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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Barclay's Curse? Legend Classic Doesn't Live Up to Name

Do not be alarmed. The Legends Classic brought 4 good games of basketball to Barclays Center over the past two days. It was a great showcase of talent and solid field. Indiana ended up living up to their number one ranking while winning an exciting overtime thriller against Georgetown.

But LEGENDS?

This tournament brought us our first look at Shabazz Muhammad, a potential first overall selection. But he struggled along with the rest of the UCLA team.

It also featured Cody Zeller, another contender for the number one position. Indiana took home the trophy, but Zeller looked very human in the process. He struggled to create separation in the post and with his 6-10 wingspan, those shots will end up getting blocked in the NBA.

Neither player took a step towards the "legend" platform. These games only brought up more questions.

Both players had a chance to grab an early lead in the wide open race for the first overall pick. This year is the most open race since the 2006 draft when Andrea Bargnani went first and its looking like it could stay that way.

In recent years, the number one guys all started off with a hot start to drive up the hype train - Davis, Irving, Wall, and Griffin.

I've never looked at Zeller as a great option first overall and figured someone would step up early. So far, that hasnt happened.

There were some quotes from NBA executives after the Monday Night's slate of games at Barclay's that summed up this thinking.

Essentially, scouts think this will be a draft where the top teams would rather have multiple picks later on in the first instead of in the top 5. The choice at number one could depend on which team is picking - different from years past where there has been a consensus best player.

More players could enter the mold for number one. Nerlens Noel is certainly in the discussion, but failed to impress in his college debut, also at Barclay's.

It seems that Barclay's got its NBA team, but is in no hurry to push the next era of superstars to the next level. Perhaps the arena wants to try to delay their NBA dreams a few years, just like their dream of hosting a NBA franchise was delayed.

Call it the Barclay's Curse.

Disclaimer: I don't believe in curses. 

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