Thursday, June 9, 2016


When you're one of the best athletes in the world and have already won a championship, what motivates you? For two stars with the NBA's Golden State Warriors, it's remembering all the people who were drafted ahead of you:
Klay Thompson holds a semi-tongue-in-cheek grudge against the Kings for daring to draft another shooter, Jimmer Fredette, over him. "I considered myself the best shooter in that draft, so when someone took another shooter over me, it was a slap in the face," Thompson told after Game 1 of the Finals.

He delights in reminding teammates and coaches behind closed doors that two Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, went ahead of him in the same draft; he quips that the Cavs took "the wrong Thompson," team officials say. "He definitely remembers Kyrie went before him," assistant GM Kirk Lacob told "I can say that for sure."
And Draymond Green:
Green has memorized the names and teams of the 34 picks before him in the 2012 NBA Draft and without looking at a sheet of paper, he can accurately recite them.

"First was Anthony Davis to New Orleans," he says. "Then Charlotte took (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist. Then Washington took Bradley Beal. Fourth was Cleveland: Dion Waiters.
"Eight was Toronto: Terrence Ross ...
"Sixteen was Houston: Royce White ..."
By the time he's done, Green has reeled off the names of all 34 players selected ahead of him and the corresponding team.
In order.
"I will never forget that night," he said. "I had to wait all that time. I'm not saying I'm cocky or anything, but I felt like I had to wait behind guys I was better than. And I think I've proven it."


G. Verloren said...

The lead in had me expecting something a bit more noble, for some reason. Something like Heinrich Harrer becoming famous for making the first ascent of the Eiger's north face, and then continuing on to have a rather adventurous life for many years after.

Then again, I suppose basketball is a far more competitive sport than mountaineering by its very nature, so maybe it makes sense for basketball champions to be more highly concerned with measuring themselves against their fellows like this.

karlG said...

Statistics in action! Every draftee probably thought himself better than many of those chosen before him. Occasionally, a few of them will be proved right.
And even then, how many players would have done better -- or worse -- with other teams with other systems?