Jeremy Tyler took the Brandon Jennings formula one step too far when he decided to leave high school after his junior season to play professionally in Israel. It would have taken a remarkably mature high school junior to succeed under the circumstances Tyler chose to embrace, but he apparently had enough faith in himself to take the plunge.
Probably not the best idea. Tyler’s stay with Maccabi Haifa was short-lived for rather predictable reasons, and while having a year in the states dunking on his high school competition wouldn’t likely have done wonders for his development, it would have been something to keep him on the NBA radar. Instead, these days Tyler is already treated as a cautionary tale, a year before he would even be eligible to play an NBA game.
Thanks to the NBA age limit, Tyler still has one more year to burn before declaring for the NBA draft, and according to the Associated Press, he’ll spend it with the confoundedly named Tokyo Apache of the Basketball Japan League.
And how about this for random trivia: the Apache’s (or is it Apaches’) coach is former Pacers, Spurs, and Sonics coach Bob Hill.
Tyler has another year to improve his draft stock, but he squandered an opportunity playing for a legitimate international club in Haifa and will likely fall a few spots because of it. If Tyler could have played well — or at least lasted a full season — in Israel, he could’ve seen his draft worth benefit from a post-Jennings bounce. Instead, he couldn’t make it through the trial he chose to undergo, and now will play in a far less impressive international league.
Someone is going to take a chance on Tyler due to his size and athleticism, but it seems his legitimate chance to be the No.1 overall pick in the 2011 has been destroyed by his own devices.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.