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Friday, June 28th, 2013 at 1:40 pm  |  29 responses

Nerlens Noel Vows to Make Teams Pay for Passing Him Over in the NBA Draft


Five teams bypassed the kid who many figured who would be the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and Nerlens Noel – who was traded from New Orleans to Philly after getting picked sixth — says he has revenge on his mind. Per USA Today: “The Pelicans dealt Noel and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday and this year’s 42nd pick. With a perplexed look on his face, Noel tried to force out a smile. When asked about the five teams who passed him, Noel tried to stay positive, but admitted he felt overlooked. ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to make them pay,’ Noel says. Noel never thought about quitting after a season-ending ACL tear in his first and only season at Kentucky. The Wildcats’ performance declined following Noel’s injury Feb. 12, and they became a rare defending national champion not to return to the NCAA tournament the next season. He said his mother was his inspiration when it came to rehabilitating his knee to show NBA teams he was worthy as a top pick in the NBA draft. ‘Coming to America from Haiti, working two jobs, she never quit so I could be where I’m at today,’ said Noel. ‘I wasn’t about to give up. This has been his dream since he was a little boy. I just told him to keep working and good things would come,’ Dorcina Noel said. […] ‘It’s all good,’ Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Noel’s selection in the draft. ‘I’m just so happy for Nerlens and his family.’”

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  • Roy Blumenfeld

    The comparison to Jermaine O’Neal that has been floating around is accurate. Just like Jermaine, he will be coming into the league at a young age, with a limited offensive game, and isn’t a legit 7 feet. However, he already has the knee problems that didn’t come along to hurt Jermaine until much later. He had a knee injury in high school and another in college. One key difference between the two is that Noel is a lot skinnier. His job will be to protect the paint. That involves a lot of contact. Their is a high probability he could get hurt again.

    While he has a lot of potential, teams skipped him because they know what the implications of a big man with knee problems are.

  • OfftheWall87

    These teams do their homework. That knee was the issue.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    I’d say JO had a better offensive game coming into the league.

  • KidSwoosh

    If he brings that attitude/heart to Philly and works hard, the fans will love him. It was very tough watching us trade Holiday last night for Noel and a pick, but hopefully he takes his time to recover and develops into the center that the Sixers have needed for years. While the knee injury is a concern, the raw talent is there and there’s a reason why he was in the conversation to go #1. Hopefully he takes his time and starts his career off right.

  • Roy Blumenfeld

    He was still extremely raw but you are right. Noel can’t really do much away from the rim right now.

  • shockexchange

    Until Noel develops something even resembling a form jump shot or an offensive game, nobody is checking for this kid.

  • Dfrance

    I know he was projected #1 by a lot of people, but ESPN didn’t have to keep zooming in on his grill every time a team passed on him tho.

  • bike

    Well, I hope he is patient. Noel won’t be a significant force for several years.

  • LeroyShonuff

    No offensive game to speak of. Bad knees. Yep, I think he’s gonna justify those teams passing over him and how dumb the sixers have been historically.

  • Faraan Akhtar

    greg oden 2.0?

  • spit hot fiyah

    for real, that was almost depressing

  • spit hot fiyah

    there was a picture of him bench pressing that i saw not long ago were you could see his knee. i don’t know what a knee is supposed to look like a few months after acl surgery, but it was nasty

  • Dfrance

    You make it sound like the Sixers have a history of big men with bad knees or something.

  • Caboose

    When the PHOENIX medical staff red flags you, you’re in trouble.

  • spit hot fiyah

    also, if he would have been picked #1 he would have made 5.6 million more over his first three years. that might explain the sour look

  • spit hot fiyah

    no, then you are dead

  • Sancheezie

    lesser version of anthony davis

  • Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    The trade isnt official yet and I really hope it does not go through.

  • shockexchange

    They are probably equal defensively. However, Noel’s offensive game is non-existent compared to Davis’. Davis was a 6’2″ point guard until he grew about 8 inches in 18 months. He has the advantage of having guard skills inside a big man’s body.

  • bill

    How would one know? He didn’t get off Portland’s bench for like 3 yrs in.

  • Markus437

    Ya I saw the same picture on instagram, it looked pretty messed up

  • Markus437

    If he does end up becoming a good player I’m always gonna wonder what if he played in Nola with Davis

  • retrobat

    I’m always gonna wonder what if he played in Cleveland w/Kyrie.

  • JB

    Noel will be a bust. He is a shot blocker. That’s it!

  • Max

    You mean this one?

  • dunkonyerhed

    The kid sounds like either a top level competitor or a spoiled brat – not sure which.

  • dunkonyerhed

    Well, in fairness, he didn’t get off Portland’s bench because he had 3 star level or very solid players in front of him.

  • dunkonyerhed

    Yeah, poor guy. Not sure how he’s gonna pay the bills now.

  • kingj

    Does he have kids to feed too?

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