The cult of personality surrounding Rod Benson is rather incredible, but one unfortunate side effect appears to be the complete overshadowing of his game. Benson is in no way bound for NBA stardom, but as a 6-foot-10 rebounding machine, you’d think he would have received a legitimate NBA opportunity, but since going undrafted in 2006, Benson has yet to play a single NBA game.
He’ll likely keep that streak alive in the coming season, as according to Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside, Benson has been drafted into the Korean Basketball League. What’s that? You’d like to know more about the KBL? Schroeder would love to oblige:
The KBL has a few peculiar rules (players have to be three years
removed from any NBA experience and at least two years removed from
European experience unless that experience came in Spain, Turkey,
Italy, Israel, Russia, Greece or China) and, beginning this year, teams
are only allowed one import for the entire game – a change from last
season when teams could play both of their imports during the first and
fourth quarter of each game.
All that aside, they make up for it by signing imports to $400,000
contracts – $73,604 less than the NBA minimum contract that the
majority of these players would have to fight through an NBA training
camp to earn.
Frankly, though Benson has played well in the D-League, it’s not all that surprising he’ll be playing overseas next season. That amount of guaranteed money is a pretty decent allure for a player in Benson’s position, and it likely makes more financial sense than holding out hope for a training camp miracle.
Benson, despite his combined Summer League stat line (from two games in Vegas and four games in Orlando) of 5.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, actually played pretty well. Out of the three games in which he played more than 10 minutes, he had two notable showings: a 13-point, seven-rebound, three-block, two-steal, stat-stuffing performance against the D-League Select Team (natch), and a 12-point, six-rebound game against the Nets’ Summer League squad in which Benson shot 62.5% from the field.
It wasn’t good enough. Again. Maybe next year, Rod.