It’s easy to forget the lockout casualties when you think about the NBA’s rookie class. We just watched the draft after all, haven’t we seen all of the new guys?
Not really. Duke’s Kyle Singler, who fled the shortened NBA season to play in Spain, will be returning to U.S. shores, ready to start his NBA career after getting some professional seasoning under his belt after agreeing to terms with the Detroit Pistons. He could have come home and played last season, but opted instead to take advantage of the large dose of playing time he was getting with Real Madrid.
“The opportunity to play a lot more was here, but the bottom line was I was happy and felt no pressure to leave and go back to the NBA,” Singler, who was the 33rd overall pick in last year’s draft, told the Associated Press recently. “Deep down, I knew it was the best decision for me to stay. I’ll have another chance to play in the NBA, there was no real rush.”
This is why Duke kids drive fans of other teams crazy. They play hard, keep their noses clean, and they’re smart enough to justify the smugness that attends a Dookie hoopster. It’s hard to fault Singler’s decision in any way. The Pistons finished last in their division last season, and he still probably wouldn’t have seen much playing time. This way, the mop-haired Swiss Army knife of a player once again demonstrated his maturity and skills, and probably came out with more of a guaranteed future than he did as a second-round pick.
As another former Blue Devil, Shane Battier, just proved, a smart, tough player can hang around long enough to get a ring in the NBA. It’s a deal Singler would likely take.