Rookies Make Impact While Vesely Sits

Written By Chris C-Ford ---- Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On June 23rd, 2011, the NBA draft was held in New York City.  Earlier that year the Wizards lost 2 slots in the Draft Lottery and were awarded the 6th pick in the draft.  The previous year the Wizards had the #1 pick and picked John Wall who was basically a consensus number one no-brainer pick.  This year however, the Wizards would have to do some thinking about their draft choice.

"With the first pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Kryie Irving from Duke University"

As time passed, David Stern announced name after name.  Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter, Tristan Thompson,Jonas Valančiūnas...Finally it was time for the Wizards to select.

At this point in the draft there were still some big name college players left on the draft board:

  • Brandon Knight:  The star player at Kentucky and helped lead the Wildcats to the Final Four.
  • Jimmer Fredette:  The best college scorer in the country, headlined SportsCenter nightly
  • Kemba Walker:  He single-handedly won the championship for UConn with one of the best tournament performances of all time.

"With the 6th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the Washington Wizards select..."

Brandon!!!! Jimmer!!!! Kemba!!!! 

"...Jan Vesely, from Ostraka Czech Republic

What?  Did I hear that correctly?  Jan Vesely?

Had Vesely not laid a big wet one on his girlfriends lips after he was selected, nobody would have heard any news about him later that night.  

While Inside the NBA and SportsCenter are tracking rookies like Ricky Rubio, and Jimmer, nobody outside of a few blocks of Verizon Center could care less about Jan Vesely, if they even know who he is.  Write that name down and ask a friend.  They will most likely respond with, "I dunno, who is SHE"

On Tuesday night the Celtics played a game in Miami against the defending Eastern Conference champion Heat.  It was a pretty exciting game but in the end the Heat were victorious.  So who was the star of the game?  Was it Lebron?  He scored the most, but not really.  Was it D-Wade.  Nope.  Was it Chris Bosh? Nope.  Well it must have been another veteran right?

None of the Above.  The answer was a ROOKIE that was taken with the 28th pick in the draft.  A kid named Norris Cole.  

So why is a late first round rookie making an impact for a championship caliber team while the 6th pick in the draft, an unknown foreign player, is not even stepping on the floor for one of the worst teams in the league.

If you watched Cole play that night, you saw he played with attitude.  He played with fire.  He played with desire.  Something that you won't see on a daily basis from most of the players on the Washington Wizards.  If Norris Cole had a hip injury like Vesely, you would not know about it.  He would have been on that court fighting to make an impact.  Stepping up and standing out surrounded by future NBA hall of famers.

Only 1 of these guys were picked ahead of Vesely, who is averaging 0 minutes per game.

It's the same old story for the Wizards.  Instead of bringing in Winners, they pick for potential.  What is Oleksiy Pecherov doing these days?  How about Vladimir Veremeenko?  Peter John Ramos?  Juan Carlos Navarro?  What did they ever do before they were picked?

Thankfully after the first pick they brought in two other guys that had some fire and attitude.  Great picks.  But until Jan Vesely steps on the court and starts playing hard, I'm not happy with the draft at all.  With guys like Blatche, McGee, & Young screwing around, we could have used a guy like Kemba Walker...a Winner...

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