NBA All Stars Bonafide Scrubs, Los Angeles Clippers edition
Fuck it. Anyone can start. Who cares, it’s the Clippers.
PG - Terry Dehere
Dehere was a 6'2" point guard who ended his career where it should have began - in the NBDL with the Florida Flame.
The Seton Hall product was taken 13th overall in the 1993 draft, and while that class was top heavy, the Clippers could have saved itself the trouble of carrying a Bonafide Scrub at point guard by drafting Sam Cassell, taken in the late 20s.
Instead, the Clippers got Cassell at the end of his career. The team made the playoffs.
The following where guys the Clippers passed on:
Cassell, Nick Van Excel, fuck it, even Georghe Muresan.
PF - Maurice Taylor
The Wolverines product was taken 14th overall, and he sure fooled people into thinking he was good.
But that’s what happens when you play for the Clippers. You look all starish.
The Houston Rockets signed him as a free agent after averaging around 16 points, but they should have taken a hint: Taylor never could rebound for a guy his size (Around four a game), never played defense and was allergic to a thing called passing.
C - Keith Closs
When your career highlight consists of being dunked on in court and dunked in outside a bar …
At 7'3" and 190 pounds, I wonder what made them think he’ll pan out.
They could have fed him a barrel full of bricks and he would have lost weight.
At least he was relatively in shape as an alcoholic.
PG - Darrick Martin
The former Bruin couldn’t play full time in the league, making him a perfect Clippers starter. He was too short and too slow.
Hell'a smart though. Plus, he won the Continental Basketball Association’s MVP award, which is cool and all. That league had 6'7" centers, making Martin seem tall at 5'11" at point guard.
PG - Pooh Richardson
Drafted by the Timberwolves, started for the Clippers.
And people wonder why they called Jerome Pooh.
C - Michael Olowakandi
Before Kwa-may Brown there was the Kandi Man.
If you look up the history of bonafide scrub, it starts with him.
Donald Sterling probably thought all Africans can play ball. The Clippers actually boasted about having the next Hakeem Olajuwon. Olowokandi was slightly better than Yinka Dare, and that’s because he got more minutes.
SF - Darius Miles
Had he practiced his jumper the way he worked on rolling blunts, there’s no telling how great he could have been.
Alas, he was drafted by the Clippers. His fate was sealed.
SG - Quentin Richardson
“Q” is somewhat of a cult figure in Clippers lore, kind of like Plan 9 From Outer Space.
If there’s a Mendoza Line in basketball, it would be The Q Line, whenever a shooter has a field goal percentage below .400. He never saw a shot he didn’t want to take, and it showed.
PF - Chris Wilcox
Gee, should I take a 6'11" high school player who was polished enough to play professional ball? How about a small forward who’s as wide as a power forward and as quick as a two-guard?
Nah, let’s take a tall dunker with no post up moves, can’t position himself without the ball and is as soft as a Maryland Crab.
*BTW, the Clippers passed on Amar'e Stoudamire and Caron Butler.
SG - Marko Jaric
The Euro Mania was gripping NBA basketball then, and it bottomed out with Gordan Giricek. But Jaric should have been the standard.
Another Clippers to Wolves (And vice-versa) transfer. Of course it never ends well.
P/SF - Ryan Gomes
Also known as the Uncle, because every time he starts for a team, it signifies that said franchise has already given up pretending to be a professional team.
Gomes is a Wolves/Clippers alumnus, and has played for last place teams all his life.
C - Zeljko Rebraca
Sterling Sterling thought he was buying a tall bottle of anti-bacterial breath freshener.
NBA 2K14 POWER TANKINGS: The Gap between No.1 overalls, and a list of the 12 widest
Anthony Davis had another huge game, and helped destroy Cleveland’s playoff hopes Tuesday, scoring 30 points and blocking eight shots, with seven rebounds and a steal, on 12 for 18 shooting.
Davis erased Cleveland’s front court production, with Luol Deng, Tristan Thompson and Cody Zeller combining to score about 10 less points than one Pelican forward center.
Displayed a quickness even Tim Duncan in his prime didn’t have, as well as a more sophisticated offense than Dwight Howard at that age.
We talk about the game getting small, focusing on trends like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony getting regular minutes at power forward, and a deep well of talent at the point guard position.
But in his short stint as a pro, Davis went from a gifted athlete figuring the league out as a rookie, while recovering from injury, and has turned into an All Star scorer and nothing like the traditional five or fours we’ve seen. There are nights when he shows up with Kevin Durant-like scoring proficiency. . He’s long like a center, quick as a small forward, athletic as a shooting guard and has soft hands like a point guard.
Durant is 6'11" and so is Davis.
New Orleans landed something big here.
Contrast that to Cleveland’s mixed foray into the No.1 overall draft.
On a night where Cavaliers No.1 overall selection Austin Carr’s retired jersey went missing, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett proved worthy of the lofty expectations that come with being the first among your class to be chosen.
Bennett’s name isn’t in there because of a misprint.
Irving is an all star, and a marketable cross-racial marketing phenom who managed to get voted in as an Eastern Conference starter. He’s heading into a budding rivalry with John Wall, and that will only benefit the league as far as drumming up drama through a test of skill.
If we have Durant-vs-LeBron, Magic-Jordan and Deron-CP3 level of rivalry burgeoning, it’s between these two Eastern Coference former No.1 overall picks.
But for at least one night, the tragic-farce comedy of Bennett turned in a decent night. He played in 31 minutes as Cavs coach Mike Brown went with his smaller lineup that slotted Tristan Thompson to center, eating Zeller’s minutes, to score 15 points with eight rebounds and a blocked shot. He even sank two from deep, and made 50 percent of his attempts. He could have scored more but split his free throws, 3-6, but the fact that he got three trips to the line means that when he’s on he’s capable of drawing fouls.
Bennett took too many mid-to-long range two-point jumpers for someone still on probation, but along with Dion Waiters, Brown got major production from his bench, and exploited a Pelicans team defense that’s mush after Davis.
There is still time for Bennett to turn his reputation around, instead of helping Kent Benson’s cause in the history books. He’s young and raw, but nights like this show why he was a lottery pick to begin with.
For whatever reason, there are times when the gap in talent between successive No.1 overall picks is high – the talent pool has a lot to do with it, sometimes teams mess it up, and in rare occasions mess it up big time, are two of the general principles that accounts for these gaps.
Looking at Davis, you see his draft class’ best player, and he’s already making a case as a Top Five forward in the Western Conference. At a time when Duncan and Nowitzki are as good as ever.
Looking at Bennett, you still see a team who fucked up.
The 2013 draft class can be a case study for the increased predictive powers of projection for talent – the numbers said these guys weren’t going to be good. And they aren’t.
Still the Cavaliers might have also been blinded by need, though let me tell you that almost no one had Michael Carter-Williams being selected first overall. The Cavs had too many young forwards, and if they draft Victor Oladipo, they’ll have one too many score-first shooting guard.
For now the gap between Bennett and Davis remains far apart. Bennett was drafted because he’s capable of nights like Tuesday. The trick is getting him to do that everyday, and then he won’t be as big of a bust as Kwame Brown. But Davis is a futuristic type of player where Bennett’s best case scenario is a couple of Big Dog seasons, but maybe more like Joe Smith.
That’s a hell of a lot of difference.
Here’s the Top 12 successive pairs that skewed in opposite directions in the last three decades.
May 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A Los Angeles Clippers fan holds up sign during the fourth quarter in game six of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
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