There was a time when Renardo Sidney was ranked by recruiting services ahead of guys like DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Derrick Favors, Lance Stephenson, Eric Bledsoe, Kawhi Leonard and the rest of a class that has turned out to have a big impact on the NBA.
Now Sidney is the poster child for the can’t miss prospect that missed. He is the poster child for everything wrong with the AAU/American youth basketball system — he got too much, too early and never developed the work ethic needed to succeed in college, let alone in the NBA. He literally got fat and comfortable thinking he could coast into NBA stardom.
Sidney is honest now about his mistakes and opens up about that path in a fantastic interview and feature about him by Rob Dauster over at our sister blog CollegeBasketballTalk.
Sidney is also trying one more comeback, one more run at the NBA.
He’s still living on Prince Edward Island in Canada, training with a former teammate as he prepares for workouts that he hopes will lead to a spot in an NBA Summer League which, in turn, will land him a contract with a team in the NBA D-League.
At least that’s the plan.
Sidney says he is down to 290 pounds. His goal, according to his agent, Zachary Charles of 3pt Sports Management, is to get down to 275 pounds. Charles, who is at least the fourth agent that Sidney has had since leaving school, believes that this time it will be different. He believes that this is a new Renardo Sidney, that all he needs is an opportunity to prove it.
For the first time in his life, Charles says, there’s a plan of action, there’s a structure that Sidney is buying into.
“When it comes to work and dedication,” Charles said, “sometimes it takes a kick in the pants to understand what you had and what you lost.”
We’ve all heard that before. Everyone is understandably skeptical. This fall Sidney tried to play in the Canadian league and the story was familiar — the talent wasn’t the question but his conditioning was so poor he couldn’t stay on the court. The coaches tried almost hockey shifts with him — three minutes on, three minutes off — but it didn’t work and he was off the team after five games.
But talent gets you more chances than you may deserve, and if Sidney can get in shape you can be sure some D-League and maybe NBA teams would watch him work out.
For now, Sidney remains the ultimate cautionary tale.