Lance Stephenson will be missed by the Indiana Pacers next season

Stephenson is capable of becoming the leagues greatest second round pick of all time. He gets paid though like the last guy on the bench. Stephenson is pretty much playing for free and for Larry Bird to complain about Stephenson doesn’t make sense.

I don’t think Bird understands how good of a player Lance Stephenson really is. Sure, Stephenson made himself a public target after hitting Lebron James in the chin and blowing in his ear, but Bird criticizing him I think was uncalled for. Without Stephenson, the Pacers lose to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.

People have been underestimating Stephenson his entire life. He quickly became one of my favorite players of all time when I heard about him in Sports Illustrated as a freshman. He is the same age as me so it gave me someone to follow. He was at the same high school that Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair went to. Telfair is a guy who I really admired because he jumped straight to the NBA from high school and was featured in a book and a movie.

Stephenson was the top player in his class. Then he got in trouble and lost all of his scholarships. He looked primed to attend Kansas before that offer was pulled. He went to Cincinnati for one year before jumping to the NBA. He missed time in college and didn’t put up flashy numbers. He ended up falling to the second round which pretty much means you don’t really have much of a chance to be successful in the NBA.

He had to earn every single second of playing time. He is a big part of this team and his play isn’t getting the credit it deserves. Paul George just said, “I don’t know” when he was asked if he wanted Stephenson back on the team next year. George will eat his words, I guarantee it.

The Lance Stephenson versus Paul George rivalry will be a great one because Stephenson will dominate it. Stephenson will get way better. George on the other hand is about to lose pretty much his only weapon. Have fun with that. Between Stephenson and Lebron, I don’t think George will ever get to the NBA Finals.

One of the rarest feats in basketball

Not many active NBA players have won both a NCAA and NBA championship. Here they are.

Jason Terry helped lead Arizona to a championship in 1997. After being drafted tenth overall, he had an alright career, then he got to Dallas and picked up a championship ring in the 2011 NBA Finals.

Nazr Mohammed helped take Kentucky to two NCAA championships in 1996 and 1998. He has been all over the NBA and won an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005.

Richard Hamilton played magnificent for UCONN and for Detroit. In 1999, UCONN beat Duke in the finals to pick up the title. Hamilton was then drafted seventh overall and he hit his stride with the Detroit Pistons and helped lead them to the 2004 NBA championship.

Shane Battier was apart of the Duke team that lost to Hamilton and UCONN. Battier stayed at Duke and picked up a championship in 2001. He was then drafted eighth overall and had an okay NBA career. He eventually won back to back championships as a part of the Miami Heat. Even though he came off the bench, he was a key part of the team.

Corey Brewer helped Florida win back to back national championships in 2006 and 2007.  He starred with Joakim Noah and Al Holford, while Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey were the other Florida starters. Brewer was also a teammate of Jason Terry on the Mavericks when they were champions in 2011.

Mario Chalmers left Kansas right after he won the national championship. Chalmers hit a huge three that is one of the greatest plays in college basketball history. Without his shot, Kansas doesn’t win the game. He was a second round pick and is the point guard of the Miami Heat. Even though Lebron James and Dwayne Wade are on the team, Chalmers had his part in the last two NBA championships.

This is a rare list to be on.

 

 

5 NBA players who I thought would be way better

Over the years, I have thought certain NBA top ten draft picks would be team changing stars. Here are five that I was wrong about.

When the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Martell Webster sixth overall in 2005, I thought he would be the franchise savior. In the two drafts before that, guys like Lebron James, Dwight Howard and Josh Smith showed that high school basketball players could be good. But I was wrong. He is still in the NBA and he isn’t terrible, but for a player drafted that high, I thought he would do more. He has averaged just over nine points per game throughout his career.

Adam Morrison of Gonzaga is next on my list. Outside of J.J. Redick, I haven’t seen a better college basketball player. I wasn’t the only one who thought he was great. He was compared to Larry Bird and the Charlotte Bobcats drafted him third overall. He averaged 7.5 points per game in his NBA career and is presently an assistant coach for his alma mater.

Michael Beasley had a very good freshmen season at Kansas State. The Miami Heat drafted him second overall. He has averaged 13.7 points per game throughout his career. That is okay, but I thought he was going to be one of the greatest players in NBA History.

Each of my final two disappointments were from the 2009 NBA Draft. Hasheem Thabeet, is 7’3 and he had a very successful career at UCONN. Memphis thought he could turn them around and they selected him second overall. It never worked out. Thabeet has bounced from team to team and has only averaged 2.2 points per game in his career.

Jonny Flynn is one of my favorite college basketball players. He was so much fun to watch at Syracuse. I didn’t think there could be anyway that he wouldn’t be a great NBA player. The Minnesota Timberwolves found out the hard way when they took him sixth overall. He isn’t in the NBA right now and he averaged 9.2 points per game in his career.

There are other players who I was also wrong about like Josh Childress, Tyrus Thomas and Shelden Williams, but those five are the most shocking to me.