Picture a city nestled in the northeast corner of Illinois. A place where you can—if you have a good arm—throw a stone in one direction and hit a Wisconsinite and into Lake Michigan if you sling it the opposite way. A place where unemployment and poverty are high and the quality of life is low. A place that's referred to as "the county seat" of Lake County more because it renders the imagination to envision an actual toilet rather than because of its administrative purposes. Ladies and gentleman, Waukegan, Illinois.
Recently, one of Waukegan's only recognizable inhabitants, Illinois forward Jereme Richmond, decided to forgo his final three years of college and enter the NBA draft. Besides the point that Jereme could have become a part of the vast minority in his hometown had he earned his collegiate diploma from U of I, he has disappointed many in his most recent decision to abandon the Illini.
Upon the announcement of his controversial decision, Richmond presumptively received ill-will in a variety of forms. In fact, @JRichmond22 was bombarded with so much negative energy that he responded with this tweet:
"Thanks to my haters and motivators. If I so happen to fail, I want my doubters to know my failure is greater than your biggest success"
Okay, so was this a mature, thoughtful and appropriate response? Hell no, it's Jereme Richmond. Apparently he hasn't hired a publicist yet. This is the same guy who caused more high school drama than Randy Moss and Allen Iverson combined and was suspended for Illinois' trip to the Big Dance for "violating team rules" (which I heard was exchanging blows with Brandon Paul).
As Destiny's Child said with the title of their sophomore album, "The Writing's on the Wall."
Richmond's freshman year in Champaign was a far cry from what he thought it would be. When you commit when you're 14, you expect to start when you arrive on campus—a scenario that was simply never the case.
It was glaringly obvious that Richmond wasn't happy with Weber, his teammates or the collective female crop in Champaign who have a mean ACT score of 29 (about 12 points too high to go home with Jereme).
Still, I feel for the Central Suburban South product. After living in Waukegan and then Urbana-Champaign, I sure hope Jereme doesn't end up somewhere like Toronto with those cheese-eating surrender monkeys (shout out Mike in Indy) dressed head-to-toe in denim like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the 2001 AMAs.
We all know Jereme is no lottery pick, but I think he has NBA athleticism and an amount of potential that will cause a team to roll the dice on the 19-year-old. Sure, he's got baggage. And, when I say baggage I don't mean a tote bag or one of those abominable AAU drawstring backpacks. I'm talking about an assortment of Samsonites stuffed to the brim like a Glencoe housewife prepping for a trip to the Florida Keys.
Then again, who doesn't have baggage in the NBA? I see Richmond as a Matt Barnes-like: chippy, under-your-skin-type defender and role player. Although Richmond is young, and judging by his actions at Illinois incontrovertibly dumb, as each detestable tattoo pops onto his body like a pubescent whitehead, he will earn his stripes in the Association.
Someone has to take his side, right? Waukegan's proud of you, Jereme—they have no other choice—Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451 are becoming a little outdated for continuous celebration.
As for Pick of the Day, the Pulse Man was doomed by the Butler Bulldogs and their sub-20 percent shooting percentage in the national title game. For his next bet, the Pulse Man likes the UNDER (8.5) in the White Sox-Rays tilt tomorrow night at the Cell.
Pick of the Day: Rays @ White Sox, total runs-8.5-UNDER
Now I'm done. Rack me
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