Every time an exciting young player makes his way to the NBA, it’s very common to see former players or current star give their takes on how good or bad they will fare in the association. Obviously, it’s good to see when these players make the right predictions and players end up being good, but we’re not going to talk about that today.
In this case, we’re going to take a look at some claims that didn’t come true. Former NBA stars, and even some directives that gave a really hot take that didn’t come to fruition in the end. These are 5 hot predictions that NBA legends made about young players that didn’t become a reality.
Magic Johnson on Michael Carter-Williams: ‘The Next Jason Kidd’
Magic Johnson has a history when it comes to making bold claims that are far from reality. Back in 2015, the Los Angeles Lakers legend was so excited about Michael Carter-Williams going to Milwaukee, tweeting ‘The Bucks just acquired the next Jason Kidd in Michael Carter-Williams.’
MCW hasn’t become an important figure in the league so far. Ever since his rookie season in the NBA, his career has gone downhill. Right now he’s part of the Orlando Magic, trying to be a decent agent for his team, not the superstar some people, including Magic, expected him to be.
Kobe Bryant on Andrew Wiggins: ‘like looking at a reflection of myself 19 years ago’
“Yeah, it was a strange feeling, because I remember being Andrew Wiggins,” Bryant said, via CBS Sports. “I remember playing against Michael my first year. To be here tonight and to play against him, seeing the baby face and the little footwork or little technique things that he’s going to be much sharper at as time goes on — it was like looking at a reflection of myself 19 years ago. It was pretty cool.”
Well, we all know what’s happened with Wiggins career. He was expected to become the next LeBron James, a superstar in the league, but so far nothing has happened with the Canadian player. At this moment, the Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to find a trade partner for Wiggins, who hasn’t lived up to the expectations.
Kevin Garnett on Thon Maker: ‘Thon is going to be the MVP of the league one day’
“Thon Maker reminds me a lot of myself. He loves the game,” Garnett said, as per CBS Sports. “He’s a young, exuberant athlete who has a lot of tools — he has touch; he has agility; he has really, good feet. He has a really good shot from 3-point all the way up to 19 to 21 feet. He has very good bones, as we say.
“Thon is going to be the MVP of the league one day. Mark it down. He has the bones. He has the appetite to be able to chase something like that.”
It’s fair to say that it hasn’t been like that so far. Thon Maker is still trying to be a good player in this league, but we doubt he’ll ever become an MVP-caliber player in the NBA.
Joe Dumars on Darko Milicic: ‘he’s better than Dirk’
This is an interesting story told by former ESPN analyst Chad Ford, who described how good was Milicic during his workout with the Detroit Pistons and how impressed then GM Joe Dumars was.
“When you have a 7-1 kid, who is 17 years old, doing the things he was doing, it was a “wow” moment, especially for a team that needed a big man. There was just a buzz afterward.” Joe Dumars even went all out and said, “he’s better than Dirk. He’s going to be an absolute stud,” Ford said.
It’s fair to say that Darko was seen as the consensus #2 pick in the 2003 NBA draft. Dumars was the GM who drafted Milicic, and that makes things worse. This one has to be one of the biggest busts in the history of the league.
Paul Pierce on Kristaps Porzingis: ‘Andrea Bargnani’
This case is different because absolutely nobody, except the Knicks, expected Porzingis to become a huge star in the league. Well, the Latvian big man proved all his doubters wrong with his displays with the Knickerbockers, earning the nickname of ‘The Unicorn’.
Back in the day, though, according to Sam Amick of The Atletic, Paul Pierce compared Kristaps Porzingis to Andrea Bargnani, when everybody was comparing him to Dirk Nowitzki. Luckily for Porzingis, he’s become a very big player in the NBA, being one of the figures of the Dallas Mavericks at this very moment, just like Dirk back in his day.