Article By Henry Abbot of ESPN
AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill
Jeremy Tyler made headlines ditching high school for Maccabi Haifa. Ten games in, he made headlines by quitting.
Brandon Jennings did it. He stared down the NCAA, went to Europe instead of playing college ball, endured 10,000 smears from the powers that be ... and as a guy who is well on his way to a rollicking NBA career, he very much got the last laugh.
Many more would follow in is footsteps, they said. And Jeremy Tyler did. Tyler, an athletic 6-11 big man from San Diego, went one step further. He didn't just abandon the American system for one year of college -- he skipped his senior year of high school too.
How did that work out?
Once considered to be on rails to become an NBA lottery pick in 2011, he's now off the radar. He played for Israel's Maccabi Haifa, which was never a good fit -- he played his music too loud, they said, and his basketball too softly. He didn't produce much. And, 10 games in, he bought his own ticket home, to jeers from just about everybody involved. Then last summer, still needing to do something for a year before becoming NBA eligible, and hard-pressed to find good work in Europe, he signed to play in Japan, for Bob Hill's Tokyo Apache team.
And at this moment, he's 90th on Chad Ford's list of that draft's top prospects.
Is Tyler a bust before he even turns 20?
You could make a documentary trying to dig into that.
Andrew Gallery is already several years into the effort, in fact, and the filmmaker says it's too soon to answer the big basketball questions about Tyler.
"He's smart and really learning a lot. He's also still really young. People need to cut him some slack," says Gallery, who started following Tyler with a camera when the player was just 16, and on his way to play at Louisville. Now Gallery is raising money to take his crew to Tokyo for the film's next chapter.
Some video from the as-yet uncompleted project is on Gallery's website.
"You never know what can happen in Tokyo. Japan can change a lot of opinions," says Gallery, whose past work has connected him to Hollywood types like Britney Spears.
He first met Tyler after a friend showed him a brief video clip of Tyler. "He made this sick move," Gallery remembers. "He was just in the ninth grade. I said let's meet him! I had no idea this would turn into this international odyssey."
Around that time, Tyler signed committed to play for the University of Louisville.
"I thought," says Gallery, "we'd be chilling in Louisville, not Haifa. ... But now , It's not just Jeremy's story anymore, though. Not the way things have turned out. There's this multibillion dollar industry, and all these players who struggle to find the best way through. It started out as a story about a player, but it has become a story about a very messed up process of how we handle top players."
Gallery says that a lot of the issues raised by George Dohrmann's recent book about troubled American hoops development resonated with his experience. Basketball figures like Sonny Vaccaro and agent Arn Tellem play roles in Tyler's story.
For instance, I ask Gallery whose idea it was for Tyler to play in Europe. The perception, in basketball circles, is that it was Vaccaro's call. Vaccaro has a lot of influence with a number of young players, who see him as someone who can open a lot of doors. At the same time, Vaccaro's brazen about being on a grand multi-faceted mission to shake up the NCAA, and guiding top talent away from the NCAA is a major front in the battle. Gallery, who was there throughout the process, replies "that's a really interesting question," before saying it was Tyler's call, first and foremost, but also Vaccaro's, Tyler's family's, and Tellem's.
Meanwhile, Gallery is adamant that there is no victory in vilifying Tyler, who Gallery says is unbelievably personable. "It wasn't long after we started following him around with cameras that he was carrying the tripod, or driving us places. As much as we've become part of his life, he has changed my life in some ways, too. He even introduced me to someone who became my girlfriend. When we broke up, he was upset! I am no judge of basketball talent, but I want him to do well and be happy. He has this very sweet side, but also a very ambitious and very ferocious athletic side. Those two things together make him fascinating."
Mr. 19134 Tyler Update: In ten games and only 15 minutes a night of action Jeremy Tyler is playing very well basketball. In 15 minutes he is averaging 10 points, over 5 rebounds, shooting over 50% from the field but also 3 turnovers...
My personal take is that Tyler was very immature and young who went into a bad situation in Israel. I don't knock him for trying to be a Pioneer and steering clear of the ruthless and selfish NCAA, the same NCAA that will knock somebody like Tyler but will turn around and rule Enes Kanter ineligible who is trying to reverse the trend for them...Shame the NCAA for the Kanter ruling...
