Former Mississippi State problem Renardo Sidney wasn't selected in Thursday night's NBA Draft for a variety of reasons ranging from weight to discipline to his propensity for punching teammates on national television. But as the picks unfolded -- particularly at the top -- I couldn't help but think back to Sidney's postseason complaints about how former coach Rick Stansbury "never called any plays" for him.
"It was always Arnett, Arnett, Arnett," Sidney told the Clarion-Ledger's Brandon Marcello. "I felt like he turned his back on me, so I turned my back on him."
Let's not get into the fact that Stansbury's "Arnett, Arnett, Arnett" approach was correct given that Arnett Moultrie was a first-round talent who actually performed to his ability, because that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point I'm trying to make -- and this should be a lesson for all NBA hopefuls -- is that GMs don't really care about how many plays are run for a player (or about a prospect's stats in general), and the proof came at the top of the telecast.
The first pick was Anthony Davis.
The second pick was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
The third pick was Bradley Beal.
The fourth pick was Dion Waiters.
That means the top four picks of the 2012 NBA Draft featured a player who was fourth on his team in field goal attempts (Davis), a player who was fifth on his team in field goal attempts (MKG), a player who was second on his team in field goal attempts (Beal), and a sixth man from the Big East (Waiters). So it would be wise for prospects to remember this next season as they dream of hearing their names called. It hardly matters how many shots you take or points you score, and it doesn't even really matter whether you start or come off the bench. The most important thing is that you show you're a legitimate NBA player, and there are lots of ways to do that that don't involve what some folks value most.