June 29, 2006

chris mullin: nba executive of the year...

in march, i attended the sweet 16 games at oakland arena. if you'll remember, i watched the ucla-gonzaga showdown, which was preceded by a rather uninspiring blowout of bradley by memphis. because the memphis-bradley game was so lopsided, i spent the entire second half watching a player on bradley named Patrick O'Bryant. a long-armed 7-footer, o'bryant picked up some notice the week before the sweet 16 by contributing in a surprising upset of kansas in the round of 32. some of the nba writers (chad ford, etc.) were touting him as a sleeper for the upcoming draft, so i took to specifically watching mr. o'bryant for the last 20 minutes of the game. my impressions? let's just say there's a reason that patrick didn't make the first-team of the missouri valley conference. soft, unathletic, and unimaginative, o'bryant appeared to be the definition of a 7-foot stiff. pairing an undeveloped offensive game with a lack of understanding in simple defensive principles, o'bryant sucked. hard. i was unimpressed, to say the least. worst of all, he didn't seem to CARE. his team was losing in the sweet 16 and i watched him jog up and down the floor, nonchalantly calling for the ball in the post and chucking up fading 10-footers. fast forward to monday night, when tim and i had this conversation:
jack: "you know who's going to be the biggest bust in the nba this year?" tim: "who?" jack: "that patrick o'bryant guy. i can't believe teams are talking about taking him in the top ten. i watched him up close for 40 minutes and thought he was the sixth best player on the floor."
over the years, my analyses of nba prospects have largely been accurate. save for a few occasions, when i've misjudged, say, a mike dunleavy jr.'s impact on the league, i've done a pretty impressive job of handicapping the performances of the different picks. yet rarely have i had the opportunity to make an opinion based on in-person observation, which should only serve to sharpen my judgement. i was absolutely sure that patrick o'bryant will be a huge nba bust. a 7-footer with little athleticism, no strength, no offensive game, a lack of understanding of team defense, and no heart? a pretty sure-fire bust. now fast forward to tonight when, of course, the warriors decided to select mr. o'bryant! awesome! go bay area sports teams! believe me, i'd more than love for him to prove me wrong and for someone to track down this post in one year's time to demonstrate to me how incorrect i am. unfortunately, that's not happening. the only solace the warriors front office should take tonight is that isiah thomas is still running the knicks to make them look good...



At 6/29/2006 01:08:00 AM, Blogger smallchou said...

just want to note i didn't read this scouts inc analysis until now. a telling excerpt:

"He needs to demonstrate more toughness. It shows on the defensive end of the floor, where he struggles against good teams because he is not an aggressive presence around the rim. He allows defenders to attack the rim and is shy about going after them physically. Teams take it at him with no regard for his presence. Right now he has no idea about pick-and-roll defense."


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