But let's not forget Tyler was the number one ranked prospect of this class before he went overseas and left it too Harrison Barnes...What is Tyler would of went to Kentucky or Louisville like he was headed too? What would his numbers looks like as a freshman in college this year? I feel like Tylers talents would of made him an instant impact and in this weak draft we would be talking about the potential first overall pick...
10 points 5 rb overseas is not bad but he needs to cut those turnovers down. I think he could get drafted top 15 or higher depending on who does not enter the draft this coming year. Tyler can get drafted and still play overseas.
Yeah I think he is being really undervalued because of his mishap in Israel. You're talking about a 17 year old kid going to Israel skipping out on his senior year of high school going thru a complete culture shock and being used by the Israeli team for publicity. He got all the talent and size you look for in a big man. After workouts I wouldn't be surprised to see him move into the top 10 of the draft. And if he would of went to college I think you're talking about the number one pick this year.
Im gonna go the other way on this one.
If he lowers his turnovers and his rebound numbers go up...he'd be a 1st rounder. I'd see a team like San Antonio grabbing him and him reaching his potential.
Based off what? He chose to take the path he did. It isn't anyone's fault that he showed himself to not be mature enough to make it in Israel. He is now playing in a league where Byron Eaton is a star. Not only that, but he has had two games that have made his numbers look respectable - they came against the worst team in the BJ-League. To make this claim because he was a highly praised and acclaimed 16-year old that he is somehow undervalued in the NBA would be really short-sighted. The fringe minor leagues around the globe are littered with them. Heck, this site can't go a month without a Lenny Cooke thread. Maturity matters. Much like with Terrence Williams, he isn't good enough to be an idiot. The standard for what will make a player successful as a teenager is different from what will make him a successful draft prospect, and then the bar is even higher for what will make someone a star in the NBA.
Jennings was undervalued tremendously because of how different the overseas game is to the NBA. I think Tyler will be okay and most people between 16 and 27 show a lot of immaturity even the more mature people. I have dealt with older teahers and high rank official in the military that lack maturity yet they had enough maturity to get to where they were I suppose. It would have been a shock if the year before he showed more maturity considering most place overseas is an adjustment to majority of all Americans regardless of age.
Jennings was a different case because he went oversees and handled himself incredibly well. He couldn't hit a shot - and by the way is still struggling to be a 40 percent shooter- but that was the biggest problem for him. I'm not saying Tyler can't or won't mature, but how much money should a team want to invest in him to see if it happens? A second round pick and the Hassan Whiteside/DeAndre Jordan/Amir Johnson second round deal is okay. It isn't a lot of money, it locks them in if he is working out but is not guaranteed for all that long in case it doesn't. Would you want to see your team with a lottery pick use that resource and spend that kind of money on a guy who doesn't realize the NBA is a job?
early second round pick at best!
big body but just average athlete, slow to react on defense and foul prone, does not have much skills in the post, nice touch from 10 feet and the free throw line.
comparison: Tony Battie
Kobyz where did you pull that scouting report from? Tyler is a better then average athlete. Tyler is very explosive around the rim and extremely fluid in traffic. He got nice lateral movement and flashes signs of having a spectacular all around game one day. He can shoot from further out then 10 feet but not comfortably but has the potential to hit shots all the way out to the college 3 he just needs to get more consistency. He is only slow to react on defense because he is still learning how to play defense not because he lacks athleticism or the ability to become a good defender.
@BTPH....What did you expect from a 16 year old? Jennings atleast had a high school diploma when he went overseas and Jennings also went to Italy and played for a very good coach. Israel's team was a train wreck before Tyler got their and the only reason they signed Tyler was because the American owner wanted the publicity and was praying that he would start a trend so they basically used him.
And BothTeams did you even read the dang article that accompanied this post? It speaks of how Tyler was being used and told pretty much all the wrong stuff. He was told these things by very respected men in the world of basketball so it is not all his fault that he beleived them once again he just a junior and sophomore in high school making these decisions that his parents stuck by because they wanted the money. You can't not possibly hold a 16 year old kid responsible for decisions that even his parents stood by. That is ridiculous.
