Nerlens Noel Has a Star Wars Moment on Planet Philadelphia
I always felt a little bad for Nerlens Noel.
It began when he clearly thought he was going to be a top 3 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Hell, I’m sure he thought he was going to be the number one pick.
The Cavs definitely would have pulled the trigger on him with the top pick if not for a ligament tear in his first and only year with Kentucky. Ultimately he slid down the board all the way to number 8 where the Pelicans scooped him up in their bill. ESPN kept showing his dejected face over and over as the picks went by. Nothing beats Bill Simmon’s face after the Anthony Bennet pick, but I felt bad for the Nerlens. THen I realized he was going to make millions of dollars, and my pity turned to total indifference.
He had a rough introduction to the NBA. He was knocked down a few pegs in the draft, picked up by New Orleans, got his block party hopes taken away (still sad) and sent to Philly, missed the entire 2013-2014 season, lost in Philly forever, and then traded to Dallas for a declining Andrew Bogut (and a first round pick).
As Nerlens was descending into the harsh, rookie abyss the rest of the world was flying high into outer space. Star Wars was back!!! The hype around The Force Awakens was unbelievable, and most felt the return-film delivered well and restored a feeling of lost glory. Glory and spirit that faded into the green-screen with the sorry prequels (I enjoy them actually).
And then there was young Nerlens. Still sinking into the hot salt of the earth. Rotting away under the twin suns of planet Philadelphia. There he dreamed of success. He dreamed of flying away into the stars to a fully formed planet.