Think back to 2011’s draft. You remember there being some good players, both domestic and international, but can you remember any of them? Most importantly, in the era of “what have you done for me lately”… what have they done?
Most of you will recall the oft-injured Kyrie Irving, who gets to be the heir apparent to the throne no one wants in Cleveland. You’ll also remember Brandon Knight, the solid 1-and-done PG out of Kentucky that went up to
Murder Motor City to play most of his games in The Palace (which will always be “of Auburn Hills” if you ask me). Bismack Biyombo has one of the finest names in sports history, and Jan Veselý likely got Lil Jan a bit of a workout after draft night.
But what about the buzz around some of the other best players of the previous college basketball season? Kawhi Leonard, the Morris brothers, Jimmer, Kemba, Nolan Smith… all great players, but none have really made an impact yet in the NBA. In fact, you have to go allllllllll the way down to the 28th overall pick, a rare 4-year graduate out of recent Cinderella story Cleveland State. Fitting that he would share his name with Chuck.
Sure, the season’s still very young – today marks the 4th day of play in a lockout-shortened season. And yes, technically Cole is currently behind Mario Chalmers on the depth chart. But the numbers are already telling. Cole is averaging 10 PPG MORE than Chalmers is, not to mention 1.5 more RPG. And he’s clutch too – in the 12/27 game against Boston, Cole knocked down 3 jumpers and a pair of FTs in the final 8 minutes. Chalmers had 0 points in the last 3 minutes. There’s a reason why Not-So-Super Almario didn’t get any looks.
The bottom line is this: when Norris Cole is starting and getting 35-37 minutes a game, outscoring D-Wade and LeBron, and dating Eva Kodouskova, I won’t say “I told you so”… oh wait, I totally will.