But if you would of read the article it outlines how Tyler is not at all a bad kid and has a nice personality who has come a long ways in the maturity department since his debacle in Israel.
And yeah I would invest a lotto pick in a kid that is already a professional!! Obviously Tyler will know the NBA is a job because he has already played professionally and will understand that it comes with more then just games and practice.
And not only that Tyler's international odyssey should make it a lot easier to come back home to the states and play in the NBA then it would of coming from college. Tyler got everything you look for in a power forward. He has a game similar to Jermaine O'Neal at the same age. Tyler is an explosively fluid athlete despite standing a legit 6'11. He is developing a post game and a face up game. He got the potential to become an eventual inside outside threat. Whether in a minor league or not he is still playing against grown men every night who are playing for a paycheck to feed their families so you know the effort level and competition level in these games are going to be high.
Not only that once the combine and workouts start Tyler is going to shoot up the draft boards because it will become obvious how talented he is. He is not as raw as somebody like Whiteside or Jordan who were basically shot blocking specialists. Tyler has waaaaay more upside then both of them bundled together and probably already has more post moves and face up moves then either Jordan or Whiteside.
Not only that this is a weak draft void of too many impact players or potential All Stars. Tyler is one of the few players in this whole draft who has that kind of upside.
he actually played in my city of Haifa so i saw him play a little and he seem to me just as average athlete, but maybe it was because he was a little overweight!
;Okay I am going to post this video because you said that he is only an average athlete and he is a little over weight. He is not the drop your jaw athlete of a Dwight Howard but for his size he is fast and fluid which is very rare and he is lean and muscular built just like Amare at the same age.
This video is for people who may not have saw him play before or just simply forgot how much talent this dude possess's. Remember this is from only his JR. year of High School and he has no doubt only gotten better and his body has matured more.
I found this video too it's fun to watch. I have never saw another team get technical foul shots over a fan but this is what happens and he shows his confidence by going up to the foul line and drilling 3 free throws after being taunted for like 2 minutes and notice how he brings his team together and even taps the PG on the shoulder telling him not to worry about the trash talkers. That was an instance where he actually showed a lot of maturity.
This video reminds me of why people were saying Tyler would be the first pick in the draft. The kind of skill and athleticism is very rare for a player his size. Tyler has no doubt gotten stronger as a lot of this footage is from his sophomore year of high school. So after getting stronger, improving a shot which he already has a nice release on, and gaining more post moves I think you got yourself a top 10 draft pick because we are still talking about an 18 year old. I don't really have too many doubts that Tyler will be a special player in the league.
Tyler is truly a special talent that is why I think he will be a lottery pick.
yeh in this video mix of him he looked differently somewhat, but you can't really tell much of this!
"What did you expect from a 16 year old? Jennings atleast had a high school diploma when he went overseas and Jennings also went to Italy and played for a very good coach. Israel's team was a train wreck before Tyler got their and the only reason they signed Tyler was because the American owner wanted the publicity and was praying that he would start a trend so they basically used him."
Tyler is going to be 20 years old on draft night. He was 18 years old when he went to Israel, not 16. He was actually born before Derrick Favors. He wasn't eligible for the 2010 draft because of the clause of the eligibility requirement referring to a player's high school class and he was a year behind Favors in school. Tyler made the decision to take the path that he did and expose his strengths, weakness, and level of maturity to the scrutiny of professional basketball. The fact that he has not played all that well or fell flat on his face in Israel does matter.
Also, the owner of that team did try to profit off Tyler - he lost. Tyler got paid, the owner didn't get the NBA buyout from Tyler's contract because the plan flopped. There are no winners in how that played out, and there is enough blame to go around on that one.
You are right he will be 20 by the time the draft rolls around. Makes me hate the whole age limit rule only because it's unfair for Americans had Tyler been from Israel he could of entered his name in the draft as soon as he was 18....Wow how bad would that of been...haha.
