You knew this was coming. O'Bryant's reputation precedes him. He was drafted higher than he should have gone because of his size and a few good games in the NCAA Tourney. He then proceeded to do nothing but get into Don Nelson's doghouse for two years in Golden State.
Then the Warriors failed to pick up the option on his rookie contract. That still staggers my mind. That almost never happens. They had few good options at center beyond Biedrins. For under two million dollars they could have kept him around to see if he would pan out but they didn't.
He didn't get into trouble with the law, wasn't a malcontent, there wasn't physically anything wrong with him. He was just too lazy.
Over the summer, Ainge decided to take a shot on him. Maybe this was the wakeup call that the guy needed. Maybe playing in the right environment with KG screaming in his face daily would be the kind of motivation he needed to get him in gear. And maybe that still could happen. However...
Headed into the 4th game of the season, Doc decided to deactivate O'Bryant to make room for Bill Walker. Walker getting a shot makes sense. What is puzzling is why the coach would chose our only backup seven footer to demote instead of someone like Scalabrine. It only makes sense if the coach is sending the kid a message. And that's just what it was.
The other side of the equation was the first deactivation of the season for Patrick O’Bryant, who still is attempting to get up to speed.
"He just has to keep working," Rivers said. "Sure there’s a message in this, but it’s not being sent by me. He’ll have to play at our intensity and speed if he wants to play. It’s a process for him to get there. He’s a talented, skilled kid who can get more out of himself."
Is it too early to write O'Bryant off? Maybe. Could he turn it all around and become a productive member of the team? Sure. But why hasn't he yet?
He had all of training camp to "get up to speed." He's been given every opportunity to fit in and excel. And he's taken that opportunity and done exactly nothing with it so far. Sorry to say, but he's starting to remind me of a certain gum chewing Center from a couple years ago. Thankfully he doesn't have as big of a contract as that one did.
I'm not going to close the book on him yet, but I'm really not impressed thus far.