Interesting article by Rick Maese at SI.com about Donte Greene who came out early from Syracuse despite warnings that the NBA is not as easy as it appears to be.
Check it out here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/basketball/ncaa/06/17/greene/index.html
A few interesting excerpts:
-"Man, it was crazy," Greene says of his rookie year. "Just nothing like I expected."
-"To see him (Griffin) in that position, you think, what if I would've stayed? Where would I be?" says Greene. "I could still be with the Kings, but would I be a top-5 pick? There've been lots of what-ifs. Especially when you're not playing, you got all that time to think. And I loved college so much, loved Coach [Jim] Boeheim. I just keep telling myself, this is what you wanted, you wanted to be in this spot. Keep working."
-Last year, 69 underclassmen filed as early-entry candidates. Of those, 29 were drafted while 10 others never heard their name called (30 others withdrew from the draft and returned to school).
-"These young guys, they get all this attention, everyone telling them they're good, and they listen to it. So they come out because they want to be stars," says Ryan Blake, the NBA's assistant director of scouting.
A lot of them don't make it.
-This year, more than 60 college players filed as early-entrants and as of Monday's deadline 39 stayed in to try for one of the precious few NBA jobs that open up each year.
-"They have so many people in their ear, I don't know what they listen to," he says. "We really don't know."
-"He used to be the guy who was always playing around, joking. I mean, he's still that same guy, but he's got to work out more, keep his body right, spend time with his family, do all these things. This is real life now, you know?"
-"I don't want to settle with just being in the NBA. I want to use the NBA and what the NBA gives me and make a name for myself."
-Greene has given the matter a lot of thought. If a player isn't absolutely certain he's a lottery pick, Greene knows exactly what he'd advise.
"I would say stay in school," he says. "What guys got to understand, when you come out of school, you're not a kid no more. You got to grow up fast. I was 20 -- not a baby but still kind of young. I wasn't even paying my own phone bill, wasn't paying taxes, none of that. Man, you got to grow up fast."
-Greene chuckles when he's reminded that his advice is exactly what his Syracuse coaches tried telling him just one year ago. "I guess sometimes you just never know how things will turn out," he says.