NBA Draft 2012: Can Anthony Davis Live Up to the Massive Hype?

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IMay 29, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 30:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts during practice prior to the 2012 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 30, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Wednesday night, after the NBA Draft Lottery is completed, some lucky team will win the right to draft Kentucky’s Anthony Davis with the No. 1 overall pick in June’s NBA draft.

All season long, the hype around Davis has been massive and it just keeps growing.

But will the Kentucky freshman ultimately live up to the hype?

I can answer that question with one word.


It won’t be for lack of trying, as I think Davis will be an outstanding NBA player. But I also think the hype around him is way out of control and a lot to ask a 19-year old kid to live up to.

I have written plenty of times that I feel Davis is the best big man prospect to come into the NBA since Tim Duncan was drafted No. 1 overall in the 1997 draft.

Davis is a game-changer with his length and shot-blocking abilities on the defense end.

At the offensive end, he is athletic as a guard along with the skill set of a big man. He can handle the ball and has outstanding footwork on the block.

Television doesn’t do him justice. Watch Davis play live and you will leave the arena wowed by how athletic this 6’10” kid truly is, and how he can flat out dominate a game without ever needing to touch the ball.

Yet, while I called him a game-changer earlier on, I don’t know if Davis is exactly a franchise-changer, which is what the hype would suggest.

Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and LeBron James have all been franchise-changers who were selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the past 20 years.

I have some doubts if Davis will have that type of impact on whichever team wins the right to draft him.

In a previous article I projected the career of Davis to possibly resemble that of another former No. 1 overall pick in Chris Webber.

By that I mean Davis will become an extremely good NBA player and a multi-time All-Star, but will never have that type of impact on a franchise where he is the main reason why they become championship contenders.

There is nothing wrong with that as Davis will end up making a very good NBA career for himself, but I do have my doubts that he will ever live up to the massive amount of hype he is receiving in the current weeks leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft.