Luol Deng loves Duke University. He is back all of the time and desperately wanted to stay, but under the circumstances, he felt obligated for the betterment of his family, and for the thousands who he was supported by in the Sudan, to go pro. I understand the Maggette reasoning, hell, I'll give you Kyrie and will definitely give you Austin to be a little disappointed with and not that into supporting in the pros. But to say that you aren't proud enough of Luol Deng as a past Duke player to turn on a Bulls game, then that is atrocious. He is one of the finest human beings to ever put on a Duke uniform, and if it weren't for grant hill, I would put him easily at the top of the list. Plus he is a phenomenal player, he guards LeBron well and is the second best player on the best team in the NBA
I don't know all of the specifics behind Maggette's decision, but he was a lottery pick and clearly was NBA ready (not star ready, but definitely NBA ready). It's hard to turn down that kind of money. Irving was clearly NBA ready and had the frightening injury to push his decision.
Rivers is the only one for whom I think it's a questionable decision. He doesn't need the money, he isn't a lock for the lottery, and could clearly stand to gain by coming back and improving. But it is his decision to make. He clearly played hard at Duke and wanted to win very badly. I'm not upset at all with his decision.
And for the record, I'm proud of Deng and Irving too. Classy guys. I can't say I follow Avery, Maggette, or McRoberts much, but when I see Maggette play, I'm excited because he was a Dukie (who, like Avery and Brand, came from a poor background). Though I do wish he stayed a Duke and learned to play in a way that takes less of a toll on his body.
Last edited by Li_Duke; 03-27-2012 at 02:03 PM.
At any rate, my original point was that his decision to go pro early was more curious and less justifiable than Austin's. There are very few early entants from Duke who's early entries were questionable. The book is out on Austin, but IMO, Shav takes the cake in that department.
"There can BE only one."
I am in no way criticizing Deng leaving early. If I were in his shoes I would have done the same. I just do not have the same feeling for players who stay for 1 year and then leave. I understand the money factor as well as the next and it is very difficult to turn it down.
THat does not mean that I have to have the same feeling for the one and done players as I do for the Singlers, the Smiths , the Scheyers etc., etc., etc.
Obviously a lot of you do feel the same about Deng, Magatte, Irving and Rivers as being great Dukies. I just do not. I do not have warm feelings about them no matter how many times I see Rivers shot over Zeller.
Does the Rivers running augur well for a Plumlee preserve?
With Coach K involved in the announcement, wouldn't it be reasonable that if Mason was racin' - he would have been included?
I understand Mason is likely still considering his options, but if it were a done deal, why not get it over with at the same time, and share the angst?
It's interesting to read the varying opinions on Rivers' decision. I thought it was pretty much assumed that he'd be here for a year and then off. That seemed to be the expectation at the beginning of the season at least. So things went according to plan and he's off, I'm not shocked or disappointed. It'd have been surprising if he had stayed for another year.
He had a great season, I wish him well and will always remember the shot against UNC. That was legendary.
"Something in my vicinity is Carolina blue and this offends me." - HPR
In the two previous cases in which we've had multiple players leave early (1999, 2002), I believe the announcements were made at separate times. I assume that's because the players decided at separate times, and announcements were simply made once the player had officially decided. I'd expect the same in this case.
This plan makes sense to me. He is apparently very close to graduating with a single major, so if he could be sure of a guaranteed contract this year, it might make sense to leave school and not risk the chance of dropping lower next year (if he really is at the bottom of the first round now, he wouldn't have to drop much). But if he can't be pretty sure of getting that first round spot this year, why not come back to school, finish the double major, and see if he can move up a few spots to a guaranteed contract by working on specific skills or showing more consistency?
Just one word in defense of Shav ...
I think his decision -- like Avery's decision in 1999 and to some extend Deng's decision in 2004 -- was based on family circumstances, more than basketball issues. His father was in bankruptcy, facing very serious pressures. Shav's decision to go pro when he did helped his family out of a huge financial hole.
It might not have been the best thing for his career, long-term, but he did play in the league for all or part of five seasons and did earn more than $3 million from the NBA.