Legendary Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim is no stranger to NBA talent. He has coached at Syracuse since 1969—first as an assistant and then as the head coach—and in that time, he has coached a whopping 35 players who went on to play in the NBA. When Boeheim speaks, NBA teams listen.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Boeheim has been asked about 2014's heralded draft class, most of whom are playing in college at the moment. The surprising bit is that Boeheim doesn't seem overly impressed.
Per SN.tv's Adam Zagoria:
There’s no player that’s out there on the horizon that’s a Tim Duncan or a LeBron James. I’ve seen all these guys play. I think they’re very talented players. They’re not that kind of player. They’re not transcendent players that are gonna make your franchise into a 10-12-15-year winning franchise because you’re there. I don’t see that.
That shot is not directed at the overall depth of the 2014 class but at the players on top—players like Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker. Then again, is it really so absurd to downgrade a group of college freshmen from comparisons to all-time greats like Tim Duncan and LeBron James?
Perhaps Boeheim might be a little more complimentary with his own players. After all, he did seem to get a touch hyperbolic when referring to the Philadephia 76ers' 2013 draft class, which just happened to include a player he coached at Syracuse, Michael Carter-Williams.
As relayed by Brent Axe of the Syracuse Post-Standard:
I think Philadelphia's new general manager might have made of the great drafts of all-time because I like Nerlens Noel.
He is a competitive guy. Really plays hard. Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel are friends from ninth grade. I think it is a great combination.
Would he have liked the class so much if it didn't include a Syracuse alum?