Sunday, August 21, 2005


Somehow he got a contract from Dallas for 3 years. As Pluto said,
I'm amazed that two months are guaranteed.
(There's a ton of other good stuff in the Pluto column, read and enjoy).

Diop hasn't done anything in the NBA. Anything. At. All. And from the sounds of Brian Windhorst's blog, he doesn't seem to care.

Last season I read a book about Sebastian Telfair called "The Jump." In there was a few pages on Diop. It was about how when he was a senior at Oak Hill Academy, then UNC coach Brian Doherty was begging for him to come play with him for a year and brought him a listing of the rookie salary scale. He was trying to show him that if he played one year in college, he could double his money. Boy, did that backfire, once Diop saw that he could make $3 million even if he was the last pick in the first round, he decided there was no way he was going to school. This even though he couldn't make a left-handed layup.

When Gana was at Oak Hill I went down there for a few days to do a story because LeBron James and St. Vincent-St. Mary were playing his team at that time. I interviewed him and watched them play two games and decided he was a circus act because all he'd do was stay at the defensive end and block shots and I was no scout. I saw Shargari Alleyne play in high school and thought he was more skilled and he's now a bench warmer at UK. Still, the Cavs fell all over themselves to take him at No. 8.

I brought all this up to Diop before a game in Philadelphia last season. He smiled and admitted it was all true, he knew he was really raw but didn't care. Actually, he said he thought he should've been drafted higher. He also told me he didn't really care about the Cavs and not playing because he knew he'd be in the league somewhere next year and getting paid. He was right, after all.

Wow. I figured that Diop didn't really care too much about the NBA, he just wanted to make some cash. He cashed his lottery ticket. But knowing he is raw, knowing he needs to improve, and not caring? He doesn't care about playing time. How can a player not care about playing time?! That's how coaches punish their millionaire players, they bench them. But not Diop, he doesn't care. Thanks Jim Paxson.

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