In 2001, I parked myself in front of the TV in anticipation of the NBA Draft. My Cleveland Cavaliers held the No. 8 pick, one which I hoped would return the franchise to the playoffs, or at least allow me to hate them less. The King Nothing was not yet a high school junior and the franchise was in disarray.
Any hope I had of a Cavaliers resurrection was quickly dashed when Commissioner David Stern announced, “with the eighth pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select DeSagana Diop…”. Initial reaction: “Who in the name of World B. Free is DeSagana Diop?” Reaction two days later: “Who in the name of Bingo Smith and Larry Nance and Mark Price is DeSagana Diop?!!!!!”
I think this video sums up Diop’s career succinctly.
Here are a couple of things that make Diop’s career – and Cleveland’s lottery selection of him – all the more soul crushing.
DeSagana Diop, career averages: 2.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
Players drafted after Diop (some with an actual beating heart): Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, Zach Randolph (then, at pick No. 20, the Cavs also draft Brendan Haywood — blood pressure climbing!!!!!), Gerald Wallace, Sam Dalembert, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur.
DeSagana Diop, career NBA earnings: $32.7 million. That sound you heard was my head exploding like the guy in “Scanners”.