Sebastian Telfair: The Story of a Bust

kwame manuCorrespondent IMay 19, 2009

BOSTON - JANUARY 22:  Sebastian Telfair #30 and Gerald Green #5 of the Boston Celtics look on from the bench in the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at the TD Banknorth Garden January 22, 2007 in Boston, Massachusetts. The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Boston Celtics 93-89.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Let me tell you a little bit about Sebastian Telfair. 

Sebastian Telfair is the second highest scorer in NY state history. HISTORY. As a sophomore, Telfair averaged 27.1 points. He was a stud. He was everywhere.

Telfair was featured in USA Today, Slam Magazine, and had a documentary in the works before he was even 19 years old. Telfair regularly came to games with Jay-Z, and Derek Jeter in his entourage. 

Telfair drew the attention of scouts from all over the country. At the beginning of his senior season he committed to the University of Louisville.

"As I'm watching Sebastian," Pitino said of Telfair back in 2004, "I realize that if he puts on a Louisville uniform he will be the best point guard i would have coached at the collegiate ranks"

Telfair was the best. 

When he decided to jump straight to the NBA from high school, hardly anyone believed that he was making a mistake. That's why he was taken 13th overall.

But what of him now? Most people who do know of him, know that he is famous just for being famous. Most basketball fans haven't even heard of him. His star has fallen. Four year and three teams later, Telfair has averaged 9.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. 

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I think that this would constitute as a bust. Actually, this may be the definition of bust. But here's the problem: I like Sebastian Telfair. Actually most of my favorite players end up being perceived as busts (uh-oh, coincidence?).

I will fight the bust label that has been placed on Telfair. This past year, Telfair scored 30 points against the Miami Heat. This wasn't the only time. Telfair has had such flashes of brilliance during his NBA career.

His problem is consistency. His jumper is very suspect, and he has failed to make an impact in the offensive systems he has been put in. 

This is a problem with many prep to pro stars. Many of these stars use their athleticism to run up and down the court and blaze by their defenders. In the NBA, Telfair can't do that. 

If Telfair is placed in a high octane offense, like that of the Suns, Knicks, or Warriors; Telfair will be able to succeed. Telfair needs to be put in a situation that caters to his strengths. He can be effective in the NBA. 

Maybe I'm just reaching here. Maybe I'm just trying to stick up for one of my old favorite players. Maybe I'm not.

Maybe Sebastian Telfair can still be a star.