Austin Rivers is one of many cautionary tales about the overhyping of high-school baskteball players. We were treated to mixtape after carefully constructed mixtape showcasing young Mr. Rivers’ sick crossovers, his powerful dunks, and a sweet-looking jumper. He was supposed to be the next big thing. A surefire prospect.
Some of his luster wore off in college, as it does for many a high-school star, though he managed a few good games. People wondered if he really made his team better. But he showed enough to be considered a first-round selection in the draft, which is more than can be said for the average mixtape specimen.
So now he’s in the NBA, and, surprise, he sucks. He still has the nice dribble moves, but has tunnel-vision despite his finishing ability being nonexistent. His jumper is totally messed up, so messed up that he can’t even shoot free throws with it. He’s not a point guard, but he can’t play effectively off the ball.
Everyone wants to get excited. Everyone wants to believe. Everyone wants the next big thing. Instead we get a scrub who is just as good as any other random fringe NBA player. Can he maybe become good in the future? Sure. And teams will always be willing to pick him up, just hoping they can squeeze out of him some of that elusive “potential”. Something he formerly seemed to have unlimited amounts of.