Anthony Bennett had one of the worst rookie seasons of any No. 1 overall pick in NBA history. Offseason shoulder surgery meant he came into camp out of shape. He vacillated between both forward spots during a chaotic year in Cleveland, and shot more three-pointers than necessary, while only connecting on 24.5 percent of them because it’s likely he couldn’t even see the rim from 24 feet out.
By way of Deadspin comes this snippet during Bennett’s chat with Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix about last season’s struggles and the things he did over the summer to help him better prepare for the travails of the NBA grind he floundered within last season:
He had laser eye surgery. Bennett has never worn contacts. Can’t put them in his eyes. How bad was his vision before?
“You see that white board?” Bennett said recently, pointing to a board no more than 10 feet away. “Last year, I couldn’t read the writing on it.”
“Anything far, I couldn’t really see,” Bennett said. “I couldn’t see the people in the stands. Now I can see the scoreboard. I can see what plays coach wants to run.”
So Bennett was overweight AND he refused to wear contacts because he “can’t put them in his eyes.” Huh? Not only that, but his inability to see the coach’s whiteboard is freakin’ disastrous. We’re surprised he was ever able to drop a bucket since the rim was probably a blur.
So far this season, with corrected vision, a more nutritious diet, and sleep, he’s connected on 13-of-23 field goal attempts during 60 minutes of action spread out over five games, and his player efficiency rating has nearly tripled. He’s no longer shouldering the responsibility of a stunted franchise, and he’s getting support from Flip Saunders and the T-Wolves staff.
We still can’t believe he didn’t take more elaborate measures to correct his vision last season.
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.