Everybody is in the draft to stay in the draft unless [they get hurt]. Comments like that are misleading to NBA teams, to say we're just testing the waters. Guys don't enter the draft unless they want to be in the draft...I'm trying to raise my stock a bit and solidify a first-round position."Those are the words of Wayne Ellington, one of a few UNC underclassmen who declared themselves eligible for this year's draft. The honesty is refreshing and appreciated. It nips false hopes in the bud and allows all parties to move forward quickly and without any reservations or regrets.
Interestingly enough on the same day I read that quote I see the officially official word that Donte Greene is officially going pro...officially. Mike Waters breaks the news to the three Syracuse fans who were still living in denial:
I think it's fair to say we all moved on from this weeks ago so it's less a news item than a clarification of what we already knew. With the emotions passed, I think most Syracuse fans wish Donte well and would do exactly the same thing if they were in his shoes. But Donte's decision and the flip-floppy way he handled it mark a turning point for the way underclassmen jump to the pros.
In an exclusive telephone interview from the NBA's pre-draft camp in Orlando, Fla., Donte Greene said he intends to remain in the draft and will not return to Syracuse University for his sophomore season.
Greene has signed with NBA agent Bill Strickland of the Louisville, Ky.-based Blue Entertainment and Sports Televison.
Judging by the candor of Ellington and his teammates, these kids don't have to do the dance anymore with the fans and the media. Much like we're no longer naive enough to believe baseball players weren't juicing in the 90's, we're also wise to how it works with underclassmen declaring for the NBA draft. We've officially crossed the imaginary threshold of times we've gone through this to know the difference between what people say and what they're actually doing.
I'm not faulting Donte too much, it's actually more our fault than his for having belief in the empty gesture when we should know better. I'm just saying that next time a Syracuse player goes pro early, I hope he doesn't feel the need to do the rigmarole of pretending he may come back. We know he won't be. And that's okay. If anything, doing the two-step with us the entire way will only make us resent you. We're willing to stop pretending we think you might come back as long as you stop pretending you might. Deal? Deal.