The Tournament: Team Hype

The Basketball Tournament

So assuming you pay attention to the world of sports and are a fan of reality TV, then chances are you that you are already a fan of The Basketball Tournament. It’s a winner-take-all bracket filled with teams that get voted in (by popular vote and a few write-ins by basketball minds in the know) who play for the right to win money on ESPN. This year the prize is 1 million for the team and 1 million for all of the “fans” that support that team. Crazy, right?

This year the prize is 1 million for the team and 1 million for all of the “fans” that support that team. Crazy, right? There have been tons of former NBA and recognizable college players in the event. But it would be interesting if a team of guys that never lived up to their considerable hype would band together.

Lenny Cooke. One considered on the same level as NBA superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the 6’6 swingman never even made it to college. Because of his inability to finish certain requirements for high school, getting into St. John’s was never realistic. So he declared for the NBA Draft. He didn’t get picked. Cooke played for an NBA Summer League team and some foreign leagues but never got going before blowing out his ACL and retiring in 2007.

Jonathan Hargett. Once a sure-fire pro, Hargett only lasted one season at West Virginia before being dismissed. Once home, Hargett fell into dealing drugs and eventually found himself with a prison sentence and an uncertain future. Could he be in shape enough to get it together in his early 30s?

Tamir Goodman. The Jewish Jordan from Baltimore went to Towson University over Maryland because games would coincide with religious responsibilities. Goodman was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at one point, but was a little built up by the media and his poor competition. After playing a few years professionally in Israel, the 34-year old is back in the States and totally could be play in for a ragtag bunch like this.

Jeremy Tyler. As soon as high school to the pros wasn’t a thing anymore, Tyler decided it was a good idea to go overseas to play for a year instead of doing his last year of high school. A handful of successful American players have made the jump, but Jeremy Tyler wasn’t one of them. He played a season or two in the NBA but never stuck. Still only 24, he could probably use the extra cash.

Sebastian Telfair. The cousin of Starbury, Telfair was a playground legend in NYC and destined for big things as the first guy under 6 feet to jump from high school to the pros. Selected 13th by Portland, Telfair lasted in the NBA till 2015 but never really made much of a splash. Only playing more than 50 games in 10 seasons, at only 30 years old he should have plenty of run left in his legs.

Greg Oden. The former #1 pick, who almost won an NCAA Championship with Ohio State, was the more highly regarded player on his high school. And yet Mike Conley is still in the league and thriving (though currently hurt). Oden has made comeback efforts to the NBA a few times and recently played in China.

Renardo Sidney. The former McDonald’s All-American more famous for his brawl in the stands with a teammate during a holiday tournament, Sidney is now missing in action. He lasted three years at Mississippi State and didn’t get drafted. Once regarded as a top talent in his class, the 26-year old will never meet his lofty expectations.

Kwame Brown. Not exactly a bust compared to your average NBA player, Brown happened to be draft #1 and never had a chance. It also hurt that Michael Jordan was responsible for his selection. Brown eventually became a good bit role guy able to rebound, provide solid defense, and the occasional dunk. At age 34, Brown hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013.

Derrick Character. Another one of those big-time NYC/NJ guys with a lot of hype, the big guy (6’9) with power forward size had the ability to play bigger. Louisville and UTEP apparently didn’t help this guy take the next step. After a poor rookie season with the Lakers, Character has been plying his craft in China, Brazil, Poland, Lithuania, and now Israel.

Dajuan Wagner. Most known for his 100-point game in high school, Wagner had a very successful stint at Memphis and then a decent first season or two in the NBA with Cleveland. Problem was the shooting guard was only 6’2 and also had a colon issue. Never able to get his career together the guy has been out of the league and kicking it in New Jersey.

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