Get 100 Syracuse basketball fans in a room and ask them for their opinion on Donte Greene's decision to leave early last year. You'll probably about 5 folks who think it was for the best and 95 frothing-at-the-mouth ToldYouSo-ologists who also believe it was for the best but Greene was still a short-sighted maroon.
You'll also probably going to run out of blue cheese really, really quickly... I mean, you've basically now got a room full of 100 of these guys:
But I digress..so Donte Greene went on record yesterday as saying his rookie season with the Sacramento Kings was "nothing like I expected."
As an early entrant in last year's draft, Greene was selected in the first round but traded twice before the season even began. He spent a week in January stuck in the NBA Developmental League and started just four games for the Kings, averaging 3.8 points and 1.6 rebounds.
"To see [Blake Griffin] in that position, you think, what if I would've stayed? Where would I be?" says Greene. "I could still be with the Kings, but would I be a top-5 pick? There've been lots of what-ifs. Especially when you're not playing, you got all that time to think. And I loved college so much, loved Coach [Jim] Boeheim. I just keep telling myself, this is what you wanted, you wanted to be in this spot. Keep working."
Greene should still probably consider himself lucky. He's still in the NBA and making good scratch. That's more than you can say about so many other early-entrants that left college before they should have. And think about how many of them left this past season for the very few NBA roster spots out there. Just having a job in the pros is something to be happy about.
Once the article gets passed the formalities it delves into Greene's past and psyche, which probably give folks a better understanding as to why he disregard "most people" who were encouraging him to stay in school
One morning, he heard the alarm clock buzzing in his mother's room. It wouldn't stop. His mother, April, was lying in her bed, unresponsive. Greene and his younger brother, D'Metrique, dialed 911 and then called family members. April had died of an enlarged heart. Greene was 13.
Greene moved in with his father in Baltimore and for the next couple of years struggled with depression. He's said in the past that he twice attempted suicide during this period.
Finally, Greene shared one very interesting piece of advice for future players in his position, "I would say stay in school." Syracuse fans (including myself) spent the better part of this past season telling themselves and anyone who would listen that we were better off without Greene...still, had he decided to return, I'm sure we would have welcomed him back gladly. I think.
Don't cry too much for Greene though. He's a millionaire. He travels the country for free doing what he loves. He's got his own "show." And he's considered a hero by many for recently saving a girl's life. He's doing just fine...