With the NFL combine starting up this Friday and with Thursdays mildly shocking news of Hasheem Thabeets' much needed demotion, this is the perfect time to reflect on our poor judgments of talent in recent times. When did being a winner stop factoring into the decision to acquire an individual player? When did work ethic and attitude simply go by the wayside? When did Al Davis suddenly interject his ludicrous draft strategies into the NBA?
As with every NFL and NBA draft there are simply those few teams that are enamored by size, speed, and athleticism. This past draft the upstart Memphis Grizzly's fell into the Al Davis trap. The Griz looked at the 7 foot 3 center from UConn and images of blocked shots and twenty rebound nights danced in their heads. Never mind the up tempo athletic style of play this team is built for with the core of Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo, and Mike Conley, the thought of having the dominating presence in the paint was to tantalizing to pass up. The blinders went on, the draft card went in and now the pick is headed to the D-League. No analyst or draft expert in their right mind would have placed Thabeet as a star in the NBA. The constant comparison was to Marcus Camby who has been anything short of a franchise changer in his NBA tenure. How could the Grizzly's scout have possibly overlooked the extreme awkwardness and general lack of athleticism of this particular prospect? The answer is simple, the aforementioned fairy tale of the dominant post presence was just to good to pass up.
The thought of Hasheem Thabeet playing toe to toe with Dwight Howard or Kevin Garnett are probably about as far fetched as Darrius Heyward-Bay running post routes past Darrelle Revis. Let this pipe dream be a lesson to all those outside of Al Davis.