Welcome Team Narcissism: Class of 2009

Posted by rtmsf on June 26th, 2009

Well, the 2009 NBA Draft has come and gone, and hundreds of players are waking up to the soul-crushing wreckage that inevitably follows.  For thirty players last night, hummingbirds are carrying $100 bills around the hotel room, there’s a case of empty Cristal at the foot of the bed, and the debilitating headache you’re sporting today is a badge of honor – Welcome to the Show.  For another thirty players, there’s a melancholy tease of ‘what could have been’ as you realize your dream is only marginally within reach – no guarantees from here on… you’re just a day-to-day wage-slave like the rest of us.  For the remainder who were waiting on that siren’s call from D. Stern last night, replace the Cristal with Boone’s and the tease with ‘what went wrong… I thought I was pretty good,’  and you have what we like to call Team Narcissism.

narcissismTeam Narcissism is filled with players who thought they were something they weren’t: draftable.  Or if they were draftable, they thought they were first-rounders when they were really second-rounders.  These are players who left college early based on the tenuous premise that they were ready for the NBA, and that the NBA would welcome them into its arms…  but… it didn’t quite work out that way.  Now they’re left with the option of scratching and clawing their way onto a team for a minimum salary, or heading overseas to try to catch on somewhere else.  Some of these players had absolutely no business declaring early, while others were victims of unfortunate timing and stock slippage.  Still, Scotty Thurman says hello.

Team Narcissism

  • Dar Tucker, Depaul (undrafted) – the 6’5 Blue Demon thought because he could score 18 ppg on a terrible FG% (39%) that this made him a draft pick?
  • Shawn Taggart, Memphis (undrafted) – Taggart should be a gearing up for a senior season as a featured player in Josh Pastner’s new offense.  He never had a chance at getting drafted this year.
  • Brandon Costner, NC State (undrafted) – never had a chance, so why not stay in school for one more season and get your degree (see: Taggart)? (correction: stay in school and improve your game?)
  • Paul Harris, Syracuse (undrafted) – the first of two Syracuse clowns who were egregiously fooling themselves into believing they had a shot to get selected last night.
  • Eric Devendorf, Syracuse (undrafted) –  it’s true, he probably had nowhere else to go, but given what we know about Devo, he also probably saw himself as a lottery pick.
  • Daniel Hackett, USC (undrafted) – can’t blame the kid for jumping off a sinking ship, but he probably could have returned and dominated on that team next year (plus get his degree).
  • Patty Mills, St. Mary’s (#55) – this was a free-fall last night.  Mills was a borderline first-rounder but his stock fell significantly in the last month, and he probably should have listened to the right people and returned to SMC for an injury-free junior all-american campaign.
  • Jodie Meeks, Kentucky (#41) – no surprise here, as Meeks was expected to go in the second round.  Still think it was a poor decision, though.
  • Chase Budinger, Arizona (#44) – another free-fall player, as Budinger was a lottery pick not all that long ago.  Don’t really blame him much for leaving early, though, as his fall was swift and recent.
  • DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh (#37) – good decision for an undersized Big Baby clone to leave early?  Probably depends on whether he makes the team or not, right?  Definitely a gamble.
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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12 responses to “Welcome Team Narcissism: Class of 2009”

  1. Jameson says:

    When it comes to Harris, he has two kids and needs a real income. If he didn’t explode in two years with his high school teammate and 6th overall pick, Jonny Flynn, he wasn’t going to this year as a senior. There were whispers he could go early second round because of his athleticism, so I’ll disagree about Harris.

  2. rtmsf says:

    Fair enough, Jameson. Guess we’re just wondering why kids do three years of coursework and then go pro when there’s little chance of getting selected. One more year may not help in terms of their draft standing, but it probably won’t hurt either, and they might just end up with a degree in the process.

  3. Tony says:

    Brandon Costner is a head case who has not made the most of his talent the last few years and had no chance of getting drafted. However, he was a redshirt junior last year and I believe he graduated with a communications degree from NC State in May. He’ll probably never play in the NBA so why not starting making $$$ in Europe now.

  4. corey says:

    Biggest disappointment for me was Patty Mills. Kid was so fun to watch and could have had a Curry-esque junior year at SMC.

  5. toasterhands says:

    I see Taggart eventually finding his way into the league, but no one else of the undrafted strikes me of having “it” to make the less traveled road. But there always seems to be about a half a dozen undrafted guys of each draft group that end up sticking in the league. Heytvelt I believe will be one of those guys.

  6. tallguy says:

    Meeks made the correct decision…he wasn’t going to improve his status as all, and next year’s draft is significantly stronger. Blair just got screwed; all indications were that he was late lottery-mid first round. Also, as previously stated, Costner graduated, and saw little reason to stick around with a coach he didn’t get along with very well. Plus, he was probably worried that another teammate would sleep with his girlfriend again (Gavin Grant, not JJ Hickson, screwd up the team chemistry 2 years ago). As for Budinger…he got screwed over by Lute…he should’ve gone last year, but Lute convinced him to stay for this season.

  7. Jameson says:

    Yeah I perfectly understand your thinking RTC. But in the end, if Harris wants to finish the degree, SU will welcome him back with open arms. He’ll play in Europe if things don’t work out and make 300,000-500,000 grand a year. Leaving now means he gets that pay check a year earlier.

  8. yournamehere says:

    A lot of people will regret not drafting Dejuan Blair.

  9. Chris says:

    Brandon Costner graduated. Don’t let that get in your way of bashing him. Really, this was very well known and was mentioned during several NC St. games this year that he didn’t plan on returning. Shocked that this blog didn’t know that. Wait, no I’m not.

  10. rtmsf says:

    Disagree on Meeks. Had he come back to work on his handle and defense for another year in the dribble-drive system, he could have very well moved into the first round. I realize his scoring numbers would have gone down, but I don’t buy the argument that it would have impacted scouts’ opinion of him. Scouts realize he can score. They want to see if he can do the other things. I liken his case a little to Ellington from last year to this one.

    Agreed on Blair. The Spurs got a huge steal there.

    And agreed on Mills. Love that kid’s game. Not sure why he dropped so far given his Olympic experience. Sometimes you wonder if scouts just nitpick these guys to death.

    Chris – corrected the mistake on Costner. No need to get snippy.

  11. nick says:

    some of these players belief they had an nba career in front of them worries me. the circles they run must not behold much intelligence.

    that said, i think meeks made the biggest mistake. with wall and bledsoe, meeks would fit perfectly into the system, wouldn’t have to force bad shots, and likely would be set up for a lot of open ones. he could win a national championship, raise his profile (and be forever revered in lexington) and ensure a first round spot in next years draft.

    guys like tucker, harris, and taggart we shouldn’t even waste our time. their early entry is an insult to all of us.

  12. SIRE says:

    Brandon DID graduate and signed a free agent contract with the bulls and is in summer camp as we speak

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