The more time you spend preparing for war the more that is expected of you. You have more time to train, more time to learn and more time to expand upon what you already know of your enemy. With all of the permissions given with time, the pressure mounts and those who have yet to be seen are tossed into a burning spotlight.
That will be what the rookies most recently drafted on Thursday will experience.
Although they are still categorized as rookies, the more time that the lockout gives them to workout with their teammates and become acclimated to the NBA lifestyle on and off the court, the more the public will expect them to excel from the moment they step on the court to the moment they step off. Of course there will be those who give them the benefit of the doubt because they truly recognize their status.
Still professional sports, especially the NBA, has become entirely too rushed and impatient for the majority to jump on the common sense bandwagon.
Kyrie Irving will go through the gauntlet the most. The number one draft pick of any professional sport is announced with the intention of immediate change. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in need of necessary shifts on the court and Irving has been speculated to be just the man to do it.
However, the moment he slips below the red line and fails his teammates or appears to give up at any moment of the game not only will the comparisons to LeBron James sprout out of thin air, but his lack of extravagance will be blamed on his lack of participation throughout the last NCAA basketball season with Duke. People will bring his injury, which is said to be a non factor, back into question and his endurance will be noted as nonexistent. The Cavaliers will be blamed for taking too much of a chance on someone whose resume was inadequately drawn.
But, what if he actually does what Dan Gilbert and Byron Scott hopes he will do?
What if he actually succeeds?
I understand that there are men put in high positions and end up digging a franchise into an even deeper hole than they were resting in before. Take a look at the Detroit Red Wings when Ned Harkness was the aristocratic ruler. They were forced to engage in irrelevant haircuts and even when Harkness was promoted to general manager, his reign of terror had not ended. That was until he was forced to resign in 1973. The Red Wings had gone from making the Finals to being labeled the “Dead Wings” by almost every sports fan, Detroit’s finest included.
The point I am trying to make is that although there are men in the business that pretend to know how to do their jobs, there are men that honestly know their crafts inside and out.
Do you really think that in their season of recovery, Dan Gilbert would risk the future of his franchise on a couple of longshots? Do you think Byron Scott, who had a strong hand in the early development of Chris Paul, did not look at Kyrie and think to himself that he had a gem on his hands?
Irving may not have the most complete resume of anyone in the draft, but neither did Cam Newton. The similarity between the two overall number one picks is not their elite sports league, but the fact that the reward value that both of these young men are stamped with far outweighs any concern that general managers may have about them.
Kyrie Irving was just too good to pass up.
When you put aside all the statistics and all the numbers, that is what it all boils down to. When a player presents himself in a light that overshadows all of his counterparts, there is something to be said about the intangibles as well as what can be seen on tape.
Irving will have a lot to prove when the season actually starts and the criticism will not cease even after the season is long done. I just hope he spends the offseason like Derrick Rose spent last year’s.
It might be a long drawn out war, but he must be prepared when the smoke clears.