Hype is curious thing. When we watch basketball, it can be exciting and wonderful, dramatic and overwhelming, and sometimes very misleading. It is predicated around emotions, which can manipulate us to see beyond well-versed logic, for better or worse.
But regardless of how exciting hype can be – it doesn’t always deliver in the long run, and this is what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to discuss the basketball players who had a large amount of success at the college level, and failed to translate it onto the NBA court.
College basketball and the NBA are two separate beasts, and sometimes a college star doesn’t have what it takes to thrive in the pros. Many NBA teams have suffered from this, after drafting players who they thought would live up to the “hype,” and passing on players who ended up being the real deal all along. These decisions may have seemed well thought out at the time, but in retrospect, they are absolutely cringeworthy.
When Greg Oden played ball for Ohio State, people were saying that he was going to be one of basketball’s next premiere dominant big men. They were so high on him that they seriously debated whether the Portland Trail Blazers should draft him or Kevin Durant with the first pick in the 2007 draft.
Oden, people said, was the “safer” bet. He had a much thicker frame than Durant, who’s wiry physique was one that people weren’t sure would be NBA ready. The Blazers ended up going with Oden with the first pick, and it was pretty clear right off the bat that it was one of the worst basketball choices of all time.
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