No. 46 OJ Mayo
OJ Mayo. Basketball fans/purists either love him or hate him. There’s no in between. Once hailed as LeBron James 2.0, Mayo’s star lost much of its luster during a less than stellar frosh campaign at USC. After his one and done in SoCal, Mayo was billed as overhyped, overrated and erratic leading up to the 2008 NBA Draft. As a result, the bball prodigy born Ovinton J’Anthony Mayo fell to No. 3 because the questions about his potential in the L mounted more suspense than Alex Trebek’s Final Jeopardy! round.
But here’s the thing: the former No. 1 high school player in the nation, in the old tradition of “put up or shut up,” put up formidable stats as a rook and avoided the dreaded sophomore slump with an equally efficient year two, which, not surprisingly, made most of his detractors, well, shut the eff up. And while the 6-4, 210-pound combo guard is not the second coming of LeBron or D. Wade or Brandon Roy, he’s no Adam Morrison either. In fact, Mayo has quietly put together a very impressive resume in his short tenure in the League (He is one of only 13 players since 2000 to average 18 points over their first two years in the League). Yet, in an ironic turn of events, the kid who was first mentioned in Sports Illustrated when he was in the seventh grade, considered to be a lock as a lottery pick by the time he entered high school and once bumped his gums to the G.O.A.T. himself, Michael Jordan, during a pickup game at Jordan’s camp is doing the things everyone thought he could do, but this time, no one is paying attention outside of the 901 area code.