As a matter of principle, I try to always avoid chiming in on Item Of The Day sports topics that seem to be conjured up out of thin air by one op-ed journalist (or ESPN commentator) with a degree of acclaim that everyone immediately hops onto the coattails of. This isn’t exclusive to sports, I don’t participate in most cultural trends either, which is why I’m not buying a Mega Millions ticket(s). For a sports example, there are only so many different perspectives on Tim Tebow, for example. Yet everyone whose ever watched an NFL game has managed to make their’s public, and all discourse regarding the man seems to takes this form:
Talking Head 1: Tebow is a great leader and a great football player, but not a great quarterback.
Talking Head 2: He’s shown he knows how to win, but he lacks the passing game to win a Superbowl.
Talking Head 1: Well, I think they could win a Superbowl with him. He did win a playoff game this year.
Talking Head 2: …You’re an a$$hole.
Anyhow, we’re making an exception to this rule today. Because the notion that the Kentucky Wildcats could beat any team in the NBA is so preposterous that I feel compelled to go on record, because there is just so much wrong with this concept that it cannot possibly be refuted strongly or emphatically enough.
For starters, why are the Washington Wizards the first team everyone suggests could lose to the most talented college team? I’m guessing the writer who originally suggested the theory is based out of DC. For the purposes of this argument, we’re going to substitute the Washington Wizards for the Charlotte Bobcats, who yesterday were the first team officially eliminated from the playoffs and are currently sporting one of the worst rosters in league history. I know the Wizards are the NBA’s requisite group of clowns, but they’re hardly the league’s least talented roster. If they convinced Larry Brown to coach that team (something he would never do), they’d probably notch 30-35 wins and be just another piddling NBA team stuck in between the top of the lottery and the post-season.
The Bobcats (the spry looking group pictured above), however, are a bouillabaisse of players who are either well past their prime, in their prime, or Kemba Walker. But this is a rather pointless summary, because the Kentucky Wildcats couldn’t beat the Bobcats either. In the Bobcats start Kemba Walker, who torched everyone he played in college basketball last season en route to a national title; Gerald Henderson, who led Duke also to a national title; DJ Augustin,who made a Final Four with Texas, Tyrus Thomas, who was the best player on LSU’s Final Four team; and Corey Maggette, who left Duke after one season, but not before making a national title game.
Point being, just because you’re part of a title team in college doesn’t mean you’re going to flourish professionally (can’t believe I even have to say this). You have to be REALLY good to make a name for yourself in the NBA, basically better than most of us will ever be at anything, which is why all the aforementioned guys on one of the worst NBA rosters in history has at least made a Final Four. Anthony Davis is the best NBA prospect since Kevin Durant, we’ve even said as much before. The keyword here, though, is “prospect”. There’s such a thing as being too young, which is a pretty apt description for this Kentucky team, despite being one of the more talented rosters in twenty years.
But you know what else they are? They’re a team that hasn’t won a title, they are all either one or two years out of high school (mostly one) and still very much in a developmental stage of their careers. I know it’s fun to think about because NBA circles enjoy sh!tting on anyone who isn’t a top ten player (and Charlotte might not have one in the top fifty), but the Kentucky Wildcats have about the same chance of beating the Bobcats as I do of winning the Mega Millions jackpot tomorrow.