Usually when a player is the last pick in the lottery, they have a chip on their shoulder when being compared to the rest of the lottery. They are considered the underdog on the top picks, and are forgotten about while discussing the best players of the draft.
They are not as valued and go on to be role players.
Golden State Warriors forward Anthony Randolph is a different story.
The lanky point forward will go down as one of the best players of the 2008 NBA Draft Class.
When Randolph first joined the team, coach Don Nelson saw a lot of potential in the young stud, but later on they started having problems and chemistry issues with one another.
Nelson said that he wanted Randolph gone from the Warriors, and that he needs to mature. During this period, Randolph was barely getting playing time, that is if he even was allowed to get into the game.
Randolph showed frustration, and he took it out on teammate Rob Kurz. During an altercation between the two during practice, Randolph elbowed Kurz during a play.Captain Stephen Jackson called him out for that during practice and this made Nellie's impression of Randolph even worse.
The first quarter of the season was difficult for the rookie. He was even becoming to be called a bust by analysts because of his poor attitude. This was the fuel to Randolph's fire.
He started to practice harder.
Teammates and coaches started noticing this and he was reward with more playing time. Forward Brandan Wright got injured during this time, so it was Randolph's time to shine.
The youngest player in the league rose to the occasion and even became a starter at one point for a coach who rarely plays rookies!
This was the turning point of Randolph's rookie season where he was getting more noticed by Warriors' fans as a player that could be built around.
Randolph ended the season closer to Coach Nelson. He is currently penciled in as the starting power forward for next season instead of Brandan Wright.
At the end of his rookie campaign and the off-season, Randolph has been working harder then ever. He is in the gym constantly and has gained 20 pounds of muscle since he has been drafted and is just one inch shy of seven feet.
Anthony has even been working on his shooting with the other Anthony of the team, Anthony Morrow who is arguably the best shooter in the league.
"He understands how to work now," Morrow said. "I think it was just the way he was approaching it (early last season). He was young, and a lot of young guys don't understand how to work hard. He picked it up quick. Once he learned how to work, he started getting more comfortable because he started seeing his hard work paying off." [Quote from Contra Costa Times]
What separates Randolph from Michael Beasley is their work ethic and attitude.
Randolph wants to be a superstar and is working to become one, while Beasley seems more content with what he already has. Randolph better at everything besides scoring, while will come to him naturally especially playing for the Warriors.
Randolph is young and has the tools and work ethic to become a superstar in this league. You know that you're good when you are a big man that can't shoot, a rookie, and you get to become the starter for a coach that barely ever plays rookies or big men that are not perimeter oriented.
Before you call me crazy for saying Randolph will be a superstar, give him a few years and you can see for yourself that Randolph will be at least a top five player from this draft class. O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose will be better, but then it's just between Brook Lopez and Anthony Randolph.
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