But moving on from Israel where yes Tyler didn't pan out but only because of maturity issues. He didn't see court time because of the way their basketball is structured in seniority it was never a lack of talent that was the issue. It was how he handled going from being THE GUY to being just ANOTHER GUY. He didn't handle it very well and thought he should of gotten more time which resulted in the ending that it did. That didn't surprise me at all. I thought Israel was a bad fit from the start the culture there is different and dangerous and the coach hated the move and really didn't want Tyler on the team.
But moving on from Israel Tyler has grown as both a player and a person. The reason he is not being talked about is because he has done nothing negative thus far. Finally like Jennings did in Italy, Tyler is doing in Japan. He is just doing what is told and trying to get better as a player over their. Sure the competition is nowhere near the level it is in Europe but for a big man all he has to really do is just work on them post moves he already got the body and athleticism.
Once the draft and workouts roll around do you really think somebody like Trey Thompkins is going to be able to outshine Tyler in workouts?
As an NBA executive I would no doubt invest money in this guy if the interviews go better then Demarcus Cousins did. He has learned from his mistakes and even better did not let them get the best of him. That whole situation was going to either make or break Tyler and he has proven he wouldn't let it break him. With all that Tyler has gone thru already being a rookie in the NBA shouldn't be as hard as a transition as most rookies. Instead of going from classes to games, Tylers goes from hell in Israel, to a sub pro league in Japan, to finally back home in the states where all he has to worry about is redeeming himself.
Tyler has already experienced the alternatives to NBA life as a basketball player. He knows dam well that he don't wanna go back to that. Therefore he shouldn't and won't take the NBA for granted. He will work hard to improve and has everything you could ever want in a big man. This is why he will be picked in the upper half of the first round come draft night bank on it.
He lost minutes on the Israeli team to a first year pro who had just graduated from a DIII school. It wasn't seniority that got him.
As far as your projections of him, they simply aren't grounded in any sort of reason or fact. Jeremy Tyler is in a lower tier professional league as you admitted, and they only way he is getting to their All-Star game is by entering in the dunk contest. Why would anyone be afraid to workout with him? The Americans in the BJ-League aren't afraid of him. You are placing onto him traits of personal development that aren't grounded in anything but you hoping them to be the case.
No I read everything that is written on Jeremy Tyler and by all accounts he has gotten more mature. Talent is not the question. And nobody has ever said he stopped working out, on the contrary he was supposedly working out like a warrior before he went to Japan and he don't have anything else to do over their but to stay in the gym and work on his game.
3 years ago he had nice moves and great touch on his shot, plus developing dribble moves....Do you not think he has worked on that at all in 3 years?
From a pure prospect standpoint his potential is extremely high. It's not about the competition level for him it's about him getting better. He is getting better.
Like I said taken into perspective with the other prospects Tyler will look like a stud again. He already has more offensive moves and weight then somebody like Jon Henson who will be drafted on potential. I got Tyler owning Jon Henson in a workout setting.
I am actually following every game that Tyler plays and anything else Tyler related on my blog www.asiabasketballupdate.com.
At this point his team has only played 12 games. Making a conclusion either way is impossible at this point as he has some games where he looks great, and others where he is a non (or negative) factor. I am actually crunching a bunch of stats right now and will post a stats-heavy update at the bj-league All-Star break.
Anyone who says this kid is not a great athlete has not done their homework. He measures out pretty close in all measurements with Derrick Favors. The question is not physical ability, it is his basketball skills and iq.
do you realize that DANIEL ORTON was drafted last year with the 29th pick.. he didnt play a senior season in hs(injury),and in college he played 13 min,averaged 3 and 3 and still drafted...so im truly shure that tyler will be in nba,he is 6.11 big body and he acutally plays somewhere... but i hate that these niqqas follows the money path and does crazy thingz like this,i mean b jennigs at least has a high school diploma,what will happen if tyler blows a knee tommorow ?
I'd love to see him fall to the Celtics, he could ride the bench behind HoFers for a season of two and benefit from their winning culture.Will be very interesting to see if he declares for the draft this year and where he goes.
Arman - you just stated one of my key points/examples for the future of Jeremy Tyler. If the Magic were willing to pay guaranteed money for Orton, than somone is going to draft Tyler and pay him to learn develop with the team, or play in the D-League.
One argument that also needs to be made is that he is getting a year's worth ocf NBA coaching. If he is focused he is developing a lot faster than he would in the States . . . the problem is we can't see it happening.
I don't quite get your logic. Orlando took a player that they can't currently use, and you want to extrapolate out that other teams going forward would want to use that as a blueprint for drafting? That is as flawed as the people last year who argued that Hassan Whiteside could go in the top five if Hasheem Thabeet did. It isn't as if teams want to throw money away and make bad decisions.
BTW, the Japan Times English edition had a nice little story the other day.
Tokyo Apache coach Bob Hill sees the big picture: Forward Jeremy Tyler is an integral part of the team's championship aspirations.
You could argue that the 19-year-old Tyler, projected as a future NBA player, is the team's X-factor.
Yet due to the team's awkward schedule — the Apache's first 12 games have been played away from the capital city — Hill has worked diligently to try and put the 210-cm big man in the right spots to be successful.
Inactivity hasn't helped Tyler.
After scoring 15, 27, 18 and 11 points in Tokyo's November games (three Apache wins), Tyler had 20 points in four December games — zero, three, six and 11.
On Sunday, Hill opted to leave former NBA center Robert Swift, who had two fouls in the opening quarter, on the bench for the entire second period in order to give Tyler a clear-cut chance to be the go-to guy for his club. Hill admitted it was a chance for the San Diego native to be the focal point of the team's inside play at both ends of the court, but the Apache lost momentum in the second stanza and never recovered.
"Jeremy Tyler has been up and down," Hill said in a post-game interview in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, adding the team is trying to "build up his confidence."
Earlier this season, Hill noted, the 116-kg Tyler's play was at a higher level. The challenge is for Tyler to regain that rhythm, the coach said.
Tyler is averaging 12 points and 5.3 rebounds in 12 games (16.25 minutes per game), all coming off the bench.
^ you just proved that im right...
I am a little confused why you disagree with my "logic" in comparing Tyler to Orton. Sure Orton is injured and struggled in the summer league, but the comparison is still valid. Big, young, athletic, potenital-filled players are not common. Teams are willing to gamble on bigs because the reward can be so high. Jeremy Tyler's draft position will be higher than his current ability level because of his tremendous "upside."
Ed Odeven does great work for the Japan Times and I also thought it was a great piece. Tyler and his people made a great choice in having him play for an ex-NBA coach.
The problem I have is that the Magic did not improve themselves by taking Orton, and are going to be in a very difficult spot next summer when deciding whether to pick up his third year option. If a team is going to look back upon a previous draft to see what can be learned, they aren't going to view the Orton selection as a blueprint for how to best utilize their pick.
As for the "upside" of Tyler, things cannot be unlearned. I don't quite understand why anyone would think that the success a player at a youth level would somehow be more indicative of his potential at the premier league in the world than how he has performed against other professionals. Everything that happened in Israel and the struggles in a lower tier pro league in Japan is known as is the immaturity he has displayed. What is the value in a player who is not NBA ready and does not have the maturity and professionalism at this point to want to get there?
With your discussion of Orton to a point. His injury has made him even more of a wild card than he was before. But what about JaVale McGee, DeAndre Jordan, Amir Johnson, Andre Blatche or Jermaine O'Neal for that matter. Young guys either straight out of high scool, or underclassmen in college can be worth the gamble. Now there are more examples of people who were not worth it, I agree with that. But after the twentieth pick or so, there is no such thing as a sure bet. Why not swing for the fences with someone who could develop?
First round is extreme, as it was for Orton, but a 2nd round pick, why not? It's not like he is Renardo Sidney or anything . . . :)
The use of a second round would be different. The team would have no obligation to sign him or to give him a draft slotted salary. The contract can be structured so that the team isn't saddled with someone if the guy doesn't work to improve, and does not have to declare after a redshirt rookie season whether to pick up a $1 million plus option.
Actually it is his fault and Others fault as far as his maturity. If you have grown-ups letting you get away with stuff all the time and catering to you're needs all the time because you're a good basketball player then they need to get alot of the blame. You can't just expect a teennage to be responsible. Some are more mature than there age but most aren't