NEW YORK--During a post draft interview on ESPN, Terrence Bradley, junior point guard from NC State and the 19th pick in this year’s draft, vowed revenge against the teams that didn’t draft him. It will be Bradley’s last interview on national television as you will never hear from him again.
“All those teams that passed me up will be sorry,” Bradley told ESPN's Michelle Tafoya, who will not remember the interview six months from now. “I’m the best player in this draft hands down, and the fact that I fell to number 19 is ridiculous! I'll make em pay, though. Mark my words: this is the last time someone drafts me with the 19th pick.”
Bradley, who will be playing in the Turkish basketball league five years from now, was projected to go 23rd in the draft. Like many other players, he believes he is the sleeper of the draft.
“Every year there is one guy that everybody overlooks who goes on to be a star,” said Bradley. “There are also dozens of guys that get overlooked and flame out of the league in two years. But I’m not going to be one of those. I’m going to be the sleeper of the draft. Did y'all hear me? Sleeper, baby! Look, I even have it written on the side of my sneakers! Well now it's all smudged, but you can still kinda see it.”
Over 60 players are selected each year in the NBA draft and the vast majority of them are completely forgotten about within a couple years. Yet roughly 100 percent of them believe they will be All Stars, regardless of where they are selected. Celtics GM Danny Ainge called the phenomenon “cute.”
“It’s really cute that these kids are all puffed out and think they can take on the world,” Ainge said. “I mean, why wouldn’t they feel that way? They’re young, cocky, and just got on national TV shaking hands with the commissioner. It’s true that four or five of them will go on to be All Stars and a few more will be productive role players, but most of them will be taking online courses at the University of Phoenix five years from now.”
Indeed, there were four other draftees last night that publicly declared themselves “sleepers”, three that guaranteed they'd win rookie of the year, and several more who promised to “work harder than anyone else in the league.”
None of this is going to happen, said deputy NBA commissioner Mark Tatum.
“Every time I see one of these little twerps come up to the podium and shake my hand, I kind of roll my eyes,” Tatum said. “No offense to them, but if you’re not in the top 10 the odds are stacked against you becoming an All Star. Remember, the NBA draft is only two rounds, so by the late first round you're dealing with some real flotsam. That's why I say to all these guys: take the money from your first contract and invest it wisely. With your education and job skills, it'll probably have to last the rest of your life.”
Bradley, however, harbors no illusion that the NBA is going to be easy.
“Hey I know I have a lot to work on,” he said. “I know I gotta hit the weight room, watch film, work on my footwork, all that stuff. But I'll do whatever it takes. I'm just gonna stay humble and work harder than everyone else. I know, I know, every player in the draft says that, right? But I'm different. How? Well...I don't know, Let's see....how about my sneakers? I wrote shit on them! How many other guys can say that?”
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