Michael Jordan categorically is one of the top three players to ever play in the NBA. There’s even a very compelling argument that he’s the greatest NBA player of all-time. On the other hand, MJ doesn’t deserve consideration as an accomplished dual-sport athlete because he failed in his attempt to play professional baseball. I never imaged having to expose Jordan’s lack of baseball skills because I assumed it was incontrovertible. However, it appears that revisionist history may being confusing the matter. The truth is that Michael Jordan was a complete bust as an MLB prospect.
Despite the importance of coaching in team sports, the athletes on the field usually have the biggest impact on determining the outcome of any game. The 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers proved why the previous sentence needs a qualifier. Of note, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had the most significant role in his team’s 4-1 series loss after continually making bad decisions. By micro-managing each and every game as if instructed by a computer, the skipper lost a feel for the game. In that regard, Roberts has earned Top10Bust recognition for his ill-advised managerial decisions.
With a production budget of $25 million, Suburbicon (2017) proved to be a financial failure with less than $6 million in ticket sales at the box office. While underwhelming, those numbers ordinarily wouldn’t show up on the radar screen of Top10Busts. However, when a movie written by the Coen brothers, directed by George Clooney, and starring Matt Damon performs so poorly, I get intrigued. Given the reasonable budget, all of the major participants must have passed up their usual fees hoping to make a return on the back-end. If so, they took a bath on this box office bust. Instead of wasting your time with a story and acting reminiscent of an episode of Dateline, watch the Coens’ Oscar winning Fargo (1996) instead.
When committing to Duke, Wendell Carter Jr. thought he would be the best one-and-done Blue Devil available for the 2018 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, 2018 #2 overall pick Marvin Bagley graduated high school early and joined him for their one-year college basketball experience. Carter’s stat line of 13.5 ppg and 9.1 rpg fell short of Bagley’s production of 21.0 ppg and 11.1 rpg. The lesser regarded Dukie can’t be too upset going to the Chicago Bulls with the 7th overall pick. Then again, former Duke players haven’t had the best success in the NBA so perhaps he should be concerned.
During his one season at the University of Texas, Mo Bamba proved to be a defensive stalwart who led the Big 12 in rebounds and finished second in the NCAA in blocks. Given that you can’t teach size, Bamba became a very desirable pick due to 6’11” height and 7’10” wingspan. While I agree that he draws a valid comparison to 2017-18 Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, it’s possible that the 2018 #6 overall draft pick could turn into T10B Hasheem Thabeet instead. Using those two comparable players as the upper and lower bounds, I predict Bamba will have an NBA career closer to the top than the bottom.
Like millions of others, I watched the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing during which Christine Blasey Ford detailed her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh. In case you missed the made-for-TV special, the words of Groucho Marx provide the best summary. Specifically, it was “a travesty of a mockery of a sham.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) earns a “T10B Busted” Nomination for promoting the un-American notion of presumed guilt. Fellow Senators Dick Blumenthal (D-CT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) deserve honorable mentions for their hypocritical roles in the spectacle. Overall, Feinstein edges out the other two because she led the effort to use an alleged victim as a political pawn.
Oklahoma point guard Trae Young led the NCAA in both scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.7 apg) for the 2017-18 college basketball season. By doing something that had never been done before, Young became a consensus 1st Team All-American. With those credentials, it should be hard to argue against Young’s selection as the 5th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Still, I’m not convinced that his talents will transcend to the next level. Relative to all top 10 picks this year, Young has the highest probability of becoming a bust.
I watched Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson several times during the 2017-18 college basketball season and remember thinking that he was a “beast” who could excel at the next level. When preparing for this post, I was shocked to learn that he only averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds per game last year. Jackson averaged 3 blocks per game during the season and had seven games with at least 5 blocks so perhaps I based my impression on a limited sample size. As someone who finds truth in numbers, I give Jackson an above-average chance of becoming a bust.
As an international prodigy, Luka Doncic signed his first professional contract at the age of 13. Doncic won numerous “Rising Star” and “Best Young Star” awards before getting recognized as the best player outside of the United States by winning the 2018 Euroleague MVP and leading his team to the 2018 Euroleague title. With these credentials, Doncic became the most anticipated international player to come to the NBA since 2003 #2 overall pick Darko Milicic. Whereas Milicic became a bust, Doncic will avoid the same fate. As the most proven player in the 2018 NBA Draft, I give him the lowest probably of becoming a bust relative to the top 10 overall picks.
Marvin Bagley III capped off an impressive freshman year at Duke by earning ACC Player-of-the-Year and consensus 1st Team All-American honors. Based on his accomplishments, he deserved to be considered as the top pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. However, that distinction went to Arizona center Deandre Ayton instead. With the 2nd overall pick, the Sacramento Kings couldn’t pass on the former Blue Devil power forward. Given his size and skill set, Bagley should be able to avoid becoming a bust. I just worry his performance might suffer when he doesn’t get the recognition he craves playing in the shadow of nearby stars Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Oh yeah, there’s also a guy named LeBron who just took his talents to the same state.