners will cause many headaches for scouts trying to project them as NBA players. The ‘Tweener usually starts out as a lottery pick, because he has been using his “Charles Barkley height” (add two inches) all through college, but once NBA teams find out his true height, the ‘Tweener’s stock drops like a string of f-bombs by Chef Ramsey after some fat Applebee’s prep cook tries to serve a plate of salmonella to a table of unsuspecting LA socialites. (Dear Lord, thank you for giving me Hell’s Kitchen as an alternative to actually watching the NBA finals).

Historically, the only really successful Tweeners have been the ones who were allowed to play their natural positions, such as Allen Iverson at shooting guard, and Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson and Antawn Jamison at power forward. Tweeners are like cheaters, you can’t change them; you just have to live with them.

On a positive note: There is good news for the Tweener. The combo guard is making a serious comeback thanks to guys like Leandrinho Barbosa and Ben Gordon (who appeared in the first version of this article back in 2004). Touche Ben.

Recent Examples: Keyon Dooling, Shawn Respert, Khalid Reeves
Possible fits in 2007: Jeff Green, Al Thornton, Rodney Stuckey, Alando Tucker

3. The “Stiff” (edited to please the PC Police) – Paging Paul Mokeski! Paging Paul Mokeski! The Stiff is the butt of everyone's jokes. Every team has one on the end of the bench. They usually end up as overpaid practice dummies with a goofy smile and a bad haircut. “Hey Paul, can you go stand under the basket with your hands up and pretend you are Greg Oden? Great. Thanks. Ok, now where were we? Oh yeah, how to beat a zone...”

Fans always ask - remember that idiot who lost his job by wasting a lottery pick on that stiff on the bench? We all know that teams are always looking for a center, but at what cost? You can't teach height, right? Well, maybe so, but you can teach teams how to stop wasting lottery picks on 6 fouls for Shaq. He’s not even that good anymore. Stop the madness. Enough already!

Recent Examples: Chris Mihm, Frederic Weis, Aleksandar Radojevic, Vitaly Potapenko, Todd Fuller (Chris Kaman, don’t make me add your name to this list)
Possible fits in 2007: Spencer Hawes, Aaron Gray, Marc Gasol

4. The “I Told You You're Not Ready Kids” – Unfortunately, more and more young players are being pushed into the NBA by greedy agents, greedy family members and a greedy posse. Sometimes these young players are ready, but too often, they are not. Some of these kids might take 4 or 5 years before they start to produce in the NBA, and not all teams are willing to wait that long. As a result, these kids end up being traded from team to team, destroying their fragile egos and in some cases they are eventually waived. Then they must seek redemption in the D-League to get back to the league. 1158 miles. That’s the distance between the Dakota Wizards and the Albuquerque Thunderbirds… and you have to travel it by bus. Get used to it. Would you rather go play in Malaysia? That can be arranged. Can you say “drug mule”? These young players are the toughest players for teams to evaluate because it's nearly impossible to project how a 19 year old will react to the rigors of playing 82 games, buying a home, living alone and dealing with the massive amounts of money and fame. Many times, these players can't even qualify as busts because by draft day, their stock has dropped so low that they end up getting pushed down to the 2nd round, like Omar Cook, James Lang, Ousmane Cisse or even worse, undrafted like DeAngelo Collins.

Recent Examples: Martell Webster, C.J. Miles, Rodney White, Jonathan Bender, Leon Smith
Possible fits in 2007: Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton, Daequan Cook, Wilson Chandler, Gabe Pruitt

5. The “Workout Warriors” - These are the guys that nobody pegged as a lottery pick or even a 1st round pick back in April, but by June, they have miraculously climbed their way up every team's draft board. It all starts with a good showing at one of the pre-draft workouts, followed by fantastic individual workouts, fast 40 times, a 45 inch max-vertical, and an amazing game of H-O-R-S-E versus the team's assistant coaching staff that “mistakenly” ends up on YouTube. Unfortunately, everyone overlooked actual game tape of the player. The only thing that matters is the fact that he dunked a medicine ball 42 times in row. 42 TIMES! Of course, once the season starts, reality sets in and everyone realizes they've been duped. SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!

Recent Examples: Kedrick Brown, Steven Hunter, Antonio Daniels
Possible fits in 2007: Yi Jianlian, Josh McRoberts, Jason Smith, DeVon Hardin

6. The “Athlete” - He's got a ripped body like the mascot of the 2007 Today’s Inter-National Youth for Steriods are Awesome Convention (that’s TINY SaAC for short). He can dunk over a refrigerator and he raced a zebra on Man vs. Beast 6. Now, if we can only teach him how to shoot and dribble.

The Athlete is always drafted on his potential and not on actual basketball talent. Usually, his scouting report reads: great defender, quick feet, unbelievable first step, amazing leaping ability, suspect ball handling, no range on jump shoot and low basketball IQ. I don't know about you, but I'll take smart guys who can shoot and dribble over the Athlete any day. Memphis traded Shane Battier to Houston for Rudy Gay and the Grizzlies went from the playoffs to losing 60 games… I’m just saying… [waits for 50 e-mails from Memphis fans telling me it was only because Pau Gasol was injured for half the season]

Recent Examples: Stromile Swift, Jerome Moiso, Marcus Haislip, Tariq Abdul Wahad
Possible fits in 2007: Thaddeus Young, Al Thornton, Reyshawn Terry

7. The Clones - Every time a revolutionary player comes along, general managers spend years trying to find the next one. Teams wasted pick after pick in the 90's looking for the next Michael Jordan. Every point guard over 6'6” is supposed to be the next Magic Johnson, every center over 300 pounds is nicknamed “Baby Shaq”, any 7-foot European player who can shoot is the next Dirk Nowitzki and every Mandalorian with a jet pack and a cape is the next Jango Fett. It’s just not that easy.

Over the next few years, you will see teams scouring Asia looking for the next Yao Ming and you will hear the phrase the next LeBron more times than you care to count. Of course, along the way, teams will find great players, but too often, they will discover that you can't duplicate revolutionary players.

Recent Examples: Nikoloz Tskitishvili (the next Dirk), Harold Minor (the next Jordan), Shaun Livingston (the next Magic)
Possible fits in 2007: Rodney Stuckey (the next Dwyane Wade), Mike Conley Jr. (the next Chris Paul), Yi Jianlian (the next Yao)

8. The “Knucklehead” - The Knucklehead has to be the most frustrating of all the busts, but they certainly are fun to read about. They have the talent that makes scouts drool - the jumper, the handles, and the wrap-around-behind-the-back-bounce-pass, in traffic… left handed to boot. They also have a bio that reads like the cover of Us Weekly. Sometimes it’s a drug problem, sometimes it's the crowd they run with, sometimes it's a pantyless crotch shot taken by the paparazzi, and sometimes it's something simple like crashing your SUV into a parked car while driving drunk, watching porn and giving yourself “the stranger”, followed by getting caught on a security camera trying to bribe people into not calling the police. Of course something that crazy could never actually happen, right? Babysitting a Knucklehead can be a full time job for the team that drafts one. It’s time to hire a good publicist. Promises, here we come.

Recent Examples: J.R. Smith, Eddie Griffin, Joe Forte, William Avery, Tim Thomas, Isaiah Rider
Possible fits in 2007: Sean Williams, Sean Williams, Sean Williams

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