The NBA Draft took place last night and Samardo Samuels did not hear his name called. I still believe what I said about his decision when I first heard about it last month.
Bombshell in 3....2...1....I think Samardo made the right decision.
Samuels probably isn't going to be drafted, and even if he is he almost certainly won't make an NBA roster next year or any year. But here's the thing: I don't think Samardo would have been drafted in 2011 or 2012. He's done growing and regardless of how hard he works, he simply doesn't possess the natural athleticism to play the four in the league.
If his family's financial situation is that bad and his paycheck two years from now would look very similar to the one he's about to bring in, then he'd be a fool to stay.
The big question for Samardo now is what his next move is.
If cinema has taught me anything, it's that he'll probably be down in the dumps until he finds inspiration in the previously unknown fact that his father once tried to start a bobsled team. His hilarious and nearly equally athletic friend George Stripling will resist his seemingly unhinged persistence, but it won't take too long for him to be on board. Later joined by Andre McGee and Michael Josiah, there's only one man apt to guide this lovable band of misfits: a drunk, lonely, fat and down-on-life Steve Kragthorpe. How will their journey towards an unexpected shared dream end? The way all dreams end: far short of expectations but with the newfound respect of the Swiss.
So you've got that to look forward to, big guy.
Seriously though, best of luck to Samardo wherever he heads from here.
I will never pretend to understand Kentucky fans. There was a time when I thought I had a decent handle on their psyche, but some time within the past two years they've collectively entered a state of fandom where I'm not sure any group of people has ever been before.
In these people's minds there is now NOTHING that happens to Kentucky basketball that can't be viewed as a positive, and anyone who says anything about the program that could possibly be construed as negative is an idiot who must be swiftly rebuked. Additionally, anything that happens anywhere is viewed solely through the lens of what possible effect it has or could have on the UK basketball program.
Case in point: last night. As expected, five former Wildcats were selected in the first round, marking the first time the feat had ever been accomplished. The fans of any other program in the country would have spent the evening celebrating the individuals, debating where they fit in with their new teams and congratulating them on their accomplishments. Instead, from 7 p.m. on, I was assaulted online with message after message and post after post about what a great night it was for KENTUCKY and how seeing all these CATS make it to the big stage was only going to help John Calipari and his assistants on the recruiting trail. It's borderline unreal to watch these people behave.
A year ago when Terrence Williams and Earl Clark were selected as lottery picks, there were two main things that U of L fans discussed: 1) The accomplishment of both players and how they would fit in with their new teams. And 2) Our collective sadness over the fact that a team with such talent hadn't been able to make it to the Final Four. And that's not me spinning past events to make a point or take a shot at a rival.
If you even started to insinuate last night that maybe Kentucky fans should have been disappointed that a team which made this kind of history couldn't make it past the Elite Eight, you were guaranteed to instantly be greeted with dozens of furious responses. It's like telling a person with a really small penis that they have a really small penis.
What can you do? I suppose it's a couple more months of this before football.
Calipari's quote that last night was "the greatest night in the history of Kentucky basketball" is a prime example of why I think this relationship is doomed to fail.
If in the next two years Cal continues to dominate recruiting and continues to produce first round NBA Draft picks but doesn't lead the Cats into the final week of the season, watch how drastically the tide will turn.
Success for Kentucky fans means national championships. This current wave of
insanity excitement might seem to be the product of last year's success or all the top-rated recruits or all the national attention, but really it's all driven by the feeling that national title No. 8 is right around the corner. If it doesn't happen within the next three or four years, watch how many Wildcat fans care that a rapper is coming to Big Blue Madness.
On the flip side, you get the feeling that Calipari feels like this is succeeding. Kentucky basketball is back to being a mainstay in the top ten, they're being talked about on the news on a regular basis, he's got celebrities showing up at Rupp Arena, he's getting the top prep talent in the country to come to Lexington and then he's getting them in a position to make millions before they can drink legally; it may be tough to swallow, but Kentucky is the "It" program in the country right now, and that's not debatable.
But if Calipari isn't able to turn status into championships within a reasonable (to Big Blue Nation) amount of time, watch the relationship disintegrate. Kentucky fans will start to debate whether or not all this glam is good for the program and Cal will become (understandably) bitter.
If, however, the Cats cut down the nets soon, well then we're all doomed to day-after-day of ruthless, gnashing ear rape. I won't take it like a man.
The Pacers drafted Lance Stephenson, which is the equivalent of Pixar drafting Lil' Wayne. At least the Jazz - drafters of Gordon Heyward and Western Kentucky's Jeremy Evans - don't pretend to be something they aren't.
Andy Rautins was drafted ahead of Devin Ebanks, Da'Sean Butler and Lance Stephenson. That statement needs no succeeding complement.
How could anyone who has followed the NBA and the success of certain players with any degree of closeness over the past decade or so draft Cole Aldrich over Patrick Patterson? It's like the GM's of some teams just want to be spiteful.
Not selected: Sherron Collins, Scottie Reynolds, Tyler Smith, Jon Scheyer and Tyler Smith.
Selected: Multiple players from unsuccessful west coast programs who you'll never hear from again.
The draft is silly.
Apparently Bobby Gonzalez berated Jeff Goodman in the middle of the draft room last night.
Gonzo's head in a box: Best. Prize. Ever.
The wait would absolutely be worth it....just sayin'.