Gary Williams is on that water. He has to be. There’s no other explanation. In an argument that’s increasingly going from annoying to downright stupid, Williams actually agreed with a few talking heads that Kentucky could beat the Washington Wizards. A college team beating an NBA squad. ESPN 980’s Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro were going back and forth on the topic, and called in Williams to be the tiebreaker. Color me shocked.
Sheehan and Loverro set the stage: the Wizards are in Rupp Arena on their third game in three nights. Everyone’s healthy. Everyone’s hungry to not be embarrassed.
They called Williams in, and the Maryland legend said this according to The Washington Post:
“I’ll tell you, you walk into some gyms â€” and that would be one of them, Rupp Arena â€” and you better be tough,” Williams said. “Regardless of how good you are, you can get taken right out of the game with the crowd. You just don’t feel right, you can’t play your game.
“I think one game â€” Kentucky couldn’t play in the NBA or anything like that â€” but one game at Rupp Arena, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kentucky win one game. Because you’re gonna have five players off that team playing in the NBA, and probably playing significant roles in the NBA. And that’s why I say that, for one game.”
I don’t dislike Kentucky. In fact, I love watching them play because 1) they don’t make as many stupid mistakes as most college teams and 2) they have some really talented guys who play together and go hard. But it’s one thing to crush the spirit from Pierre Jackson and Quincy Miller. It’s quite another to beatdown John Wall and Nene.
Of course, people will say “Well, if this happened and this happened and this happened, then maybe, MAYBE, you never know… I think Kentucky could win one game.” But that doesn’t count. Okay so John Wall gets hurt and Nene gets into foul trouble or Jordan Crawford does his “Jordan” thing… that doesn’t really count. That’s like myself saying I could beat Kobe Bryant one-on-one if I forced him to only shoot half-court shots (Actually, he’d still find a way to win.).
There are so many fans out there who are delusional. And history revisionists. Remember John Wall at Kentucky? He was twice the player Marquis Teague is, and is twice as good now that he’s throwing up 20/10s in the NBA. Trevor Booker was a man at Clemson. Shelvin Mack helped lead Butler to back-to-back Final Fours, and he can barely get minutes off the bench; Last year at this time in college, he was dropping 16 a game. Anthony Davis is going to be really good, but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t believe Nene could get 20 and 10 on him. Nene gets 20 and 10 on NBA PLAYERS. Even Andray Blatche – who is (if you go just by his reputation) lazy, overweight and doesn’t care one bit about basketball – could destroy any big man in college basketball. But because he’s Andray Blatche, people can’t envision him destroying anyone.
The Bobcats are a far worse team than the Wizards, and yet they have Kemba Walker, who’s only a role player. Remember last year? Dude was possibly the best player in college basketball, and now he’s not even a full-time starter on the worst team in the NBA. Tyrus Thomas has a reputation for being a complete bust, but don’t even start me on what he did in college.
We’re all jumping ahead of ourselves. Is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist a future All-Star? Not definitively. Could he be? Possibly. The odds say probably not. But as of right now, he’s just as likely to be Jared Jeffries as Gerald Wallace (Of course, if he were to become a bust, six years from now, you won’t be able to find a single person who will recall calling him a future stud.).
These are the facts: for the most part, NBA players are already finished products. College players aren’t. Yes okay, maybe if you played 100 games, Kentucky might have a shot to win a few. Maybe. But you could say that about virtually anything. My sister could take me one-on-one once out of every 100 times we played if I didn’t try and got bored.
In a scenario like this, I’m betting on the Wizards 100 times out of 100.
Do you agree with Williams?
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