With the 2013 NBA Draft in the books, now questions will be asked if players were selected at the right spots by the right teams.
The draft was unpredictable from the start with Anthony Bennett, a highly touted freshman from UNLV, going first overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bennett’s selection was surprising to most, although he was one of the players amongst a handful that were in the mix for the top spot.
The most notable surprises were Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel and Kansas’ Ben McLemore, sliding to the sixth and seventh picks respectively. Both were projected as the potential number one pick of the draft and it would have been hard to imagine either falling out of the top three picks.
No worries though, in the era of “The Hater”, Noel can put a bull’s eye on the Cavaliers, Magic, Wizards, Bobcats, and Suns throughout his career. McLemore can add the Pelicans to his list as another team that passed on him.
Maybe Noel can add New Orleans as well, since the Pelicans drafted him, then subsequently traded him to the 76ers later in the evening.
In the days of multi-million dollar contracts that are guaranteed before players have played even a minute, any motivation is welcome for organizations who draft these players. With players having more exposure on television, radio and social media, they are criticized and ‘hated on’ more than ever before because of their earnings and fame.
This sentiment is 99.9% of the time not fair and most fans do not see the hard work that these select high caliber athletes put in on a day-in and day-out basis. In the age of instant gratification, fans are quick to remember draft busts and want instant production from their newly acquired assets.
Still, if players internalize being passed on the draft as ‘hating’ or use media or fan bashing as a means to play with a chip on their shoulder, surely the players, their organizations, their agents and the hometown fans will all benefit in the long-run.
Let the ‘hating’ commence.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo