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Skip Bayless REALLY liked DeSagana Diop

mikeyvthedon
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Skip Bayless REALLY liked DeSagana Diop

I know hindsight is 20/20, but this is just incredible. Blast from the past, credit to Mark Deeks of ShamSports for this incredible find. Not saying that people do not make mistakes, know I have had my fair share of misfires, this is just, wow:

`Jop' would be a 4-ever pick for the Bulls

May 21, 2001|By Skip Bayless

Cries of conspiracy echoed around the NBA Sunday night. Calling Oliver Stone. From "JFK" to "MJJ"?

Michael Jeffrey Jordan vaulted over the man who plagued his Bulls life, Jerry Krause, to win the draft lottery. Hmmm. Jordan wants to make a comeback, but only if he can improve his supporting cast in Washington with at least one premier free agent (Chris Webber? Dikembe Mutombo?) and a draftee who can contribute immediately (Shane Battier?). Aha. After losing millions worth of credibility with its XFL fumble, NBC desperately needs a ratings blockbuster (MJ Returns?).

Two plus two equals four for the Bulls? Krause looked as if he had gotten hold of some bad burritos when it was announced the Bulls, with the worst record, had fallen as far as lottery rules allow, to No. 4.

But I say 4 could turn into a sweet spot for the one Jordan called "Crumbs." I say Krause could have the last laugh. I say Bulls fans should learn to pronounce Diop.

It's not Dye-op or Dee-ope. It's "Jop," as in Janis Joplin, as in, "Freedom's just another name for nothin' left to lose."

What do the Bulls have to lose picking DeSagana Diop at No. 4? Yes, fans will pay now for having to live with an 18-year-old from Senegal who played only two years of American high school basketball. But Jordan will pay later for taking the 6-foot-8-inch Battier, who like fellow Duke product Elton Brand has an NBA ceiling. Battier isn't much of a leaper. Right now Battier is about as good as he'll get, which is merely very good.

Two or three years from now you'll look back and think: How could Jordan have not taken Diop No. 1? Diop is the one athletic freak in this draft. Diop is the only man alive age 18 or above with the potential to be better than Shaquille O'Neal. Diop will soon make Thornwood's Eddy Curry look like just another overhyped Chicago-area high school phenom.

Krause could even buy some time for himself by buying into Diop. I know Krause has seen him because I was there the night he did, at the KMOX Shootout in St. Louis. Playing for basketball factory Oak Hill Academy, the 7-foot, 310-pound Diop stole the show with his shot-swatting, jump-hooking, rebounding, free-throw shooting and court-running. Here was a physically mature man-child with the feet, touch and timing of a young Hakeem Olajuwon. All Diop needs is time.

Obviously he needed a year or two of ACC competition--he had narrowed his choices to Virginia and North Carolina. But an uncle who has done some NBA scouting advised him he'd go top 10 in the draft, maybe top five, and as the well-spoken Diop told me, "If I'm lottery, I'm going [pro]."

Oak Hill's Steve Smith, who has coached several players who made the NBA, including the Bulls' Ron Mercer, said: "Down low Sagana reminds you of Shaquille the way he moves. He's a big-time shot-blocker and rebounder who's only scratched the surface offensively. He runs the court like he's 6-7 and 240. He'll wind up being the best player we've had here."

But midway through last season Diop developed a stress fracture in his foot. A small pin was inserted to keep the injury from plaguing him the rest of his career. Obviously Diop will have to prove during NBA auditions that the foot has healed. But the good news for the Bulls is that in Diop's absence Curry's stock rose.

Picking second, the intriguing Clippers face an intriguing choice between Curry and 7-1 L.A. prep star Tyson Chandler. The Clippers' Chicago-area connection of Corey Maggette and Quentin Richardson and their buddy Darius Miles will lobby for Curry, whom DePaul coach Pat Kennedy once compared to "a young Shawn Kemp." But I saw Kemp when he was in junior college and Kemp was a much more explosive athlete than Curry, who's a shade under 6-10.

Curry will wind up being your basic weight-fighting NBA journeyman. The slender Chandler is a much more skilled offensive player whose natural position is small forward--the last thing the Clippers need. Curry goes to the Clippers. Atlanta will choose between Chandler and Eddie Griffin, who has the second-best upside to Diop but battles a quick-fisted temper.

