Stop it! Just stop it! Stop what you ask? Stop talking about Chet Holmgren or any other performance in the NBA Summer leagues as some type of precursor of future success.
Holmgren played well, really well, in a glorified scrimmage against a thrown-together team of undrafted young guys that in no way, shape or form resembles an NBA team.
If you want to say the kid played well, go right ahead but don’t expose yourself as a fool by going any further than that.
“A Unicorn Has Arrived!”
“Holmgren exceeds all expectations!”
That was par for the course after a 23-point performance in a freaking Summer League game in Utah. It reminded me of the 2012 Indiana Pacers NBA Draft when I screamed, yelled, pleaded, and begged on my radio show in Indy for the Pacers to draft Draymond Green with the 26th pick of the 1st round.
They chose MILES PLUMLEE. Not “the good Plumlee” – Mason – but his older brother Miles. This head-scratching move had the entire state of Indiana googling Miles, not Mason. But alas, Larry Bird had made his typical big white dude pick of Miles freaking Plumlee. Green went 35th to Golden State.
I screamed, yelled, and ripped Bird and the Pacers a new one on my local show.
Then came the summer league. The bad Plumlee – Miles – ripped down 16 rebounds against a band of no-names and here it came. And boy did I hear it: “Dakich you’re a know-nothing. No wonder you’re out of coaching.“ And of course “you’re fat, bald, and stupid.” (I don’t deny the last insult but I regret it.)
Then a bunch of similar games followed along with a bunch more insults directed at me. Still, it was clear to me Plumlee could never be an NBA factor.
The New York Knicks had the same experience in the 2018 Summer League with Kevin Knox. I worked for ESPN at the time and Knox lit it up. He shot well, moved well, and had Knicks fans buzzing. How’s that worked out? Not great as Knox has been exiled to Atlanta.
There are many more stories like Miles Plumlee and Kevin Knox. It’s true that Holmgren is expected to be better than anyone out in the Utah Summer League. But whether he continues to dominate against non-NBA players has no bearing on what’s to come in the regular season.
Now while I have you, a couple of thoughts on the NBA:
- Great for Darius Garland signing his rookie extension of $231 million. His dad Winston was a terrific player at my rival high school, Gary Roosevelt. Darius attended my basketball camp years ago in our hometown!! Nice to see good things happen for great people.
- Zach LaVine has a fantastic agent. Not only did he sign a monster 5-year, $215 million extension with the Chicago Bulls, but when you drive around the Chicago area he’s on damn near every billboard selling the Midwest Express Clinic. He’s even doing Mountain Dew commercials. That’s pretty good for a guy the average fan can’t I.D.
- Outside of Arizona fans, are there six people in this country that knew the name Benedict Mathurin prior to the draft? The Pacers took him and Mathurin exclaimed “LeBron is going to have to show me he is better than me.” Kids these days …
- If I’m the Brooklyn Nets there is no chance that I’m trading Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant. They need to start acting like men and figure it out. Both have contracts and Nets fans were sold that these two were the future. If I’m the GM or owner they stay and play.
- LeBron will own a team in Las Vegas within 10 years. Book it.