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Archive for Sunday, June 29, 2008

Commentary: Arthur’s fall to 27th puzzling

Health questions may not be all of the story

June 29, 2008

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— A center from France who averaged five points and 3.1 rebounds was taken by Charlotte at No. 20.

And Darrell Arthur sat.

A forward who grew up in the Congo and lived in a house with no electricity or running water went to Seattle at No. 24.

And Arthur sat.

Certainly, San Antonio would take a chance on Arthur. He did help Kansas win the NCAA championship, and Spurs general manager R.C. Buford was a member of the coaching staff that won a title with Kansas in 1988. Buford's son, Chase, was one of Arthur's teammates this past season.

The Spurs chose George Hill. You've heard of Hill. He was the leading scorer for IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis).

By the time Arthur was taken with the 27th pick of the first round, the raucous crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden was relieved. His embarrassment was even too much for them to endure.

What happened? How did a player projected by many to go in the teens barely squeeze into the first round?

The easy explanation is the kidney. Nothing showed up on the NBA's physical. Arthur played with this undisclosed condition at Kansas.

But when teams heard about it and requested lab work, Arthur declined. Red flags were raised. The former South Oak Cliff, Texas, star relented and allowed Washington's medical staff to do a complete workup. He was cleared.

It came too late. As one general manager told me late Wednesday evening, Arthur was "dropping like a stone."

But there is more to this. French forward Nicolas Batum failed a stress test in one of his workouts and was forced to undergo a battery of cardiological tests. He went two spots ahead of Arthur.

Arthur is an excellent athlete. He has a nice touch and a beautiful turnaround jumper. He can knock down the 17-foot jumper and finish around the basket.

But he's not much of a rebounder and is a poor passer. Some personnel people mentioned that he seemed to coast through parts of games.

Arthur did not impress in his individual workouts. A bad back kept him from practicing for some teams.

It was no way to win the hearts and minds of NBA general managers.

The deepest position of this draft was power forward. Arthur is better right now than some of the forwards taken ahead of him.

But will he be better two to three years from now? The majority of teams weren't convinced. They determined his upside wasn't as great.

Other athletes have begun their professional careers in similar fashion and gone on to success. Arthur may do the same.

But on this night, Darrell Arthur sat and watched most of the first round pass him by.

Comments

gram77 6 years, 6 months ago

Move on and learn from this Darrell. Get a new agent.

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