Posted: Wednesday March 1, 2006 12:45PM; Updated: Wednesday March 1, 2006 12:45PM
Will J.J. Redick be the next Duke player who isn't as good in the NBA as he was in college?
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I occasionally think that I would make a good NBA GM before quickly disqualifying myself on the grounds that I would never, under any circumstances, draft or sign a Duke alum. As a Wake Forest alum and a lifelong University of Kentucky fan, my hatred of all things Blue Devils is just too passionate; I'm fairly certain that my drafting a Duke player would make my dad cry. For instance, no matter how impressive J.J. Redick has been this season, I wouldn't draft him, not even if I were just playing "Danny Ainge for a Day."
However, after giving this one some more thought, I realized that this philosophy makes me supremely qualified to be a GM. Duke players in the NBA should be avoided like a girlfriend with anger issues, no matter how good they looked in college. If you don't believe me, just ask Cleveland GM Danny Ferry how well the NBA careers of former Duke stars have gone.
So congratulations, J.J., you'll win the Wooden Award, and then you'll wash out of the NBA after your rookie contract. William Avery wanted to call to give you the bad news, but he's busy playing in a former Soviet republic where telephones are still a rumor.
Yes, Redick's a great offensive talent, and for all the vilification he gets, he seems like a fairly gracious, hardworking guy. I'm still not buying the argument that Redick will make it in the league because teams always need pure shooters. Have you forgotten Trajan Langdon? I hope the "Alaskan Assassin" thing wasn't just a nickname, because there's more money for him in the murder-for-hire business than in basketball right now.
Admittedly, some Duke players have found a bit of success in the NBA. In his career, Elton Brand has almost 10,000 points scored, 5,000 rebounds grabbed, and 4,000 cheeseburgers eaten. Shane Battier has made a career out of flopping to get charges called. Luol Deng could be even better when he realizes he can do toe-touches without bending over, saving valuable energy in pre-game stretching. Corey Maggette could win the coveted title of "The Cedric Ceballos of his Generation," which is kind of like being a CBA All-Star, but with less glory. Any time you make an alphabetical list of Egyptian-born NBA players, Alaa Abdelnaby still comes first, and that's got to count for something.