This should leave Diop for Krause. Diop will contribute immediately as a defensive presence. He'll eventually put Chicago back on the NBA map.

I've called for Krause's job. Now I'm calling for "Jop," who could remedy Krause's heartburn and ours.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2001-05-21/sports/0105210221_1_michael-jeffrey-jordan-bulls-ron-mercer-dikembe-mutombo

Just to be clear, I am pretty sure Skip was talking about the same DeSagana Diop who never averaged more than 3 ppg in a single NBA season. Yes, that one.


Lebron's Hairline
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I LMAOed after reading curry

I LMAOed after reading curry being compared to Shawn kemp; I also chuckled when they said chandler had the skillset of a small forward. Funny how a lot of the skills they had in high school didn't translate at all. I cant believe Diop was this hyped

BigChamp12
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HAHA

Haha he said Tyson Chandler's natural position was small forward!

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Skip liked him because no one

Skip liked him because no one else did.

McDunkin
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Hitster
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Tyson Chandler has a nice

Tyson Chandler has a nice skillset for his size but I would never see him as an SF.

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"Curry will wind up being

"Curry will wind up being your basic weight-fighting NBA journeyman. The slender Chandler is a much more skilled offensive player whose natural position is small forward-"

Did he just say that Tyson Chandler is a much more offensively skilled player than Eddy Curry? No disrespect to the regaining DPOY, but Eddy Curry once apron a time was a menace in the post. Tyson Chandler is an amazing defender, but his offensive skills have never really stood out.

And it's also freaky how on the dot he was about Curry being a weight-fighting NBA journeyman.

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Diop has been one of the

Diop has been one of the worst players in the NBA for like 10 straight seasons

Jr. ROXAS
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Seriously, Diop has good

Seriously, Diop has good free-throw shooting?? That airball free-throw he shot last year will always be remembered as one of the worst free-throw attempts in NBA history

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Skip is kind of pointless. He

Skip is kind of pointless. He says half of what he says just to get a rise out of folks so there can be an entertaining argument on air. The Curry thing is pretty funny. Also, I remember Chandler as a recruit and he did move the floor so well people thought he could defend on the perimeter. Also Chandler has a lot of skills that he no longer uses because he and his coaches do not believe they help his team win games. They want him to focus on the stuff that he is amazing at. But he can pull up and shoot a 20 foot jumper. He can do a post move and set up a 10 foot hook shot. As you might expect, those shots aren't very effective. But there are NBA players who use similar skills to similar poor effect every game. Beasley's mid-range game probably isn't that much better than Chandlers. Beasley is shooting 39% as basically an undersized PF who has decided to play like a SG who can't get to the rim. If Chandler were told to play like that, he could do a better approximation of it than you might guess. And he could certainly do it even better back in high school when he was skinnier, and a little faster and more athletic. Would it help his team win? No. Would it be kind of ugly? Yes. Are there lots of NBA players playing bad ugly basketball? Yes. Blatche tried to play like a SF in Washington as well. Jeff Green plays a largely perimeter game up in Boston. It doesn't work, but these guys get paid anyway.
Chandler has just developed an incredibly efficient way of playing basketball where he does simple stuff on offense really really effectively. And since his TS% is the highest in the league now for three seasons in a row, we have to recognize that while this is "simple stuff" it is really kind of amazing what he is doing.

For_Never_Ever
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Jeff Green has been playing

Jeff Green has been playing really well, usually is only getting 20 minutes being Paul Pierce back up. He is a good perimeter defender, very good spot up shooter, plays within the system and has gotten a nasty dunk in 3 or 4 games straight now.

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Ironic how Curry's career

Ironic how Curry's career went downward as Chandler's hit an upward curve which culminated in him winning a title, getting a huge contract with the Knicks and being voted DPOY last season.

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When meat buffing goes

When meat buffing goes terribly, terribly wrong

mess.eee
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Check out Diop's scouting

Check out Diop's scouting report. The man was unreal (as a prospect).

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/sagana-diop

Jr. ROXAS
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A rating of 103?? Wow

A rating of 103?? Wow

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