This is the first of a three-part look at each of Detroit's three 2008 draft selections.
I have to be honest. I am still scratching my head, but have faith in Joe Dumars. He has his way of doing things and they have been effective thus far during his tenure at the helm of the Detroit Pistons.
The draft went from excitable to "huh?" in a heartbeat. The rumors had been that Detroit had their eye on D.J. White, a power presence down low from Indiana. Everything seemed to work according to plan as he was there at #29 and Dumars nabbed him. Sounded like just what the doctor ordered.
Many fans, including myself, we taken by surprise to see Dumars trade him so quickly to Seattle for two second round selections. Was money a factor? Could be, but with a rookie salary slot, it wouldn't seem so.
Dumars knows talented players and with second round picks, there are no guarantees and no guaranteed money. And with the D-League and a roster full of young players already, maybe this was the way to go. So who is who and new at The Palace? First up is Walter Sharpe.
No. 32: Walter Sharpe, 6-9, 245-pound forward, Alabama-Birmingham.
Many downgraded Sharpe due to a shady past and a "lazy" presence. Diagnosed with narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder that led to tardiness to team functions and academic shortcomings, Sharpe now takes medication that he says turned his life around.
"It's definitely behind me," Sharpe boasts. "My worst days are behind me and my best days ahead of me. Nobody thought I had narcolepsy. People thought I was just lazy and slept a lot."
And while some have compared his game to Laker forward Lamar Odom, it is unknown at this time if Sharpe will make the club out of camp of spend some time at Fort Wayne of the D-League.
He will have to prove that an arrest at a club with four other UAB players was a case of poor judgment, and not a character issue that will continue. Though he says he was sticking up for team mates, he knows he should have known better. He is working on being a better man, and player.
"I can't completely blame it on narcolepsy," Sharpe admits. "I'd just say that some things I could have done better."
"I like to put the ball on the floor," Sharpe points out. "I'm not scared to dribble or shoot it from anywhere. I like to pass the ball. I like to do everything on the court that you can do on offense. Maybe by looking at me or reading my stat line, you might not notice that, but in due time, you'll see."
Trusting Joe Dumars has been easy, and this draft will test that loyalty, but the summer league should be fun to watch as these players get their first tests.
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