The writing was already on the wall. The wall of Syracuse.com comment boards, that is.
He wasn’t big enough.
He wasn’t strong enough.
He wasn’t a good enough shooter.
All the reasons why Jerami Grant should have stayed another season at Syracuse before declaring for the NBA Draft. And all the reasons why Grant wouldn’t make a good pro.
This past weekend, those concerns came to life.
Grant, taken by the Sixers with the No. 39 pick in the recent NBA draft, managed only one point and two rebounds as Philadelphia dropped its opener in the NBA's Orlando Summer League, 83-77, to the Orlando Magic.
Grant, a 6-8 forward who averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore at Syracuse last year, played 16 minutes and 25 seconds in the Sixers' loss. He missed all three of his field goal attempts — one was from 3-point range — and he went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line.
And if that wasn't enough, on Sunday...
Grant fouled out of the game after playing just 11 minutes and 14 seconds, scoring three points, grabbing two rebounds and turning the ball over twice. He made 1 of 2 shots, 1 of 2 free throws and missed his only 3-point try.
If you strongly criticized Grant for entering the draft early and were rooting for him to fail, you can pat yourself on the back. A player’s first two games in the summer league debut are a clear indictment on the type of player he will become over the course of his career. As a result, Jerami Grant decided on Sunday that he will retire from basketball.
"It’s a sad day for me," a dejected Grant said. "But the people who wanted me to play for free and pass up millions of dollars clearly had my best interests."
Like Grant, Shabazz Napier struggled in his summer debut. I bet he wishes he could have stayed in college another year too.
And former Syracuse point guard Michael-Carter Williams was also unimpressive in his first game in the Summer League. MCW missed 15 shots and turned the ball over nine times in that game.
Said Grant, "I’d rather just give up now than go down the road that Michael has. Just look how he turned out."