April Fool's: 5 Players That Have Recently Fooled the NBA

Yama Hazheer@Yama_HazheerCorrespondent IIApril 1, 2012

April Fool's: 5 Players That Have Recently Fooled the NBA

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    April Fool’s has been a long tradition to many people in countries around the world. Playing jokes on your friends, family and random people has been fun to kids, teens and even adults.

    When it comes to the NBA, there has actually been a few players who have fooled fans, experts and even themselves.

    These guys had potential to be either a top player in the history of the game or a franchise cornerstone; either way, it did not pan out as we have all wished for.  Most of them were fun to watch at times, others a bit painful, and some of them might have not even had a chance for us to watch them play.

    Injuries, weak mentality, bad work ethic or just even plain laziness, these five guys have fooled us within the past years. (In no particular order.)

Grant Hill

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    When Grant Hill came out of Duke and was drafted by the Detroit Pistons, the expectations set for him were set extremely high. Next to an infamous guy named Michael Jordan, many saw Hill as a possible face of the NBA, alongside Jordan.

    In fact, Hill was more popular with the fans at one point, at least when it came down to All-Star voting during the 1995-96 season. Hill was looking to go down as one of the better players in league history and was one of the originators of the “point forward” position.

    Hill had great years until his ankle started giving him major problems. Later on, he had groin injuries and sports hernia which made him consider retirement.

    Despite the injuries, Hill was a great player. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to be who everyone thought he would be for many years to come. Hill was having a great season this year too, even with his age nearing 40. Another injury has sidelined him this season.

Yao Ming

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    The great wall of China, or Yao Ming, had many expectations by fans all over the globe. He was one of the more exposed international players of all time. His 7’6 frame was hard to miss and not have on top of national headlines everywhere.

    Yao was the first pick by the Houston Rockets back in 2002. He was getting attention from other players around the league, even the most dominant player of all time, Shaquille O’Neal.

    Seeing how Yao is well over 7 feet tall, injuries were bound to happen to the big fella. Foot injuries bothered Ming so bad, that he was forced to retire early.

    It’s sad in many ways. He could have been the first successful Chinese player in NBA history and could have led the Rockets to perhaps even a championship one time during his era. Due to all the injuries, we will never know what Yao was fully capable of being in the league for the long term.

Vince Carter

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    Vinsanity is my favorite player of all time behind Jordan, so before fans attack me on this one, let me explain.

    As said when he was drafted, Vince Carter has a tremendous amount of skill and potential. He was always a gifted athlete and even a dominant offensive player during his prime in Toronto and his first years with the Nets.

    Vince was so talented that some analysts said that if he had the same work ethic and drive as say a Kobe Bryant, then Carter would have been the better player.

    Carter always lacked the work ethic and motivation to be what he could have fully became. His lack-luster defense and second option type attitude did not help at all. VC might never win a ring or MVP award in his career, but he will go down as the greatest dunker of all time, an athletic freak, and the guy who did not really give 100 percent effort half of the time.

Tracy McGrady

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    The 2001 Most Improved Player had some monster seasons. McGrady was nearly unstoppable at one point of his career. However, the injury theme continues in this saga of NBA April Fool’s.

    T-Mac was a great scorer, but people forget that he was not too shabby on the other side of the ball. His defense was non-existent. Another knock on McGrady was the fact that he never got his team past the first round despite his many chances.

    McGrady was never a winner in the league, which is unfortunate for a player of his stature. Injuries hurt him in the long run which is why he is now on the bench of the Atlanta Hawks.

Greg Oden

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    This can be one of the more sad stories in recent NBA history, Greg Oden and his injuries. The No. 1 pick had potential to be one of the better defensive anchors in the history of the league. His injuries have ended his chances of that.

    Oden has played 82 games over the span of four seasons. He has had knee surgery multiple different times. It’s sad because people declare Oden to be a bust. It is not fair to his game or himself because he never had a legitimate chance to showcase his skill.

    Portland may not regret drafting Oden as it passed up on Kevin Durant for a guy that it just waived a few weeks back.

    If ever healthy and given another chance, Oden can still be a solid player. Other than that, he fooled us probably just as hard or even harder than any other player on this list.

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