This week's SBN Theme Day is all about "hyped players." Here were our instructions.
The topic is Most Hyped. This is a chance to write about the player that came into your franchise with the most hype, either as a rookie or a free agent signing or however -- and whether or not he lived up to that hype.
You can see Kevin took a different approach in his post coming soon, but I thought I'd go with some OVER-hyped guys that came into the league with some high expectations but just didn't live up.
Kedrick Brown was my favorite binky for a few years there. The hype wasn't his fault, he was a JUCO player that wasn't really even expected to get picked until later in the first round. But the Celtics had 3 first rounders and had nabbed a quality player in Joe Johnson with the 10th pick and decided to roll the dice on Brown with the 11th.
The scouting report we got from the team at the time was that he was a otherworldly jumper that could also hit three pointers and defend his position. Well, he lived up to the jumping part at least. His garbage time dunks were events of the week for me and many fans. Two handed rim-rattlers that featured the top of his head brushing past the net.
Sadly that's about all he could do on an NBA court. His shooting never really showed itself to be consistent and he wasn't that great a defender. In fact, most times he looked lost on the court and forget about putting the ball on the floor to drive.
Brown was eventually moved to Cleveland in the Ricky Davis for Eric Williams deal but that's not the deal that everyone talks about with Kedrick. In his rookie year there was a trade being discussed with the Suns involving the Celtics getting some veteran help in the form of Rodney Rogers and Tony Delk. The Suns wanted one of our young players and the Celtics were the ones that picked Joe Johnson to send away.
“It’s easy to see now that we made a mistake putting Joe Johnson into that trade,” said then-Celtics general manager Chris Wallace, now the Memphis GM. “But at the time it wasn’t such a simple call. Joe wasn’t playing and his confidence was shot. Kedrick was playing, and Obie (then-coach Jim O’Brien) liked him. It looked like Kedrick’s role was going to expand. But with the trade he went from starting to not playing. “The next year he was looking really good in camp, but he came down in the bench area in a game at Mohegan Sun and really hurt his ankle badly. When he came back, his 3-ball wasn’t falling (3-for-39), and Obie went away from him.
Yeah. That goes down in the books as one of the worst trades (long term) for the Celtics and it could have been one of the best if only the Celtics had stuck with Johnson over Brown.
Gerald Green on the other hand was perhaps more hyped coming into the league than Brown was. By the time Green was a Celtic, I was a little jaded from the Kedrick Brown situation so while I was interested, I was a little wary.
At the time, high school prep-to-pros players were all the rage and he was drawing favorable comparisons to Tracy McGrady. I had seen him projected by some mock drafts as going as high as number 2 overall. He fell to us on draft night to pick 18. I believe the Celtics also had their eyes on Danny Granger but he was picked just before them at 17.
Green actually got a lot more hype after he entered the league because of his dunking prowess. After shuttling between the D-League and the NBA in his rookie year, he earned a limited role on the team in his 2nd year. That led to an appearance in the Dunk Contest and his legend was cemented when he won it.
He did have a few more highlights as a player for the Celtics.
However, the consistent production never really came about and he was ultimately packaged in the mega-trade that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston (one of the best trades in Celtics history - quite a contrast with Brown). He was later traded again and eventually fell out of the league completely for a couple of years. He recently made a bit of a comeback with the Nets that got him another contract with the Pacers and has since been traded to the Suns. Maybe he'll be able to get some better traction out in Phoenix but I think he's reached his level as an NBA player at this point, and it isn't anywhere near the hype that surrounded him coming into the league.
So who do you think was the bigger over-hyped player for the Celtics? (If I've forgotten someone important, please point him out in the comments or write a FanPost of your own!)